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  1. Published on: 28/03/2018 08:45 PMReported by: Film Critic
    Plot: In a future where a disease forces dogs into exile on a trash island, a little boy sets out on a journey to find his lost dog.

    A new Wes Anderson film certainly brings out a certain type of fanbase.

    I always appreciate the craft of so many of his films. I just rarely get moved by them due to the story being too strange and quirky for me. However, there are some exceptions where I can embrace it and get a lot from it. Most notably The Grand Budapest Hotel, which I think could be one of his most accessible films.

    If you have seen a Wes Anderson film and did not like it at all, then you might as well not try any of his other works, as his unique style is consistent in his entire back catalogue.

    From the dramatic opening prologue, you are already mesmerized by the creations of the characters and the sets, what with it being a stop-motion animation. This technology is always impressive to look at, and with the level of detail Anderson puts into films, this one was particularly well presented.

    As for the story, it's as outrageous and quirky as you expect with Anderson's films. It goes down some strange tangents. But eventually, you can't help but embrace this films particular cute, and sweet vibes about it for the most part.

    While the voice-work is star-studded, none of it felt exceptional. But a few of them enhanced the characters really well. Ones that were worth mentioning were the characters voiced by Jeff Goldblum, Bryan Cranston, Ed Norton and at times F. Murray Abraham.

    As mentioned before, the technical side is very strong. Don't be surprised if you see this get Oscar nominations next year in categories such as Production Design and maybe Cinematography.

    Another could be the score by Alexandre Desplat, who continues to create pieces that I would happily listen to again and again. This particular score is very dramatic when it needs to be and really enhanced the story and the environment we have been transported to.

    If I was being nit-picky, I would be most confident in picking apart how Anderson did the subtitles. I think the choice of a limited amount of subtitles for certain characters made me lose investment at times and made us not get into the motivations of certain characters.

    But I feel on the whole that while I don't think the story was strong enough to keep my complete investment, the impressive technical achievement kept this moving along and made it a very good watch.

    I felt connected with a lot of the characters, particularly the many dogs involved. The stop-motion is stunning and incredible to look at on the big screen. The level of detail and presentation in the creations of the characters and sets are wonderful to look at. I think this will be one of the few Anderson films I would happily watch again.

    A final note that I thought was worth mentioning, is that this film seems to be appealing to kids at certain screenings. Wes Anderson is certainly not the type of director that I would call family friendly. But I guess kids who liked his only other stop-motion animation, Fantastic Mr. Fox, would naturally be hooked in seeing this.

    Rating: 8/10
     

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