After a corrupt mayor sends all of the dogs in Megasaki, Japan to a trash island off the coast, a young boy named Atari ventures there to find his dog, Spots, and enlisting the help of a silly pack of dogs in doing so. Also, it’s stop motion… so there’s a good chance that this is a Wes Anderson movie I will actually like.
Yes, you heard me… I don’t normally like Wes Anderson movies. I don’t mean that as a slam against Anderson who I will concede is obviously talented and has perfected a visual style you can instantly recognize as his, but his movies don’t really strike cords with me. I don’t find quirkiness or awkwardness funny, which is also why I don’t really care for Napoleon Dynamite, and the self-awareness, to me at least, comes off as insincerity.
Now, I see that his movies have value, but to me, I don’t much care for them.
However, that being said, I absolutely adore Fantastic Mr. Fox. To reach the glow in my cold black heart, Anderson’s style, translated through animation, finally broke through. I’ve see Fantastic Mr. Fox dozens of times and I never get tired of it. It’s the one Wes Anderson movie that grabbed me and so, I was really looking forward to Isle of Dogs thinking that this one would too.
It’s not bad, let me just say that. The truth is, I’ve been sitting on this movie for a couple of days trying to figure out what to write about it and, the awful realization I’ve reached is that… Isle of Dogs has had little impact on me. It was a non-event. It was nice, I laughed a couple of times, but 48 hours later, nothing is resonating with me about the characters, the story, or the message.
I think it might just be me, but to me, Isle of Dogs was an empty experience. While I was experiencing it, I enjoyed it… but nothing followed me home.