Last week, Wes Anderson (with special guest Edward Norton) released a video promoting a charity campaign for his new animated project, Isle of Dogs. Every $10 donation to Crowdrise counts as one sweepstakes entry, and gives Anderson fans (Fandersons?) the opportunity to lend their voice to the film. That’s a pretty sweet deal, but if you’ve got $10,000 laying around, you can also snag a limited edition concept art print — which just happens to give us another look at Anderson’s new animated aesthetic.
Yesterday, Wes Anderson broke his radio silence on his long-awaited followup to The Grand Budapest Hotel, a stop-motion animation project called Isle of Dogs. In a carefully framed short video, he said a piece about the upcoming film, joshed around with star Ed Norton, and unveiled the star-studded cast list including Bill Murray, Jeff Goldblum, Bryan Cranston, Scarlett Johansson, Tilda Swinton, F. Murray Abraham, Harvey Keitel, Greta Gerwig, Frances McDormand and Yoko Ono along with Japanese actors Kunichi Nomura, Akira Ito, Akira Takayama and Koyu Rankin as well. All the parts are in place for another Anderson classic, except for the little matter of distribution, the process of actually bringing the film to theaters. Until now, that is.
Wes Anderson popped back up last month with a charming holiday-appropriate commercial for H&M, his first new work since 2014’s The Grand Budapest Hotel. It was neat, but a pale substitute for a new feature. Fortunately, Anderson fans (or, as we’re more commonly called, Wes Fan-dersons) can take solace that his next major effort is well on its way: Anderson resurfaced today with a three-minute video in which he introduces the cast and first snippet of footage from his upcoming Isle of Dogs, a stop-motion animated project that returns to the talking-animal precocity of Anderson’s Fantastic Mr. Fox.
It’s a Christmas miracle, and in late November, at that. Frequent commercial director Wes Anderson has lent his talents to hip clothing retailer H&M for a new, seasonally appropriate ad campaign that doubles as a sweet little short from the celebrated filmmaker. This being a Wes Anderson joint, certain expectations go without saying: the bit is immaculately composed, lots of zippy camera pans, fetishization of travel via train. But the four-minute clip titled “Come Together” arrives as a pleasant surprise all the same, injecting some much-needed Yuletide cheer into a Monday morning.
We first learned of Wes Anderson’s new stop-motion animated project last fall (a little over a year ago, actually), when it was revealed that the director is re-teaming with Bill Murray, Edward Norton and Jeff Goldblum for a film about the lives of dogs. It’s been several months since we last heard anything about the untitled project, but as Anderson casually confirms in a new interview, production is currently underway — and now we wait.
Back in October we learned that Wes Anderson is returning to the world of stop-motion animation for his next film, which is about the life of dogs. As predicted by just about everyone when the initial voice cast was announced, frequent Anderson star Bill Murray is re-teaming with the director to lend his vocal talents to the project — obviously.
Over the weekend we learned that Wes Anderson is returning to the stop-motion animation format for his next film, which will take place in the world of dogs, thus sort of making up for how many dogs Anderson has killed in his films (including his previous stop-motion film, Fantastic Mr. Fox). And it looks like Anderson is already lining up the voice cast, which includes a few regulars along with one Anderson-newcomer.
Wes Anderson proved that his talents translate well to animation with Fantastic Mr. Fox, and since then we’ve wondered when or if the consistently delightful director would return to the medium. As it turns out, his next project is a stop-motion animated film that will once again center on animals — this time with dogs.
In 1962, Alfred Hitchcock and Francois Truffaut spent a week in a room at Universal Studios talking about movies. That interview became the book Hitchcock/Truffaut, which proceeds systematically as the two explore Hitchcock’s career, analyzing each of his films one by one. The discussion wasn’t filmed, but the audio was recorded, and now that audio forms the spine of Kent Jones’ Hitchcock/Truffaut documentary, which doesn’t so much adapt the book as it does bring it to life onscreen. Hearing Hitchcock and Truffaut makes clear something that’s easy to forget reading words on a page: That this conversation — maybe the greatest ever on the subject of films and filmmaking — was conducted through a translator. Hitchcock didn’t know French; Truffaut couldn’t understand English. But both spoke the language of cinema, which transcends communicative limitations.
If you subscribe to auteur theory, then Wes Anderson is definitely an auteur — there’s no mistaking the director’s signature style, with his fondness for particular color palettes and fine details. If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to live in a Wes Anderson film, you can now do just that…if you have money to spare to travel to Milan, Italy that is, which is now the home of a cafe designed by Anderson himself.