Dog lovers have long had their reservations about the movies of director Wes Anderson. The demise of Buckley in 2001's "The Royal Tenenbaums" and the random killing of Snoopy in 2012's "Moonrise Kingdom" stand as two of the most shocking canine murders in movie history. "Isle of Dogs" (out now on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital) is the director's apology to everyone who thinks he hates dogs.
Made in the stop-motion style he first used in the 2009 kids' movie "The Fantastic Mr. Fox," "Isle of Dogs" is definitely for an older audience, more because of its weird plot because there's not much in the way of profanity or violence.
Anderson recruited some of his favorite actors to voice the dogs: Jeff Goldblum, Bill Murray, Edward Norton, Bob Balaban, Tilda Swinton, Harvey Keitel, Anjelica Huston and Frances McDormand return from his earlier films. Bryan Cranston, Scarlett Johansson, Greta Gerwig, Yoko Ono, Koyu Rankin, Liev Schreiber, Konichi Nomura, Courtney B. Vance and Akira Ito join his troupe for the first time.
It's Japan and it's the future. Dogs are accused of infecting the city of Megasaki with a dog flu. The mayor banishes them to Trash Island. The mayor's young ward Atari wants to his dog Spots and sets off for the island, where he enlists a pack for dogs to aid his search.
The dogs speak English, the Japanese humans speak Japanese and get on-screen subtitles. The dogs search the island and uncover a conspiracy. As with most Wes Anderson movies, it's about character interaction and weird moments. If you're looking for a plot-driven story, it's going to drive you crazy.