Everyone’s favourite director of meticulously crafted set pieces, eccentric families, and actors called Bill Murray is back. Wes Anderson’s new stop motion animation film Isle of Dogs is his first directorial feature since 2014's critically acclaimed The Grand Budapest Hotel.
It tells the story of Atari Kobayashi, a 12-year-old living in Megasaki City. When all dogs are exiled to a vast garbage dump, Kobayashi sets off in search of his bodyguard-dog Spots. With the help of dogs he meets along the way, he begins an epic journey, presented on screen with the precise detail and wry earnestness we’ve come to expect from Anderson. The voice-over cast is classic, featuring familiar names in Ed Norton, Bill Murray, Tilda Swinton, Frances McDormand, Liev Schreiber and more to voice the film’s canine characters.
Isle of Dogs, Wes Anderson
With its sprawling outdoor garden, Northside outpost Welcome to Thornbury might know more about Melbourne dogs than most. “We love doggos,” says Jackie Doran, the venue’s marketing and brand manager. “We’re obsessed with them. So much so that we have a night every month just dedicated to them. Dogs are always welcome at Welcome to Thornbury, so it really seemed like it made sense to work alongside this film.”
To celebrate the film’s release on April 12, Welcome to Thornbury has come up with dog-friendly special treats for the pups as well as their furless friends. From Friday April 6 to Sunday April 22, get a jug and a juicy bone for $20; a pint and a dog treat bag for $15; or a bottle of “bone dry” white wine and a big bone for $20.
Doran can confirm that each option has been taste-tested by Welcome to Thornbury’s resident canine Bronson. “He’s pretty pleased,” she says.
The venue is also running a best-dressed pooch competition. The most fetching fashion-animal will receive a $100 bar tab and five in-season double passes to see the film. Just use the hashtag #isleofdogsWTT. Even if you don’t win, Doran says it will still be good for your social standing: “If you’re ever in need of a lot of engagement on your Instagram, just post a photo of a cute dog.”
This article is produced by Broadsheet in partnership with Isle of Dogs, the new film from Wes Anderson, in cinemas April 12. Watch the trailer below.