Isle of Dogs: The Return of Wes Anderson in Clay

By Sydney Felder

After months of secretive cast releases and plot reveals, Wes Anderson fans have a chance again to rejoice at the impending March 23, 2018 release of the stylized director's new film: "Isle of Dogs". The first trailer released today, solidifying many of the rumors surrounding the new movie.

 The film chronicles the outbreak of dog flu in a canine inundated Nagasaki. An immediate, titular quarantine and subsequent exile for the creatures is proclaimed by the Japanese city’s mayor, giving the film its name, Isle of Dogs. When a small boy lands upon the island, donning a makeshift hazmat suit, adventure ensues as the dogs ban together to find his long lost pet whilst uncovering the secrets and fowl play of the Nagasaki government.

Fans of Wes Anderson can find relief from reality in this next film, but joy in the fact that it harkens the same detail, deliberate cutting, and claymation allure of The Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009). Additionally, Anderson once again calls on the aid of his band of recurrent voices in his films, The Isle of Dogs, donning credits from Edward Norton, Tilda Swinton, Jeff Goldblum, and the classic Anderson star, Bill Murray. Fans can also look forward to the voices of Yoko Ono, Bryan Cranston, and Scarlett Johansson.

At the trailer's release this morning, it is clear to see that the film still retains the same symmetry, one-liners, and visual humor characteristic of Anderson’s art. However, we now see a more clear setting shift from the often white-centered highlands of Budapest or the brownstone apartments of New York. The film merges the classic Anderson lens with jarring  Japanese style and influence administering quick, samurai film-style cuts, and gongs sounding whilst the camera pans. Much could be said for the mostly white cast voicing these dogs of Japan but Anderson’s adherence to the integrity of his films and choosing from his repertoire of actor favorites is hardly something to deter from the hype and “must see” appeals of the film.

Anderson shines in these “children’s films” for two reasons: He is able to bridge the gap between the visual and cerebral style of more of his PG-13 to rated R films and still issue the sweetness, pureness, and glory of adventure found in a child’s storybook.

Aesthetic. Captivating. Humorous. Unique. The Anderson film is back.

Watch the trailer for Isle of Dogs below: