Wes Anderson, the most stylized modern director, just released a trailer for his next film: Isle of Dogs.
The film is Anderson’s first since 2014’s The Grand Budapest Hotel, and his first stop-motion animation since 2009’s Fantastic Mr. Fox. Both movies received multiple Oscar nominations.
Anderson’s style is unique. His films are quirky, to say the least, and each frame is painstakingly symmetrical. He uses large sets and steady camera movements to make his sets almost seem like a stage, and his performers an extension of the backdrop.
The Isle of Dogs trailer, released Sept. 21, showed Anderson’s next movie will continue this careful focus and style. And with stop-motion — the most painstaking type of animating — Anderson will once again have more control over his sets and performers.
First of all, the movie’s title is a joke on its own: It sounds like “I love dogs” when said out loud. So, be sure to share the title slowly when discussing it.
The story focuses on the aftermath of a Japanese mayor’s decision to outlaw dogs to a place known only as “trash island.” One 12-year-old boy, Atari Kobayashi, ventures off to the island in a small plane in search of his old dog, Spot. There, a group of mutts led by Chief (Bryan Cranston) agree to help Atari find his friend.
The imagery in the trailer appears to be classic Anderson. The sets move around the characters, who remain centered in the screen and deliver quick and humorous dialogue. Close-ups of the dogs’ collars show Anderson’s appreciation for attention to detail, like in his previous works when every letter or newspaper article can be read in its entirety on screen.
The movie takes place in Japan. The first shot of the trailer is a sprawling cityscape, which looks simultaneously like a train set for a collector’s home and a set designed for Godzilla’s destruction. Anderson has shown his interest for other cultures before with The Darjeeling Limited, which is set in India; he even created his own country for The Grand Budapest Hotel.
But perhaps the most exciting part of Isle of Dogs‘ trailer is the immensely large cast. It seems with each movie, Anderson adds more people to his troupe of actors who inevitably appear in more of his works. In addition to Cranston, Dogs will feature the voices of Bill Murray, Jeff Goldblum, Edward Norton, Scarlett Johansson, Liev Schreiber, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton, Courtney B. Vance, F. Murray Abraham, Ken Watanabe, Harvey Keitel and Yoko Ono.
Yes, Yoko Ono.
The large cast and continued return of actors who have previously appeared in Anderson’s work is welcoming and exciting, and it could mean that Anderson’s best work might still be in front of him.
Isle of Dogs hits theaters in March of 2018.