ISLE OF DOGS REVIEWED
“Isle of Dogs” begins with a mysterious flu that is spread by canines. Borrowing an idea from the better Apes sequel, Wes Anderson dives deep into a near future where a young boy has to save his dog. The young Atari pilots his way to Trash Island where he finds dogs that have remade their societies without human interference. Most of the dogs are human castoffs that are reluctant to return to the masters that mistreated them. Others pull themselves away out of a lack of identity. Then, there’s Scraps.
While Scraps enjoyed being Atari’s dog, he has kinda moved on past the need to protect a human child. The other dogs ranging in personalities from Ed Norton to Bob Balaban to Bill Murray and Bryan Cranston all try to protect this new foundling savior. But, this movie isn’t concerned with making a statement. It’s the international comic drama equivalent of a Rankin/Bass holiday special. So, why is it so good?
JAPAN AS AN AESTHETIC
Quicker than you could reopen your Livejournal account, many were quick to take initial reviews out of context. The dread scourge of cultural appropriation appeared and the woke among you were swift to shut this film down. In time, many started to actually watch the film closely and pick up on the Anderson aesthetic. This is a fable that lovingly embraced the Japanese world, but through the love of an outsider. Some will still find fault even without the lack of malicious intent, but those people aren’t invited to this party.
CHILDREN AND THEIR DOGS
Isle of Dogs succeeds by approaching the material with a child’s concern. Sure, there’s a health issue and political intrigue, but all of that is done at a child’s level of understanding. There are plans within plans, but they will all die when exposed. When we finally get a conclusion, the audience gets a hint at the subtle underpinnings of the film. The humans get to return to a sense of normal, while the dogs have been changed.
Society rejected them for a period of time, then forcibly reintegrated them. Some changed their ways and found new foster families. Others chose to hide out and live on their terms. This is a superficially happy ending. But, I don’t think Wes Anderson is going to make a stop-motion sequel about canine PTSD. I mean, I’d kill to see that as a Thanksgiving Holiday Special.
- 1 hr and 41 mins
- FOX Searchlight
RELEASE DATE: 4/6/18
WHAT IS THE DAILY SCRAPS?
The Daily Scraps is an interactive mobile experience that allows Wes Anderson’s fans the chance to win real props and promotional items from his latest film Isle of Dogs via a virtual treasure hunt, inspired by the richly detailed Trash Island depicted in the film. Each day, users will have a half-hour window during which they can “dig in” to various virtual trash bags looking for a prized Puppy Snap. There are only a limited number of Puppy Snaps each day, and if users find one, they will receive a prop from the film or a promotional item delivered to their door. The delivery takes place every week day at 3pm PST / 6pm EST.
The Plot Thus Far
ISLE OF DOGS tells the story of ATARI KOBAYASHI, 12-year-old ward to corrupt Mayor Kobayashi. When, by Executive Decree, all the canine pets of Megasaki City are exiled to a vast garbage-dump called Trash Island, Atari sets off alone in a miniature Junior-Turbo Prop and flies across the river in search of his bodyguard-dog, Spots. There, with the assistance of a pack of newly-found mongrel friends, he begins an epic journey that will decide the fate and future of the entire Prefecture.