“We’ll find him. Where ever he is, if he’s alive, we’ll find your dog.”

Title: Isle of Dogs
Rated: PG-13
Genre(s): Animation, Adventure, Comedy
Director: Wes Anderson
Written By: Wes Anderson, Roman Coppola, Jason Schwartzman, Kunichi Nomura
Length: 1h 41min
Release Date: 2018

I had zero expectations going into this film. The name “Wes Anderson” did not mean much as I have watched none of his films beforehand. However, he excitement for this movie on the internet was palpable. Seemingly every website I had visited was in love with this movie as soon as the official trailer dropped. Me, being late to the party as always, wanted to understand just why… and I’m glad I did because this movie is a treat.

Due to an outbreak of “canine flu”, a new law takes effect banishing all dogs in the fictional city of Megasaki to an island named Trash Island. The first to be deported is a black and white colored dog named Spots. This doesn’t sit right with the 12-year-old protagonist, Atari, who hijacks a plane and flies to the island to rescue his canine companion with the help of a pack of dogs he befriended along the way. The journey isn’t all smooth sailing. Kenji Kobayashi, the man who signed the decree to banish our furry friends, sends out a rescue team with a pack of violent robotic dogs to retrieve the small 12-year-old kicking off the game of cat and mouse.

My eyes were glued to the screen as I observed the beautiful stop-motion animation and unique landscapes of the world. The story was enticing and the characters never failed in making me smile throughout the ride. The attention to detail was lovely and gives audiences something new to look for during repeat viewings. There’s so much love poured into this film, it’s atnonishing.

You can tell Anderson has a lot of love for Japan thanks to the outstanding soundtrack and twist on Japanese imagery. As a fan of Japanese culture as well, I was grinning ear to ear watching the lovely locals. However, outside of the dogs and two specific human characters, everyone in this movie speaks Japanese without any translated subtitles. It didn’t bother me personally, but I could see how that might be offputting for other viewers.

Give this movie a chance if you’re loving for a fun adventure that’s under 2 hours long. The film has something for both children and adults to enjoy with its compelling characters, well-done animation, and wonderful world building. I have decided to look into Wes Anderson‘s films thanks to this movie.

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