Quirk-meister general Wes Anderson is back with a brand new movie this month all about man's best friend: dogs.
Like Fantastic Mr Fox (2009), Isle of Dogs is a stop motion animated film that reunites many of Anderson's favourite collaborators, plus a few famous names who are making their debut with the acclaimed indie director.
The movie is set in a dystopian Japan where all dogs have been quarantined to an island full of rubbish due to an outbreak of canine flu. Young boy Atari travels to the Isle of Dogs to look for his own dog Spots and a group of dogs from the island assist him, all the while trying to dodge the Japanese authorities.
So who voices this melee of mongrels?
Voiced by Bryan Cranston, Chief is our leading doggo, the top hound in our pack. Cranston is a newbie in terms of Wes Anderson filmography; however his voice will be recognisable to many who either know him from his performance as chemist-turned-drug dealer Walter White in Breaking Bad or as father Hal in Malcolm in the Middle. Chief is scarred from battle and a stray, but is keen to help Atari find his dog Spots, and gets the rest of his pooch patrol on board.
There was bound to be a canine in Isle of Dogs named Rex (it's the archetypal dog name). Taking on this role is an actor who has worked with Anderson before: Edward Norton, who's appeared in Moonrise Kingdom and The Grand Budapest Hotel. Rex appears to be the level-headed member of the pack – as seen in the following clip, he urges caution before battling with other dogs over a sack full of mouldering scraps.
A Wes Anderson veteran voices Boss the dog, none other than Bill Murray (Ghostbusters, Lost In Translation and literally every Wes Anderson film since 1998's Rushmore). While Boss sounds like he'd be, well… the boss, Chief definitely has that role. But you can be sure Boss will assist his chief in any way needed to ensure Spots is found and reunited with Atari.
Making her Wes Anderon debut is Avengers actress Scarlett Johansson, who voices Nutmeg. She's a former show dog who also perfectly complements the sometimes irritated Chief. In the trailer, she encourages Chief to help Atari find Spots, so appears to be the grounding, compassionate element in the pack.
Another Anderson regular Jeff Goldblum (Jurassic Park, Thor: Ragnarok, The Fly) voices grey and white dog Duke. Having previously appeared in The Grand Budapest Hotel, Goldblum now brings his unique vocal cadence to man's best friend. Is there a more perfect fit?
Taking on the role as doggy King is another actor who isn't new to the Wes Anderson scene: Bob Balaban. (He played the on-screen narrator in Moonrise Kingdom.) King is pictured second from the left in the below image.
Last but not least is the one dog that is making these hounds and Atari risk their lives: Spots. In his first Wes Anderson film, Liev Schreiber (X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Ray Donovan, Spotlight) is providing the voice for this precious pooch. Atari and Spots have a close friendship – they must do, given Atari makes a do or die mission piloting a prop plane to the Isle of Dogs.
Isle of Dogs is released on 30th March.
Nadine Shambrook is an Unlimited card holder who blogs for Cineworld as part of our news team.