First Hit: I liked the premise and animation a lot, however, there were scenes that were not needed which made this film longer than needed.
Director Wes Anderson creates quirky and interesting films. Here, Wes uses stop-motion animation to create a world that, at times, reflects current events. The film references earthquakes and a power plant failure that spread radiation. All events that happened in Japan.
The general plot is that Mayor Kobayashi (voice by Kunichi Nomura), mayor of Megasaki, is a cat person as are his immediate family and his ancestors. However, dog lovers have been ruling Megasaki and therefore dogs reign supreme in Megasaki. Coming into power Megasaki sends all the dogs to “Trash Island,” a place where trash is piled up.
The reason he states is because the dogs have a disease that cannot be cured and eventually it will affect humans.
Atari Kobayashi (voice by Koyu Rankin) is a young twelve-year-old boy who wants his dog Spots back. He commandeers a small plane and crashes it on Trash Island. He runs into a pack of dogs Chief (voice by Bryan Cranston), Rex (voice by Edward Norton), King (voice by Bob Balaban), Boss (voice by Bill Murray), and Duke (voice by Jeff Goldblum, who decide to help him find Spots.
Many of the scenes were fun to watch and extremely well developed. However, scenes like when the dogs in the overhead lift going through a destruction and crushing building were not needed. It added little to the overall suspense and only created a unneeded scene and added to making the film longer.
The personalities of the dogs were great and a wonderful combination of animal and human points of view. This held up well. The focus of a boy’s love of his dog works. And when it comes forth that all dogs love twelve-year-old boys was perfect.
Rankin, Balaban, Norton, Cranston, Murray, Goldblum, and Nomura were wonderful in their voice characterizations. Anderson and Roman Coppola wrote a wonderful script although there were scenes that could have been cut to make the film crisper. Anderson’s direction was excellent although some scenes were unnecessary.
Overall: A strong and entertaining film in a format we don’t see very often.