Isle of Dogs: Review

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Right, don’t bite my head off, but I really REALLY did not want to see this film even a little bit. When I saw the trailer in the cinema I honestly thought it looked like the weirdest movie ever, I had 0 interest in going and yet somehow… I ended up at an early viewing of Wes Anderson’s new movie ‘Isle of Dogs’ this evening.

Yup, blame Luke for convincing me I was being ‘closed-minded’ and saying that I couldn’t form an opinion about something until I’d actually experienced it. (God I hate when he’s right) but the damn boy convinced me that I was being a bit ridiculous- and apparently saying that ”the dogs look like wire” is not a good excuse… so- what did I think when it actually came down to it?

Well in short, the story follows Japan twenty years in the future. After an outbreak of dog flu, Japan’s prime minister sends all the dogs onto ‘trash island’- an isolated dump for all of the city’s rubbish to quarantine the animals and take them away from their owners. What follows is young boy crashing landing on the island in search of his pet dog “spots” and his interaction with the pack that he comes across.

I think the thing that had offput me from wanting to see this was the fact that I thought I would find that kind of animation quite awkward and stilted, and it looked like a weird kids film to me… however I couldn’t have been more wrong.

The movie itself is shot with puppets and stop motion, which is in itself incredible.

Honestly, if you watch the amount of tiny motions and characters in the background it’s bloomin’ staggering how much detail and effort has gone into this movie. I’ve got to say Wes Anderson really is a stickler for the beautiful little details.

I also really loved the fact that the main characters (aside from the dogs) actually spoke Japanese, as it gave it such an authentic feel and although I’ve seen a lot of stuff about cultural appropriation and this film, I’ve got to disagree. I felt like Wes Anderson really did his research, clearly absolutely loves Japanese culture and really brought a delicate look at it before creating this film.

The film was funny, the storyline engaging and it wasn’t overlong at all. There was so many moments that had us sniggering in our seats and the characterisation that some of the famous voices have brought, are just damn brilliant.

My only big criticism is that the panning shots were too quick and actually made me feel a little sick and dizzy. I don’t know if this is just me being a pansy, but it definitely impacted my enjoyment of certain parts of the film, as I couldn’t focus my eyes on the screen.

Ultimately, (ugh I hate typing this) but I was wrong… this was at its heart a very charming, sweet and entertaining little film with a whole lot of character. I guess it’s a good lesson for me to never judge a book by its cover.

8.5/10

Isle of Dogs is released in the UK on the 30th March 2018 

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