City College Times

‘Isle Of Dogs’ is a true masterpiece

Wes Anderson delivers again in this stop motion comedy

Gio Gaxiola, Times Staff

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“Isle Of Dogs.” The film is shot with stop motion figures that make it into a animated film. Directed by the ever so great Wes Anderson, “Isle Of Dogs” is a touching story about the unbreakable bond between dogs and humans.

While the movie is technically considered to be of the comedy genre, they do not over do it with the comedy. They perfectly blend it enough to make the audience laugh, while not trying to reach on jokes and gags.

The film is perfect for all ages. Kids will love the animation style while the older people can enjoy the intriguing story the film is telling, even if you are not a dog person or like dogs at all. Watching this film can change someone’s perspective on the way they look at dogs.

The film is set in the future in a city called Magasaki, Japan. The new Mayor Kobayashi signs an official decree to ban all dogs to a far away place called “Trash Island.”

All dogs in the film have caught “dog flu.” The dog flu makes dogs sneeze out of control. They also get violent and suffer alterations to their fur and skin.

While many people try to resist against the decree, it passes and the process begins to start sending dogs over to trash island.

During the speech, a person can be seen in the shadows with the look of disbelief on their face. Six months go by. Almost all the dogs in Japan have been transported to Trash Island. Many of the dogs are suffering. Some have even died because of the harsh conditions and low resources of trash island.

This is where we meet the main stars. A ragtag group of dogs who are more house cats than dogs. There is the group’s leader “Chief,” voiced by Bryan Cranston, a stray who is hostile toward all humans.

“Rex,” voiced by Edward Norton, was truly man’s best friend, living a cooped up life inside his owner’s home. He complains the most throughout the movie about the harsh conditions.

Bob Bablan voices “King.” One of the most famous dogs all throughout Japan, he starred in many dog food commercials before the ban on dogs.

The legendary Bill Murray voices “Boss.” He was a mascot for a high school baseball team in Japan. He is the oldest in the group and often wise cracks.

Lastly there is “Duke,” voiced by Jeff Goldblum, who loves to talk and is often spreading rumors and gossiping.

While the group is out looking for resources, it notices a plane crash land on the island. They investigate the crash and find the pilot alive. It is a 12 year old boy.

While the film is based in Japan, the dogs all speak English. The boy speaks only Japanese: however, the boy does know simple words such as “sit” and “fetch,” which the dogs understand and obey. This is an example of how the movie captures the relationship between man and dog. Dogs do only listen to humans when a command is given.

The boy, named is Akira, flew over to Trash Island to find his dog “Spots.” While the group doesn’t know who he is, they agree (with the exception of Chief) to help Akira find his dog.

Meanwhile, back in Magasaki City, a group of school newspaper journalists are trying to uncover a conspiracy theory that the mayor invented the dog flu. We are then introduced to Tracy Walker. Voiced by Greta Gerwig, she is a foreign exchange student from America.

A typical hardcore journalist, she’ll stop at nothing to voice her opinion and always help those in need. She is often seen during the film protesting Mayor Kobayashi and his actions.

There is a point in the film where Tracy leads her and her classmates to a protest during one of the mayor’s speeches. This reminds me of what is happening in the world today. During the past couple of months, students have been voicing their opinion more and more. We see many forms of rallies and protests now.

While the stop motion animation does take a while to produce, it really works well for the movie. The movie blends bits of comedy to go along with a fantastic story. The only problem with the film is that hardly anyone could have seen it. They decided to release this film in only a few select theaters. This is a fantastic film, why not show it in all theaters over the U.S.? I would give “Isle Of Dogs” five out of five stars. It really captures the emotions of how dogs and humans need each others’ companionship. While they view us as masters, we must view and treat them like our best friends. I would recommend any dog owner or lover to see this movie.

 

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‘Isle Of Dogs’ is a true masterpiece