Isle of Dogs Review: A Biting Comment Against America’s Rabid Politics

Pop Culture

Isle of Dogs Review: A Biting Comment Against America’s Rabid Politics


couple of minutes into the overwhelming Isle of Dogs it’s evident why Wes Anderson’s return to stop-motion animation (after 2009’s Fantastic Mr Fox) feels destined — almost like a long overdue visit to home territory. After all, no other medium can sing such beautiful paeans to Anderson’s obsessive detailing and turn his visual language into a vivid and stylish piece of art, bursting with colour and infectious energy in every frame. It’s a match made in heaven. And Isle of Dogs – comprising hand-drawn 2D animation and puppets creating the illusion of movement in stop-motion, guaranteeing Anderson absolute control over every single frame – is the resounding proof.

In Isle of Dogs, the director gives us a peek into his celebrated world of whimsy. Set in the fictional Japanese town of Megasaki, 20 years in the future, the film plays out like a fable. It centres around the mass deportation of dogs to a coastal garbage dump known as Trash Island under the orders of the town’s dictatorial Mayor Kobayashi. Besides the mythical backstory behind the mayor’s hatred for dogs, the trigger for this sudden expulsion is public health concerns: Megasaki’s canine population is infected with the contagious and untreatable dog flu – easily transmitted to humans – and snout fever.