Wes Anderson’s newest film, an animated ode to man’s best friend, is delightful. An all-star voice cast including, but not limited to, Bryan Cranston, Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Jeff Goldblum, Greta Gerwig, Frances McDormand, Scarlett Johansson, Harvey Keitel and even Yoko One tells the fairy tale of a future Japan where all dogs have gone to Trash Island thanks to Mayor Kobayashi, who hails from a centuries-old cat-loving dynasty. Maybe it’s the animal proxies that make Anderson’s sometimes-twee tendencies come across with more sincerity as a young boy searches for his lost dog, Spots (v. Liev Schreiber).
While the PG-13 rating feels a bit undeserved, Isle of Dogs is less little-kid-friendly than Anderson’s previous stop-motion gem, Fantastic Mr. Fox. One need not be an animal lover to find Isle of Dogs a charmer. Will its sweet disposition change the minds of Anderson’s detractors? Not in the slightest, but this consistency of aesthetic is exactly what his many admirers, both critical and cult, expect.
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