It's safe to say that most people either like or at the most part can tolerate dogs. Isle of Dogs antagonist must have had a bad experience to really hate the species to this depth. Isle of Dogs is the latest stop-motion animation film from Wes Anderson. Isle of Dogs tells the story of twelve year old boy, Atari, going to an island named trash island where all dogs are deported to. Atari comes to the island in hopes of rescuing his dog (and best friend) Spots.
We live in a culture today where a decent part, if not most, of our entertainment is either rebooted or sequels. When you have a film that carries an original idea, it tends to stick out. It sticks out even further when its' done in an animation style that we see once every few years. The animation of Dogs is breathtaking. There is so much detail and attention to this world. Makes you really stop to think, how much do we really miss in our own world. The animation alone is worth repeat viewings of this film.
While the animation is strong with this film, it also does an exquisite job at hosting Japanese culture as well. The film has a Japan setting. While only a fraction of the film, takes place here, the little bit we do see is such a well done piece of a different culture. It makes the viewer experience what could be mistaken for a stop motion anime. Which adds another unique flavor to the film. The film contains a sushi assembly sequence and a sumo wrestler match.
While these sequences show off cinematic beauty and allow the viewer to step into another culture, it does add a bit to some of the film's issues. These sequences are so weirdly placed throughout the film and added some unneeded weight to its' overall run time. Another weird kink, this film contains is the Japanese language scenes. The film balances between English and Japanese.
Some of the Japanese is dubbed over with English, so the viewer can understand what is being said. While others aren't and you're left lost unless you know the language. Even certain un-dubbed sequences have subtitles, while others don't - they're just straight Japanese. Very similar to the handling of Takeshi Kitano's "Aramaki" in last year's Ghost in the Shell. The viewer is left lost as to where or not the dialogue spoken is crucial or not.
Overall, Isle of Dogs is mostly a good boy. It's bathed and treated with beautiful animation, detail and a solid look into Japanese culture. While it does have some bad bones in its' body with some unneeded fat to the overall plot and two languages fighting for the attention of the viewer.
FINAL SCORE: 4/5
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