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The Old School Challenges Of Wes Anderson’s Isle Of Dogs

Fox Searchlight Pictures

Nearly four full years after the release of The Grand Budapest Hotel, Wes Anderson is finally back with his follow-up, Isle of Dogs, and the reviews have been typically stellar. During a press conference at the Berlin Film Festival yesterday, Anderson spoke about working with stop motion animation—for the first time since 2009’s Fantastic Mr. Fox—and his refreshing aversion to all things computer-generated.

“With a stop-motion movie, there’s a certain part that uses models… and if you’re going to do it that way, you’re embracing old methods,” he explained. “I don’t think there’s anything in the movie that’s CG. There’s things that are combined in the digital process, but they were elements we shot. Everything was miniatures. Of course, everyone can tell instantly it’s a model—you’re not fooling anybody—but it’s something that I associate with cinema history.”

While stop motion is a time-consuming, intricately planned process, Anderson admits that there was still a potential—and necessity—to come up with new ideas on the fly. For example, he discovered several years into the process that his Isle of Dogs puppets don’t smile. “Suddenly you’re faced with that,” he said. “You have no choice. You figure out a way. You add to the puppet, you modify the puppet, whatever.”

Isle of Dogs arrives in theatres on March 23. Check out the trailer below.