From Rushmore to Moonlight Kingdom, Wes Anderson has made a number of great films. But the most fantastic entry in his filmography arguably remains 2009’s Fantastic Mr. Fox, an animated adaptation of Roald Dahl’s slender children’s tale. Nearly a decade after that stop-motion delight, Anderson is playing with miniature puppets again in Isle of Dogs, an original story inspired by a pair of creative forces that, on the surface, couldn’t seem more different: Akira Kurosawa and Ray Harryhausen. A just-released trailer for the film, which is set for release on March 23, illustrates what exactly that unique fusion looks like. (Watch the clip above.)
Isle of Dogs is actually the second Japanese-influenced stop-motion animated feature to be released in the past two years. 2016 saw the premiere of Laika Studio’s much acclaimed (and Oscar-nominated) medieval adventure, Kubo and the Two Strings. Rather than travel back to the past, Anderson’s film jumps 20 years ahead in time when a dog-choked Japan in the midst of a canine flu exiles all mutts and purebreds alike to Trash Island. But one boy isn’t ready to say goodbye to his four-legged friend, and devises a desperate rescue operation. In addition to Anderson’s always top-notch production design, Isle of Dogs showcases his enviable ability to assemble amazing ensemble casts. Bryan Cranston, Edward Norton, Greta Gerwig, and, of course, Bill Murray, are just some of the voices you can expect to hear emerging from the animated mouths of dogs and humans alike. The only bone we have to pick with Isle of Dogs is that we still have to wait six months to see it.
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