Posted on April 10, 2018
Isle of Dogs: An easy target for a dogpile.
Isle of Dogs isn’t going to the dogs any time soon.
Isle of Dogs is the latest Wes Anderson vehicle and its about a boy named Atari attempting to find his dog and bring him back home after the government exiles all dogs to an island made out of garbage. The visuals are an excellent combination of traditional animation and stop motion, which are very appealing to eye. The movie’s run time is an hour and 41 minutes and at times it can feel longer. Check out the trailer at this link: Movie Trailer
My recommended audience for this film is anyone above the age of 12.
The reason for this is due to the subject matter at hand and the fact that although the movie is a beautiful piece of art there isn’t as much happening on screen to keep the attention of younger audiences and the pace is a little slower than a typical children’s flick.
Top 4 favorite things about the film:
- The voice acting was fabulous
- A strong cast of voice actors were brought on board for this project: names like Bryan Cranston, Bill Murray, Scarlett Johansson, Ed Norton and Yoko Ono, just to name a few!
- The puppets were breathtaking
- Not much more I can say to sum up how beautiful this film can be at times.
- The seamless handling of conversations between dogs and people.
- The dogs can understand each other and can’t understand the humans and yet it doesn’t impede the pack of dogs from helping Atari throughout the film.
- The incredibly clever work around for translating Japanese to English without it being overbearing or taking me out of the film.
- Whenever there is a speech, the translator flips a switch on the box call something along the lines of auto translate or instant translator subtitle will appear on screen along with voice over work in English.
- Any time Atari talks to the dogs, however, his words are left in Japanese so not only do the dogs not know what he is saying but neither do we. Simple and clever in my opinion.
One downside of the movie is that there are too many traveling scenes.
I acknowledge that they wanted to get the vastness of the garbage island across and traveling from one side to the other is no easy feat. In reality, it would cut at most 15 minutes from the film, which might of helped the pacing a bit.
Who am I to give advice to Wes Anderson, what an asshole I am… Mr. Anderson obviously knows what he is doing and that is why this is my only downside for the film.
Cheese Gromit CHEESE!
The movie takes me back to the days when I used to watch VHS tapes of Wallace and Gromit. I knew they were made of clay and mesmerized by their ability to make such fluid movements. My younger self couldn’t figure out how it all worked but I knew that what I was watching was something special.
The Elephant in the room
I now know that there is a ton of controversy around this film. The review is bare of these topics due to the fact that I went into the movie blind of them. I hope that we can discuss our opinions on the matter in a respectful way and keep it PG in the comment section.
The depiction of Japan throughout the film has been interpreted as racist and “cultural appropriation” has been mentioned online. I am placing this section here to inform those who may not have read anything on the subject. Please seek other sites if you would like to further inform yourself about this side of the film. I am willing to take this conversation further but not at this time.
As a lifelong dog lover and a recent convert to the cat side, I was looking forward to this movie. Stop motion animation is an impressive art form that is displayed wonderfully on the big screen. Grab your Moivepass, head over to your favorite theater and check out this flick, now that it has a wide release. The film made for a perfect double date night and is an absolute spectacle to witness.
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