Isle Of Dogs

1hr 41ins | Rated PG | Violence & coarse language

Expect to wag your metaphorical tail in delight over Wes Anderson's new animated joyride into a canine universe with political undercurrents sure to strike a human chord. It's art cinema instilled with a child's sense of wonder – which is also true of of the quirky auteur's live-action films, from Rushmore to The Grand Budapest Hotel.
Co-written by Anderson, Roman Coppola, Jason Schwartzman and Kunichi Nomura, Isle of Dogs is set in the fictional Japanese city of Megasaki about 20 years into the future. When snout-fever, a.k.a. dog flu, hits the metropolis, a fear-mongering Mayor Kobayashi (voiced by co-writer Nomura) uses the pandemic as an excuse to deport all dogs. "Whatever happened to man's best friend?" asks a concerned translator (Frances McDormand), as these four-legged citizens are shipped off to Trash Island, a toxic wasteland where survival is iffy at best.
The first pooch is go is Spots (voiced by Liev Schreiber), a short-haired Oceanic speckle-eared sport hound who happens to be the beloved pet of the mayor's orphaned ward, 12-year-old Atari (Koyu Rankin). So naturally the boy hops in his prop plane and flies – or rather, crash-lands – to the rescue. He gets help from a scruffy canine team led by Rex (Edward Norton), along with Boss (Bill Murray), King (Bob Balaban) and Duke (Jeff Goldblum). Another ally is Chief, a stray that the terrific Bryan Cranston intones with just the right notes of confidence and genuine vulnerability ("I'm not a violent dog, I don't know why I bite"). The mutt flirts with a show dog named Nutmeg (Scarlett Johansson), but touchingly grows to understand the love between Atari and Spots.
That basic boy-and-his-dog story anchors the film even as the writer-director unleashes a whirlwind of subplots and side trips that would topple a lesser movie. He makes the clever decision to turn all barks into spoken English while Japanese humans converse, unsubtitled, in their native tongue – it sounds like chaos but pays off handsomely.
Rolling Stone

“It's silly, charming, exquisitely animated and gloriously original”
Daily Mail

“This hugely enjoyable package shows an indefatigably fertile imagination“
The Guardian