Isle of Dogs is a stop-motion animated comedy written and directed by Wes Anderson, featuring voiceovers from the likes of Bryan Cranston, Scarlett Johansson, Bill Murray, and Tilda Swinton, to name a few. The film hits theatres on March 23 in a limited release but the early reviews are already in and they’re overwhelmingly positive.

Isle of Dogs is set in the future, where an outbreak of canine flu leads the mayor of a Japanese city to banish all dogs to an island that doubles as a garbage dump. A group of dogs set off on an epic journey when a 12-year-old boy arrives on in search of his beloved pet.

With the premiere just over a month away, we’ve summarized some of the early reviews for you. Watch the trailer below and then scroll on to read the reviews.

The disappointed

“Unable to find the magic line between beauty and temperament or irony and earnestness, the scale tips away from humanity-and dogmanity-and ends up lacking the Wes Anderson heart that we’re likewise puzzled by and endlessly yearning for.”

Michael Arbeiter / Nerdist

The good

“It takes a little while before the full scope of the story comes into view, and a little while longer before it starts to feel like Anderson isn’t just chasing his own tail, digging up tropes that he’s used more effectively in the past. It doesn’t really matter, and you’ll be laughing too hard at the gorgeous ukiyo-e illustrations of samurai kittens to care (this film can’t match the savage comedic sting of “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” but the jokes come fast and furious, and Anderson’s visual wit has never been sharper).”

David Ehrlich / IndieWire

“Wes Anderson crafts a stop-motion fable blending delightful fantasy, visual wonder and timely political parable.”

Scott Mendelson / Forbes

“The unique charm of Isle of Dogs is its bottomless vault of curios, its sly humor, playful graphic inserts and dexterous narrative detours.”

David Rooney / The Hollywood Reporter

“Isle of Dogs may be ruff around the edges, but it’s an exquisitely rendered animation overloaded with visual gags and dry humour.”

Manon de Reeper / Film Inquiry

The great

“This hugely enjoyable package shows an indefatigably fertile imagination letting rip in inimitable style – and packing an eco-themed, antibigotry message as well.”

Jonathan Romney / The Guardian

“With the help of an incredible number of talented artists and performers, it’s a movie that plays on the best of the writer/directors sensibilities, while accessing entirely brand new areas of it.”

Eric Eisenberg /

“Anderson is clearly a dog lover himself and his film is bound to appeal to anyone who shares his passion. All in all, the film is quite a treat.”

Geoffrey Macnab / Independent

Next, check out the new ‘Pacific Rim’ IMAX trailer here.

  • Main & Featured Image: Fox Searchlight / YouTube

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