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Isle of Dogs (2018) - Blu-ray Review

5 starsFoundations need to be shaken.

Whatever happened to man’s best friend?  Isle of Dogs, written and directed by Wes Anderson, has the answer and it comes into focus via stop-motion.  This is Anderson’s second stop-motion feature but it might just be his best film.  That’s saying quite a lot.  Truly, this film is a work of art and the heartfelt story it tells – when one boy goes in search of his family’s pet – sticks to your very gut.

Anderson remains cinema’s outsider.  His films are fresh, quirky, and filled with a wonder that simply does not exist in any other filmmaker’s output.  But, working inside animation, he proves that the genre is a playground of wonderment that is open to all audiences.  Stop-motion is not just kid’s stuff.  In his hands, the genre absolutely transcends any and all boundaries. 

"This is a movie that – with a united voice and vision – challenges some very serious things about today’s culture, including the importance of a free press."

Isle of Dogs begins with a decree that banishes all dogs, now disease-ridden mutts of filth and snout fever, to Trash Island.  It is a place that appears EXACTLY as its name implies.   And the dogs have carved out a niche for themselves there, bemoaning their fate at the hands of a system of government that sees them as nothing but vermin.   But that is about to change with the arrival of Atari Kobayashi (voiced by Koyu Rankin) who has come to the Isle of Dogs to save his family pet, Spots from the dystopian rule on the island. {googleads}

Atari; however, is not the sole human brought to the island.  There is a rescue party soon deployed to bring him back from the filthy island.  And this reuniting of man and his one-time best friend is not going to go as planned.  Developed in part thanks to the talents of Roman Coppola, Jason Schwartzman and Kunichi Nomura, Anderson assembles a marvelous tale of friends and foes that proves to be consistently engaging, heartfelt, and truly eye-popping.  It is one of the most original films to come around in a good long while and, thanks to Anderson’s style, the masses will probably steer clear of it. 

With Anderson’s list of the usual suspects in tow, actors Bill Murray, Edward Norton, Jeff Goldblum, Tilda Swinton, and Bob Balaban lend their voices to the creation of the dogs.  They are amazingly spot-on in their deliveries and their expressions.  The wit is dry and the intelligence is rich, continuing to build Anderson’s detail-rich world. Thankfully, newcomers to the Anderson Art of Film Composition hold their own. This includes Bryan Cranston, Liev Schreiber, Greta Gerwig, and Yoko Ono.

Isle of Dogs (2018) - Blu-ray Review

This is a movie that begs for deeper reflection. Sure, you can remain on the surface with much of the happenings but it would be a tremendous oversight on your part to remain there.  This is a movie that – with a united voice and vision – challenges some very serious things about today’s culture, including the importance of a free press.  This movie won’t be for “The Normies” out there.  It’s ticking clock is too far ahead; just see what it has to say about government.

Gorgeously detailed, Isle of Dogs arrives on blu-ray courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox.  It is a movie that will certainly take you for a walk with its treatment of adult themes as viewed by a child and the dogs who dare to rescue him.  It is a masterpiece of stop-motion that is not to be missed.


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Isle of Dogs (2018) - Blu-ray Review

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for thematic elements and some violent images.
101 mins
: Wes Anderson
Wes Anderson
Bryan Cranston, Koyu Rankin, Edward Norton
: Animation | Adventure
Isle of Dogs.
Memorable Movie Quote: "You'll meet a bitch named Nutmeg. Tell her Chief says, "I'll see you in Megasaki."
Theatrical Distributor:
Fox Searchlight Pictures
Official Site: www.facebook.com/isleofdogsmovie/
Release Date:
April 13, 2018
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
July 17, 2018
Synopsis: ISLE OF DOGS tells the story of ATARI KOBAYASHI, 12-year-old ward to corrupt Mayor Kobayashi. When, by Executive Decree, all the canine pets of Megasaki City are exiled to a vast garbage-dump, Atari sets off alone in a miniature Junior-Turbo Prop and flies to Trash Island in search of his bodyguard-dog, Spots. There, with the assistance of a pack of newly-found mongrel friends, he begins an epic journey that will decide the fate and future of the entire Prefecture.


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Isle of Dogs (2018) - Blu-ray Review


Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: 20th Century Fox
Available on Blu-ray
- July 17, 2018
Screen Formats: 2.40:1
: English SDH; French; Spanish
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1; Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1; French: Dolby Digital 5.1
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; Two-disc set (1 BD-50, 1 DVD); Digital copy; DVD copy
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A, B

Presented courtesy of 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment with an AVC encoded 1080p transfer in 2.39:1, Isle of Dogs is a heavily detailed and functional release.  It is damn perfect in its treatment of contrast and composition.  Shadows are heavy.  Colors are bright.  And the dogs are highly textured.  It is as if you could reach right out and pet them.  With a solid definition and details throughout, the film is supplied with a strong DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 track that will keep audiences engaged and loyal. 



  • While highly recommended, it is sad that there are no commentaries for the film.

Special Features:

The film is housed in a richly designed slipcover.  Included on the disc is a collection of six standard EPK featurettes with interviews and behind the scenes glances.  A gallery and a theatrical trailer are also included.

  • The Animators (4 min)
  • Isle of Dogs Cast Interviews (5 min)
  • Puppets (4 min)
  • An Ode to Dogs (2 min)
  • Megasaki City and Trash Island (3 min)
  • Weather and Elements (3 min)
  • Gallery
  • Theatrical Trailer


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Isle of Dogs (2018) - Blu-ray Review