Jeff York reviews “Isle of Dogs” on The Establishing Shot

Wes Anderson has earned quite a reputation over the last 24 years for making films packed with whimsy, eccentricity, and gentle humor. He is a very funny filmmaker indeed, and yet if you look closer at his past eight movies, you will see work tinged with melancholy and malice. Gene Hackman’s ne’er-do-well dad was an emotionally abusive ass in THE ROYAL TENENBAUMS, Mr. Fox gets his tail shot off by irate farmers in THE FANTASTIC MR. FOX, and even if THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL was a pink-hued Valentine to a bygone era of luxury hotels, it was also a scathing indictment of fascism. (M. Gustave was killed by the gray-uniformed cadre at the end of the story after all.) Now, there is ISLE OF DOGS, his ninth film, and while its cast consists mostly of lovable dogs, it is easily the darkest of Anderson’s oeuvre. It’s animated, but it’s definitely not for the kiddies.


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