Isle of Dogs – Film Review

Stop motion animation is one of the last remaining art forms of animation that is still around. With 2D animation out the door due to the 3D modeling that has become so popular and demanded, it is great that films that still do this form of art are able to be made by such a creative genius. Wes Anderson creates a fleshed out world that is visually innovative and also feels both traditional and his own take on Japanese culture. The soundtrack was a very strong component to the film that stuck with me. Alexandre Desplat and the team he worked with to create the authentic sounds and drum beats I really enjoyed.

The detail in the animation is well done, and every character had their own distinct style which I appreciated. Nothing felt flat or underdeveloped in the characters/dogs that Wes created. The art and production design I mostly appreciated. Even the way that typography was used with the Japanese writing with English translations I found to be super inventive.

Spots, if he’s alive, may very well be living even at this moment as a captive prisoner.

Some of the negatives I had around the film mainly focused on its ability to showcase Asian talent and not undermine it with American voice talent. Though there is Japanese spoken with Asian actors, there is the forced translation by two American actresses’ to make the film more accessible, which I don’t blame Wes Anderson for doing. There is a scene where to American actors are saying to each other that they notice their different accents based off a part of the country which is weird since they are not Asian actors which took me out of the film a bit. Also, unfortunately Greta Gerwig’s character had a bit of a white savior element which I didn’t think was in the best taste.

I do highly recommend people see this film in theaters. The story felt fresh and the world design is so rich in not only the look but also the amount of detail put into what Wes created. The experience of hearing the soundtrack with the voice and sound mixing is enough alone to watch this great film on the big screen.

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