‘Isle of Dogs’ Gaps the Bridge Between Comedy and Politics

Screengrab via FoxSearchlight
"Isle of Dogs" centers around political commentary and Japanese culture, brought to life through the use of stop motion.

Amanda Berry

Staff Writer

The English Department hosted a viewing of “Isle of Dogs” Wednesday, April 24 of last week. Fresh soft baked cookies, coffee, water, and tea were set out for students to enjoy during the movie. Students filled the room in Stroud, excited to watch the film.

“Isle of Dogs” is a stop motion movie by Wes Anderson, depicting the story of a young boy who has lost his dog in Japan. Ward of the mayor in their city, the boy seeks to find his dog who has been sent to Trash Island, where all the sick dogs go.

The film deals with political issues and is told through, mostly, the dog’s point of view. Only the dogs speak English, while everyone else speaks their native tongue, Japanese.

There is, however, the one exception of an American exchange student who speaks English.

Anderson uses political differences to portray the everlasting fight of whether dogs or cats are better, though the movie itself has a deeper meaning.

Set 20 years in the future, the film still follows modern political absurdity. The issue at first seems simple, the safety of the public’s health. But from the beginning, we know that the issue is rooted much deeper.

There were once two clans, one that supported dogs and other supporting cats, that fought many years ago.

This idea of discrimination against someone who is different from yourself is prevalent even in today’s society. A perfect film to be chosen for discussion by the English department because of its many social, political, and other running themes.

One major theme throughout the movie is discrimination of a people, or in this case an animal, by a party with much more power.

This happens to be the political party, the mayor of the film who wants to slowly push anti-dog propaganda and eventually eradicate dogs altogether. Issues such as these are seen all over the world today and are something we often turn a blind eye to.

Despite the serious undertones, the story is still told through the point of view of the dogs which keeps the film light and funny.

The dogs themselves have their own worries, like what and when they will eat next, and talk about their previous owners. The dogs are simple, and only have one purpose, which is to protect their human and to stay alive.

The film ends with the dogs triumphing and the boy reuniting his dog. The boy proves that dogs aren’t evil and that their sickness was a ploy of the mayor to make people believe these animals were sick and a threat to society.

While the film seems a bit heavy on political issues, it is in fact very light-hearted and at times witty and silly.

“Isle of Dogs”, like many others, is a fantastic movie and a wonderful chance for students to get out and enjoy something fun and free on campus.

There are plenty of other free events similar to this one on campus and can be found on the calendar on ESU’s main homepage. https://ems.admin.esu.edu/mastercalendar/MasterCalendar.aspx

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