Isle of Dogs (Review)

IsleofDogsWith his newest film Isle of Dogs, Wes Anderson creates what has become for him a routine effect; he delivers a refreshingly unique and unpredictable story experience in film. And this time he adds a couple more items: he makes a pun out of the title while probably promoting stop-motion animation to a new level of legitimacy. That he chose a near-future Japan as his setting can only make me curious. Did anime’ influence him? Old Godzilla films?

In a day and age of horror and zombie films, and movies that rely so heavily on CGI, it was a great relief to experience lower tech and  more organic storytelling— which is not to suggest that the film was simple. Perhaps it was canine version of Saving Private Ryan or a much edgier and dystopian version of Disney’s The Incredible Journey.


Or not.

What if it takes a story about the noble species canis lupus familiaris to show us how to behave. Or maybe one of the signature filmmakers of our time simply wove an entire film around a title so the author could thinly disguise his love for “man’s best friend.”

Or just forget all that.

This is a film you can watch with the kind of stillness and rapture of a kid watching a favorite cartoon, except that afterward you get to savor the idea that Wes Anderson made it because he knows how important it is to imagine and pretend and wonder.

And that he made the movie because he knew that we needed the reminder.

“Yule of it.”



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