Imagine a world without dogs. It hardly bears thinking about, but in this dystopian look at Japan twenty years into the future, all canines have been banned from society after a bout of a dangerous illness called canine flu. Rather than being euthanised, the pooches are being quarantined and moved to Trash Island where they are left to fend for themselves. One group of four-legged friends includes Chief (Bryan Cranston), Rex (Edward Norton), Boss (Bill Murray), Duke (Jeff Goldblum) and King (Bob Balaban), and they are seriously missing life amongst humankind - not to mention food that isn't mouldy and maggot-infested.
Then one day, a young boy named Atari Kobayashi (Koyu Rankin) shows up on the island with a stolen Junior-Turbo Prop XJ750 aircraft searching for his own long lost pet, Spots. It doesn't take him long to win the trust of the island's residents, who agree to help him search for the dog. Of course, back home, he is noticeably missing and his family inform the authorities. Soon they arrive at the island preparing to take him home, but Atari doesn't want to leave without Spots - and his newfound friends won't let him either. As Atari's search takes them further afield, it becomes clear that there is a much darker conspiracy happening in the nation - and that his dog may be being held prisoner somewhere.
The Oscar nominated Wes Anderson ('The Grand Budapest Hotel', 'Fantastic Mr. Fox', 'The Darjeeling Limited') returns as the director and writer of a new stop-motion animation 'Isle of Dogs'. His previous collaborators Kunichi Nomura, and Roman Coppola and Jason Schwartzman ('Mozart in the Jungle') also helped write the story. The film, which features an all-star cast, was originally teased by the filmmaker back in December 2016 when he unveiled the briefest of clips from the movie showing Edward Norton's character Rex.
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By Rich Cline
Anderson's films definitely aren't to everyone's taste, with his quirky approach to direction, character and and story structure. But this gently engaging adventure is his warmest, wittiest film since The Life Aquatic. It keeps us smiling all the way through.
Scout leader Ward (Norton) sends out a search party when preteen scout Sam (Gilman) runs away from the camp. He can't get far on this New England island, and it turns out that he has run off with Suzy (Hayward) daughter of a local couple (Murray and McDormand). As Sam and Suzy's naive love blossoms in the wilderness, local police Captain Sharp (Willis) takes over the search and calls in Social Services (Swinton). But these kids are more tenacious than anyone expects.
Continue reading: Moonrise Kingdom Review
In 1960's New England, Sam and Suzy meet after the former sneaks backstage before a show, which features the latter. The pair fall in love and, from then on, communicate by writing letters. The pair makes a pact to run away together. Sam will escape from his summer camp and Suzy will climb out of her bedroom window.
Continue: Moonrise Kingdom Trailer