Isle of Dogs

I only just got the memo that the title of this movie is meant to be a play on words that sounds like “I Love Dogs” and now I can’t stop trying to say the title like that.

Y’all know I have cats, yeah? I’m sure I’ve talked about Lestat and Nosferatu (who is currently standing on my thigh) many times. But the truth is, I’m actually a dog person *gasp* (sorry, Fehr, I still love you and your sis), as a result, I found this to be the sweetest and cutest movie that served as a reminder that we as humans do not deserve the beautiful creatures that are dogs.

In a dystopian Japan, an epidemic has infected the entire canine population, which leads the government to decree all dogs are to be quarantined on trash island. A little pilot boy crash lands on the island in search of his beloved doggie companion, where he’s found by a pack of dogs who roam the isle together. The dogs, being the sweet loyal creatures they are (minus the one reluctant stray) vow to help the little pilot find his friend.

Before I get into the details of the movie, I just wanna take a second to acknowledge the cultural appropriation controversy. I don’t feel that I’m in a position to properly talk about it. I just want to try and be sensitive to the concern, and say that I’m open to learning more, and I’m going to skip over certain aspects of the film that I may have talked about otherwise.

In general, for me when it comes to Wes Anderson, it’s hit or miss how much I enjoy his films, but I always appreciate his style and unique vision. This had his fingerprints all over it.
The animation was so beautiful, typical Anderson fashion. Stop motion has become a lost art, and I love that he keeps bringing it back. My one biggest problem (which is the most common problem I have with his work) was the pacing. As much as I was loving the story and the characters and everything, it took too long to do anything. I was simultaneously enthralled and bored.

The voice cast was incredible. Bryan Cranston handily led the pack as Chief, the stray dog reluctant to trust the humans. Then there was Edward Norton, a new Anderson staple, as the dog who was always eager and loyal. I also loved pack member Jeff Goldblum, whose unique cadence fits perfectly into Anderson’s strange little world.

Overall it was such a sweet and positive film. Sometimes I really do wish my kitties were puppies.

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