Home Commentary “Isle of Dogs”: Anderson’s touching new work

“Isle of Dogs”: Anderson’s touching new work

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Kie Donovan is a long-time fan of animated media, with interests in both Japanese and American animation as a Japanese-American and a lover of the animated medium.

BETHESDA, Md.– A touching tale of the unbreakable bond between a boy and his dog unfolds in Wes Anderson’s most recent feature film.

Isle of Dogs is a fantasy, adventure feature film rated PG-13, produced and directed by Wes Anderson and released on Apr. 13 in theaters across the United States. Taking place in the near future, the film follows Atari, a young boy who makes the dangerous journey to Japan’s Trash Island from his home of Megasaki City in an attempt to rescue his dog, Spots.

The film quickly garnered attention for its unique and eye-catching stop-motion animation. The impressive attention to detail to not only the human puppets but to the dog puppets’ movements is a prime example of the unconventional, detailed visuals that are quite characteristic of Anderson’s films.

Anderson’s penchant for detailed visuals stretches beyond the puppets into the set and background design. The carefully crafted sets perfectly capture the dystopian atmosphere that the film strives for.

Although the movie’s visuals are quite impressive, Anderson is a comedian at heart and his experience in comedic film shines through in Isle of Dogs. The style of comedy that he chose to apply in the film could perhaps be best described as “conversational”; the funniest parts of the film often take place during characters’ conversations, giving jokes and punchlines a natural, unforced feeling.

Isle of Dogs features many big-name actors as its characters, most notably Bryan Cranston as Chief, Scarlett Johansson as Nutmeg and Jeff Goldblum as Duke. An interesting directing choice was to maintain a certain rawness, an “authenticity” to the voices, which made the fantastical film and nonhuman characters seem more real.

If you enjoy a good dog movie, are a sucker for cool visuals or are simply a fan of Anderson’s work, this film is right up your alley. The film has both weekday and weekend showtimes in theaters around Montgomery County, with tickets ranging from $9 to $12, depending on the theater. Most theaters will have afternoon and night showtimes available, though there are a few exceptions.

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