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Director behind Fantastic Mr. Fox returns with Isle of Dogs, another riveting film celebrating animal courage and companionship

Bill+Murray+as+%E2%80%9CBoss%2C%E2%80%9D+Jeff+Goldblum+as+%E2%80%9CDuke%2C%E2%80%9D+Edward+Norton+as+%E2%80%9CRex%2C%E2%80%9D+Bob+Balaban+as+%E2%80%9CKing%2C%E2%80%9D+Liev+Shreiber+as+%E2%80%9CSpots%2C%E2%80%9D+Harvey+Keitel+as+%E2%80%9CGondo%2C%E2%80%9D+Koyu+Rankin+as+%E2%80%9CAtari+Kobayashi%E2%80%9D+and+Bryan+Cranston+as+%22Chief%E2%80%9D+in+the+film+ISLE+OF+DOGS.
Bill Murray as “Boss,” Jeff Goldblum as “Duke,” Edward Norton as “Rex,” Bob Balaban as “King,” Liev Shreiber as “Spots,” Harvey Keitel as “Gondo,” Koyu Rankin as “Atari Kobayashi” and Bryan Cranston as

Bill Murray as “Boss,” Jeff Goldblum as “Duke,” Edward Norton as “Rex,” Bob Balaban as “King,” Liev Shreiber as “Spots,” Harvey Keitel as “Gondo,” Koyu Rankin as “Atari Kobayashi” and Bryan Cranston as "Chief” in the film ISLE OF DOGS.

Photo Courtesy of Fox Searchlight Pictures. © 2018 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation All Rights Reserved

Photo Courtesy of Fox Searchlight Pictures. © 2018 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation All Rights Reserved

Bill Murray as “Boss,” Jeff Goldblum as “Duke,” Edward Norton as “Rex,” Bob Balaban as “King,” Liev Shreiber as “Spots,” Harvey Keitel as “Gondo,” Koyu Rankin as “Atari Kobayashi” and Bryan Cranston as "Chief” in the film ISLE OF DOGS.

Kumari Pacheco, Staff Writer

Some people may recognize the phrase “what the cuss!” as Mr. Fox’s motto in Wes Anderson’s blockbuster stop-motion animation film Fantastic Mr. Fox. Released in 2009, Fantastic Mr. Fox was composed of approximately 56,000 shots and used 535 puppets — numbers that, despite their magnitude, are actually quite average for a medium as tedious stop-motion animation.

Now, after eight long years, Wes Anderson as done it again in the form of his second stop-motion movie: Isle of Dogs.

The film follows a large group of dogs banished from the japanese city of Megasaki after its cat-loving leader convinces the population that dogs are dangerous and disease-ridden. By an executive order all dogs are then sent to a massive dump across the sea called Trash Island, where they face starvation and sickness far away from their masters. However, when a 12-year-old boy in search of his pet crash-lands on the island one day, five dogs by the names of Chief, Rex, King, Boss, and Duke are again confronted with the possibility human companionship — and its lethal consequences.

Unlike Fantastic Mr. Fox, Isle of Dog’s animals are not anthropomorphic (physically resembling humans). They do, however, understand the japanese-speaking people around them, speak english to one another, and conversate thoughtfully and with an emotive quality normally attributed to humans.

And while Isle of Dogs is every bit as action-packed and sarcastic as its predecessor, its overall atmosphere is much more serious. Some of the themes juggled in its 1-hour-41-minute runtime include starvation, cannibalism, genocide, politically-driven murder, shrapnel-induced brain injuries, and disease. In addition, there is much greater emphasis on non-verbal storytelling and communication, as a good portion of the film contains japanese dialogue.

However, these creative decisions ultimately make for a truly engrossing and atmospheric experience. From the beginning of the film that draws you in with drumming, grunts, and shouts, to the end, where this grim fanfare has an altogether different ambience — Isle of Dogs amounts to be a beautiful and remarkable tale of love, loyalty, and loss, told through a medium that most directors do not dare touch throughout their careers.

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Director behind Fantastic Mr. Fox returns with Isle of Dogs, another riveting film celebrating animal courage and companionship