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Isle Of Dogs

Cora Adams, Memorial Staff Writer

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Isle of Dogs, written and produced by critically acclaimed director Wes Anderson goes above and beyond the average audience’s expectations.

The movie is set in a dystopian future Japan, where the entire dog population in Megasaki City is infected with a virus that causes aggression and illness. The virus soon became a driving force for Mayor Kobayashi’s (Kunichi Nomura) campaign against canines, spreading fear and lies across the city to pressure dog owners to give their beloved pets to the government.

After Mayor Kobayashi’s ward and nephew Atari (Koyu Rankin) loses his guard dog Spots (Liev Schreiber) to the government, he goes to find his companion on the dog-infested Trash Island with the help of a pack of sympathetic dogs: Rex (Edward Norton), King (Bob Balaban), Duke (Jeff Goldblum), Boss (Bill Murray), and Chief (Bryan Cranston). The group spent the primary duration of the movie fighting Kobayashi’s rescue team and looking for Spots. Throughout the movie, pack leader Chief slowly grows a strong bond with Atari, creating a sweet wholesome dynamic between the two most significant characters.

As conflicts increase on Trash Island, things become fairly heated on the mainland. Foreign exchange student Tracy Walker (Greta Gerwig) and her newspaper staff passionately fight for canine rights through protests and investigation for the truth. The group soon discovers the conspiracy behind Kobayashi and the mysterious death of Professor Watanabe (Akira Ito), the man behind the cure for the virus.

“Isle of Dogs” was produced by Indian Paintbrush and Anderson’s own production company, American Empirical Pictures. The film opened the 68th Berlin International Film Festival where Anderson was awarded the Silver Bear for Best Director. It began its release in the United States on March 23, with a wide release on April 13. As longest stop motion movie to date, the film has grossed $39 million worldwide and received praise for its extreme commitment to its clever originality and the important message about what ‘man’s best friend’ truly means.

The movie is an almost magical experience; the amount of detail and dedication in every scene shows the true beauty of what ‘claymation’ can be. The only con I can find in this production is a fault of tongue.

Unfortunately, the primary language throughout the movie is Japanese so the discourse between Kobayashi and Atari was confusing at times. Luckily, with a translating ‘news reporter’ on hand in all scenes involving political debuts of the mayor, everything necessary to the plot was in English, including the dogs.

Overall, I found the movie to be extremely captivating and heart-warming, and I would recommend a visit to the theaters to any friend of mine who asks, “What is ‘Isle of Dogs’?”

 

Contact Cora Adams at [email protected].

 

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