Lost dogs and boy

Wes Anderson’s latest fun animated feature

Directed by Wes Anderson. Cinemark 14, Paradise Cinema 7. Rated PG-13.
Rated 5.0

Wes Anderson’s Isle of Dogs is an utter delight. It’s another of the director’s feature-length ventures into animation and epic cartoon yarn-spinning (his first being 2009’s Fantastic Mr. Fox), and watching it is, for me, a joy.

The main characters are dogs, mostly, and the plot involves the battle of a small boy (Koyu Rankin) and some outcast dogs against a cat-loving tyrant who means to eliminate all the canines in his realm.

There’s an obvious hint of allegory with dark echoes of modern history running through that, but Isle of Dogs is more of a mock epic in a rowdy and whimsically comical mode. A scruffy joyousness comes by way of the playful and nonchalant pacing, the amusingly antic (and quasi-Japanese) visuals, and the frisky and varied personalities of nearly a dozen dog characters.

There’s also an impressive cast on hand (Bryan Cranston, Bill Murray, Edward Norton, Scarlett Johansson, among others) to provide the dog voices, but rambunctious storytelling and wise-acre character touches are the main founts of serious fun here.