Ilse of Dogs
Director: Wes Anderson
I must admit I’m not so into animation. I’ll even admit that I preferred Rupert Saunder’s ‘Ghost in a Shell’ (2017) to Masamune Shirow’s original anime. That is sacrilege to many serious movie buffs.
So, ‘Isle of Dogs’ isn’t my favourite Wes Anderson movie but it is still glorious and far superior to the majority of films we are offered.
The time zone is round 2040 and the harsh and corrupt Mayor Kobayashi (voiced by Kunichi Nomura) of Megasaki City has exiled all canine inhabitants to Trash Island, a vast and toxic garbage dump where scraps are limited and ‒ it is rumoured ‒ cannibal dogs resides! Although Chief (Bryan Cranston), tells his pack continually that they are vicious and fearsome alpha dogs, they miss their human masters desperately and their favourite doggy foods. Chief, though a natural leader, is a bit of a freak in their eyes for he is a stray and therefore doesn't understand what it means to love a human master, nor chase sticks or even to have his nose scratched. Sadly, Chief is also a biter.
Back on the mainland the corrupt Kobayashi – member of an ancient cat cult ‒ has even banished his orphaned nephew’s military-trained canine minder, and the little boy’s best friend. Atari (Koyu Rankin), is devastated and bravely hijacks a light plane and flies to the island to rescue his beloved Spots (Liev Schreiber). As the dogs note when debating whether to assist him or eat him, their Masters haven’t come to search for them and really, they don’t have the appetite to eat a little Master even if they are starving, particularly one who has risked his life to come in search of his beloved Spots.
We meet an adorable bunch of pooches along the way, some truly evil politicians and some heroic children and scientists. As always, Anderson reveals many disturbing insights into our own deeply damaged, adult human culture.
Totally charming and as deep as your doggie’s loving eyes, do look out for the delectable Nutmeg (Scarlett Johansson) who has a Farrah Fawcett mane and is rumoured to have … but you’ll have to find out for yourselves.
‘Isle of Dogs’ will follow you home.