Wes Anderson first dipped a paw into the stop-motion canine world with 2009’s fantastic Fantastic Mr. Fox, which was based on the Roald Dahl book. Coming off nine Oscar noms for 2014’s The Grand Budapest Hotel — including one for his original screenplay — and four wins, the filmmaker is back with his second animated pic. This time, man’s best friend is the focus.
Here is the first official clip from Isle of Dogs, which Anderson directed and scripted from a story he co-wrote with Kunichi Nomura, Roman Coppola and Jason Schwartzman. Those three collaborators also have voice roles in the new pic, which will open the Berlin Film Festival next week and was just announced as the SXSW closer in March.
Isle of Dogs centers on Atari Kobayashi (Koyu Rankin), 12-year-old ward to corrupt Mayor Kobayashi (Nomura). When, by executive decree, all the canine pets of Megasaki City are exiled to a vast garbage dump called Trash Island, Atari sets off alone in search of his bodyguard-dog, Spots (Liev Schreiber). There, with the assistance of a pack of newly found mongrel friends, he begins an epic journey that will decide the fate and future of the entire Prefecture.
The clip shows two rival packs of dogs preparing to brawl over a bag of trash — until they decide to talk it out. But then the negotiations break down and fur flies, literally.
The voice cast also features such other Anderson regulars as Bill Murray, Jeff Goldblum, Bryan Cranston, Ed Norton, Scarlett Johansson, Tilda Swinton, Greta Gerwig, Bob Balaban, Frances McDormand, Harvey Keitel, Ken Watanabe and Courtney B. Vance. Anderson, Scott Rudin, Steven Rales and Jeremy Dawson are producers.
Fox Searchlight opens the pic March 23. Grab a Milk Bone, turn around three times, then lie down and check out the clip above.