It's Oscar Season

By Kate Teves

Oscar season is upon us, and I need you to know that there is only one film that matters.

All the others can go home and call it a day.

Now, I have a tendency to speak hyperbolically about things, especially things like films, and so I carefully checked the full list of Oscar contenders to see if I was over-stretching it.

Nope. I wasn’t.

There is only one film that matters, and it is an absolutely PERFECT film. A 10 out of 10. A slamdunk. A homerun.

I’m talking about Isle of Dogs.

Let’s break it down systematically.

The Breakdown:

  • Adorable Story Line ✔

  • Poignant, of-the-moment political commentary ✔

  • Outstanding original music ✔

  • Charming voiceovers ✔

  • Rich character development ✔

  • Genius visual and sound editing ✔

But it’s the animation that makes this all come together. I don’t care if you absolutely loathe Wes Anderson (well, I do care, but for the sake of this argument I’ll let it slide); surely you can appreciate the incredible, groundbreaking, and painstaking labor that went into this film.

If you thought these doggies were simply the composite brushstrokes of a few simple mouse clicks, you’d be terribly mistaken. Each character, each tuft of fur, each tin can or sushi roll is hand-sculpted. I’m not sure what kind of polymers they used - it doesn’t matter.

Then, mind you, those sculptures were moved to form a kind of stop-motion animation. And then from there, an animator filled in some movements to make them a little more fluid.

If you don’t believe me, watch this video of the artists at work creating their models:

We tend to imagine that an artist like Wes Anderson is a lone wolf (er, dog), heavy under the burden of his own eccentricities. What we lose sight of in that weird image is his, or any accomplished artist’s, ability to lead. Anderson has orchestrated an incredible team in this movie to create something that he never could have done on his own. Remember that the next time some loud Harvard-MBA tells you that “creative types” and “management types” do not go together. As it turns out, good artists have to be good managers.

I love this movie, and I am so grateful for the incredible work that went into it. Thank you!