Isle of Dogs will be Wes Anderson’s first movie since 2014's The Grand Budapest Hotel, and his first stop-motion film since 2009's Fantastic Mr. Fox. Anderson announced his return to stop-animation in December, and fans of the filmmaker have been eagerly awaiting the trailer to finally be released. The wait is thankfully now over.
The story takes place 20 years into the future in Japan, where it seems "canine saturation" has reached epidemic proportions. For many, this sounds like a cause of celebration — who doesn’t want more dogs?
Unfortunately, a dog flu is ravishing the city of Megasaki, so Mayor Kobayashi orders all dogs be captured and relocated to Trash Island. It should be noted, however, that it looks like cats are the pet of choice for Japan’s elite in the trailer.
In search of his missing dog, a 12-year-old boy, a ward to the mayor, steals a plane and flies to the island.
Isle of Dogs looks iconically Wes Anderson, from the color palette, to the opening narration, to the plot centering around a larger-than-life adventure. And, in notorious Anderson fashion, the cast is as big as it is star-studded.
Alongside Anderson’s usual collaborators, some newcomers will be filling in for some major roles, such as Koyu Rankin, who plays 12-year-old Atari, who yearns to find Spots (Liev Schreiber), his bodyguard/beloved dog.
Also joining the cast are Edward Norton, Bryan Cranston, Jeff Goldblum, Bill Murray, Scarlett Johansson, Frances McDormand, Greta Gerwig, Harvey Keitel, Yoko Ono, Tilda Swinton, Akira Ito, and a number of other stars.
While Scarlett Johansson and Tilda Swinton have both landed in hot water for whitewashing Asian roles (Ghost in a Shell, and Doctor Strange, respectfully), it appears that may not be the case in Anderson’s movie. From the trailer, it looks as though the dogs are played by American actors, while Asian actors seem to be portraying the Japanese characters.
Isle of Dogs, produced by Indian Paintbrush, will be distributed by Fox Searchlight and released on March 23, 2018.