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Isle of Dogs – Movie Review

Stop motion films are something that everyone can enjoy, and the team at Indian Paintbrush and American Empirical Pictures have delighted the world with a new creation, Isle of Dogs, directed by Wes Anderson.

The story depicts a fictional city in Japan, Megasaki, where all dogs have been exiled to ‘Trash Island’. This was following an outbreak of dog flu that had the public fearing for their health and safety. Although, one boy, Atari Kobayashi, cannot bear to be without his loyal dog and bodyguard, Spots, so he steals a plane to find his beloved pet. From there, Atari and a group of dumped dogs set out on a journey through the mountains of rubbish to find Spots and to hopefully bring all the dogs home.

With a score of 92% on Rotten Tomatoes and 8.2/10 for IMDb, the movie has been well received by most audiences. Overall, the main consensus has been that “The beautiful stop-motion animation finds Wes Anderson at his detail-oriented best, while telling one of the director’s most winsomely charming stories.”

The film itself has a PG warning due to themes such as murder, but the animated comedy also features scenes to make you laugh. It might not make you laugh out loud with tears rolling down your face, but has some subtle and obvious jokes that everyone can enjoy.

‘Isle of Dogs’ took over 3 years to create with the pre-production starting in 2015 and production beginning in October 2016. The detail that has gone into the fur of each dog, the hair of the characters and even the tears in some scenes is impeccable.  Pictures of the sets of the city and the island are just mind blowing when you realise how much time it can take to get that precise level of detail.

Over the years we have seen other amazing, even award-winning animations. Family favourites includes Wallace and Gromit – The Curse of the Were-RabbitChicken Run and Coraline just to name a few, but where does Isle of Dogs stand when compared to them. Stop motion films are notorious for having very strange plots, almost scary, but paired with beautiful production. Isle of Dogs definitely meets that criteria and can match the artistry that has gone into the design especially for the sets and dog fur, as mentioned before.

The only difference from these classic, is this might not be a family favourite, as the story line may be too complex to drag children in. While open for anyone to watch the overall story may be enjoyed more by the older demographic, that will understand the somewhat adult humour and the constant interchanging between Japanese and English.

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