Isle of Dogs centers on the canine Chief (Bryan Cranston) where he and his fellow pack must help the boy Atari Kobayashi (Koyu Rankin) find his lost dog Spots (Liev Schreiber) who has been missing since dogs were sentenced to trash island by Mayor Kobayashi (Kunichi Nomura). When it came to storytelling Isle of Dogs was as simple as it was captivating. The story was no doubt an adventure and a straightforward one at that. However it was all about how this movie presented its zany story and in this case the execution was sound. The story was always engaging and used its concepts to their fullest abilities. This was notable the movie’s subplots which were presented well by adding more to the overall story. The movie also featured individual chapters and while this element did not have major implications on the movie itself, it did however give the plot a sense of style. With a few surprises the plot of Isle of Dogs relied on its presentation and I think that direction aided the movie by making this tale a noteworthy one.
If you have a seen a Wes Anderson movie then you would not be surprised to know that Isle of Dogs featured a massive ensemble. The movie featured an enormous cast that was rich with character. From the principal characters to minor additions everyone in this ensemble were able to stand out in their own way. Chief made for an believable protagonist as his development was decent and Bryan Cranston’s performance made the stray all the more convincing. Other characters such as Rex (Edward Norton), Boss (Bill Murray), Duke (Jeff Goldblum) and Tracy Walker (Greta Gerwig) were effective in their respective roles. Even minor characters like Jupiter (F.Murray Abraham), Oracle (Tilda Swinton) and Nutmeg (Scarlett Johansson) were able to stand out despite their limited scenes. Yet one element in the cast that I found fascinating was the Japanese characters. For the most part these characters spoke Japanese and had little to no subtitles, but the way the actors performed their roles I could understand the characters regardless of what language they spoke. In both characterization and performance there was much to this cast to the point where it not only lived up to the standards of a Wes Anderson ensemble, but it may have very well exceeded its predecessors.