At first glance, the trailer for Wes Anderson’s new stop-motion picture Isle of Dogs appears to be a heartwarming pet adventure. But on closer inspection, could the modern-day auteur be stoking the age old rivalry between fervently loyal cat and canine camps?
Anderson’s stop-motion picture, Isle of Dogs, depicts what I would consider to be a post-apocalyptic Japan – the apocalyptic event being pupper-over-population and the spread of an alleged ‘dog flu’ that renders all canines exiled to a garbage island. Twelve-year-old Atari Kobayashi’s pet pup ‘Spots’ has been exiled to this derelict dump, so the daring youth steals a prop plane and chases his canine pal to Trash Island. Alas, Spots is nowhere to be found – instead, a rag-tag group of “alpha dogs” comes to Atari’s rescue, and the pack embark on a journey of epic proportions.
Despite the look and feel of a gritty, post-modern cautiounary tale, Isle of Dogs is bound to tug on the heartstrings of pet-owners alike. However, I couldn’t help but notice that whilst Japan’s poor puppers were being tossed the short stick, their feline frenemies remained comfortably perched on the laps of their high-society humans.
As a fierce canine loyalist, the prospect of a future devoid of doggos really itches under my collar. Could an over-population of doggerinos really be a bad thing? Hello, perpetual puppy parties?! And surely, a ‘dog flu’ epidemic couldn’t be so terrifying an existence as a world sans bleps and mlems? There is slight consolation in the fact that Anderson’s version of ‘Dogs Gone Wild’ looks distinctly dark and decrepit… not to mention, those cats look absolutely bloody miserable.
Regardless of whether Wes Anderson was determined to dig a deeper divide between cat and dog lovers, Isle of Dogs looks to be an amusing and well-thought out portrayal of our deepest fear (a world without dogs, if that wasn’t clear). Anderson is renowned for his quirky visuals and narrative ability, so it’s unlikely this flick will sink with the master auteur himself at the helm. And with a voice-cast boasting the likes of Bryan Cranston, Scarlett Johannson, Tilda Swinton, Bill Murray and Edward Norton – there’s no doubt we’ll be all over it like a dog with a bone.
Sadly, Isle of Dogs isn’t due for release until 2018. In the meantime, don’t be frugal on those tummy rubs and ‘good boy’s – in the off chance that Anderson’s beautiful mind spells an alarming prophecy… Check out the trailer below!