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The Gold Coast Bulletin - Gold Coast Eye - - HOROSCOPES - WITH LEIGH PAATSCH

ISLE OF DOGS (PG)

GO FETCH THIS NOW DIREC­TOR: WES AN­DER­SON (THE GRAND BU­DAPEST HO­TEL) STAR­RING: THE VOICES OF BRYAN CRANSTON, KOYU RANKIN, ED­WARD NOR­TON, SCAR­LETT JO­HANS­SON, BILL MUR­RAY, LIEV SCHREIBER, JEFF GOLD­BLUM RAT­ING: hhhhh

Film­maker Wes An­der­son fi­nally re­turns to our screens af­ter 2014’s su­perb Grand Bu­dapest Ho­tel with a sec­ond foray into the field of stop­mo­tion an­i­ma­tion (re­mem­ber The Fan­tas­tic Mr Fox?).

A tri­umph to be trea­sured on mul­ti­ple lev­els, Isle of Dogs just might be the best thing An­der­son has ever put his name to.

Ev­ery­thing this idio­syn­cratic tal­ent is fa­mous (and in­fa­mous) for comes to­gether seam­lessly and soul­fully like never be­fore.

A play­ful, free­wheel­ing plot is set in a near-fu­ture not dis­posed to­wards pooches of any per­sua­sion.

In fact, in the pro-cat Ja­panese city of Me­gasaki, the mayor has faked a doggy dis­ease out­break so he can ban­ish all ca­nines to live in squalor on a far­away is­land.

One de­ter­mined young boy named Atari (voiced by Koyu Rankin) isn’t hav­ing any of that. He wants his loyal pet and pro­tec­tor Spot (voiced by Liev Schreiber) back where he be­longs.

Af­ter crash-landing a plane on the is­land, the plucky kid joins forces with a dream team of mut­tly ma­raud­ers to find his lost best friend (and maybe, just maybe, bring all ca­nines back in from the cold).

The in­de­ci­sive Rex (Ed­ward Nor­ton) thinks he is the leader of the pack. Then again, he’s not so sure. Duke (Jeff Gold­blum) is in charge of com­mu­ni­ca­tions. Well, he knows a good ru­mour when he hears one at least.

Then there’s Boss (Bill Mur­ray), a for­mer base­ball team mas­cot; King (Bob Bal­a­ban), the one-time face of a lead­ing brand of puppy chow; Nut­meg (Scar­lett Jo­hans­son), a show dog with a howl­ing dis­re­gard for the op­po­site sex; and most im­por­tantly of all, Chief (Bryan Cranston), a life­long stray who has his rea­sons for hav­ing never once obeyed a hu­man.

With­out giv­ing too much away, this is the most in­volv­ing and sin­cere story An­der­son has ever worked on, and you don’t have to be a ‘dog per­son’ to feel what he is driv­ing at here.

The in­tri­cate, in­sanely im­mer­sive aes­thetic de­sign of Isle of Dogs is worth the price of ad­mis­sion alone.

How­ever, when these ar­rest­ingly elab­o­rate im­ages are blended with so­phis­ti­cated sto­ry­telling ma­noeu­vres, sim­ple slap­stick an­tics, an ir­re­sistibly win­ning sense of hu­mour and some of the finest vo­cal per­for­mances ever recorded for an an­i­mated pro­duc­tion, the end re­sult for Isle of Dogs is an in­stant clas­sic.

KOOKY DIREC­TOR WES AN­DER­SON IS AT THE TOP OF HIS GAME WITH NEW FILM ISLE OF DOGS.

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