Isle of Dogs (2018)


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Genres:  Animation | Adventure | Comedy | Drama | Fantasy

Country:  Germany | USA

Language:  English | Japanese

Runtime:  1h 41min

Director:  Wes Anderson

Writers:  Wes Anderson (story by), Roman Coppola (story by)

Stars:  Bryan Cranston, Koyu Rankin, Edward Norton

Taglines:  Teens Out to Have Fun. Parents Out to Stop It.

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA):
Rated PG-13 for thematic elements and some violent images


Storyline:  An outbreak of dog flu has spread through the city of Megasaki, Japan, and Mayor Kobayashi has demanded all dogs to be sent to Trash Island. On the island, a young boy named Atari sets out to find his lost dog, Spots, with the help of five other dogs… with many obstacles along the way.



In a dystopian near-future Japan, a dog-flu virus spreads throughout the canine population. Though one scientist, Professor Watanabe, is close to finding a cure, the authoritarian mayor of Megasaki City, Kobayashi, signs a decree banishing all dogs to Trash Island. The first exile is Spots, who belonged to Atari Kobayashi, the orphaned nephew and ward of the mayor.

Six months later, Atari steals a plane and flies to Trash Island to search for Spots. After a crash-landing, he rescued by a pack of dogs led by a black dog, Chief. They decide to help Atari locate Spots, although Chief, a former stray, is reluctant to fraternize with humans. They fend off a rescue team sent by Kobayashi to retrieve Atari. At the insistence of a female purebreed named Nutmeg, Chief reluctantly decides to accompany the group on their search. They seek advice from two sage dogs, Jupiter and Oracle, who warn them of cannibal dogs on an isolated part of the island.

Professor Watanabe finds a cure, but is poisoned by Kobayashi. American exchange student Tracy Walker suspects a conspiracy and begins to investigate. She confronts Watanabe’s former colleague Yoko Ono, who confirms Tracy’s suspicions and gives her the last dose of the cure.


During the journey, Atari and Chief separated from the others. Atari bathes Chief, revealing that his coat is actually white. Noticing the similarity between Chief and Spots, Atari realizes that Chief is of Spots’ breed, which is extremely rare. Chief recalls being part of a litter where all but one of his siblings died. He begins to bond with Atari as they continue their journey. They rejoin the group and locate the cannibal tribe, but are ambushed by Kobayashi’s men. Spots arrives with an army of dogs who fend off the assailants. He reveals that he was rescued by the cannibal tribe and became their leader. Spots also confirms that Chief is his brother and asks to transfer his protection duties for Atari to Chief, to which both agree.

An owl brings word that Kobayashi plans to order total extermination of all dogs on Trash Island. At Kobayashi’s election ceremony, Kobayashi prepares to give the order, but Tracy presents her evidence of his corruption. Atari and the dogs also arrive and confirm the cure works. Kobayashi has a change of heart, but his right-hand man Major Domo insists on triggering the extermination. A fight ensues in which the “execute” button is pressed, but the poison backfires on the captors due to Tracy’s hacker friend.

During the fight, Atari and Spots are gravely injured. Atari’s only remaining kidney fails, but Kobayashi, admitting his mistakes, donates his own to save him. By election law, mayorship of the city falls to Atari and he decrees that dogs be allowed to reintegrate into society. Tracy and Atari become a couple, and Chief reunites with Nutmeg and takes up the role of bodyguard for Atari. Presumed dead, Spots recovers and secretly raises his litter under the Kobayashi Manor.

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