You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Wes Anderson’s “Isle of Dogs” is like no other stop-motion film, so it makes sense that its animation process was like no other. Instead of CGI, the movie’s art department made thousands of characters by hand.

“[It’s] probably the most ambitious stop-motion film certainly I’ve ever worked on,” says the movie’s head puppet master, Andy Gent. “There’s always a lot of detail … When you create miniatures they have to be absolutely working miniature versions of real life.”

Gent says Anderson zoned it on every little thing and made sure miniature buttons, zips, and watch dials all had the details of their real-life counterparts.

For instance, Gent says the original script called for a minute-and-a-half sushi preparation sequence. It took seven months to shoot. In the film, a chef slices up fish, which involved magnetizing the already cut silicon pieces to resemble a whole fish. Then, when the knife slices through it, it would open up to the internal pieces, Gent says.

It took a lot of planning, testing with paper cutouts and plasticine, molding, plus hand painting to ensure the shot was exactly right, he continues. Occasionally, a sudden change can derail hours of work, like when the team had built multiple gloves for the chef’s hands in the sushi cutting scene, only for Anderson to change his mind about jump cuts.

“We’d plan for one eventuality and then it changed around, which often happens. You’d be like, ‘Well why do we need to do this? Why are those the rules?'” Gent says. “It took three animators because it broke quite a few people to get through the shot. Seven months later we end up with one minute of animation.”

Popular on Variety

More Popular on Variety

  • Diahann Carroll Tiffany Haddish Dynasty

    Relive Diahann Carroll's Iconic 'Dynasty' Quotes, Performed by Tiffany Haddish

    Variety is paying tribute to the late Diahann Carroll by reviving this segment we filmed with Power of Women honoree Tiffany Haddish. In Geena Davis’ documentary “This Changes Everything,” Haddish revealed that she has always adored Carroll’s “Dynasty” character, Dominique Deveraux. So we asked the comedian to read a few iconic “Dynasty” quotes, no slapping [...]

  • Variety Al Pacino New York Issue

    From 'Serpico' to 'The Irishman': How Al Pacino Preps for a Role

    In his Variety cover shoot, Al Pacino breaks down how he prepped for his various roles throughout his career including his latest post as Jimmy Hoffa in Martin Scorsese’s “The Irishman.” “When you research Hoffa, there’s the books and there’s the good scripts. The good scripts help, but there’s so much footage of everybody.” Pacino [...]

  • Phoebe Waller-Bridge reacts in the audience

    Phoebe Waller-Bridge Doesn't Feel Crazy For Loving 'Fleabag' Anymore

    One of the big winners this Emmy night was “Fleabag” creator Phoebe Waller-Bridge. However the beloved series wasn’t always a sure bet. Phoebe Waller-Bridge told Variety that the sudden Hollywood validation has made her feel like she’s no longer crazy for loving it so much. Popular on Variety

Most Popular

  • Jennifer Aniston

    How ‘Friends’ Helped Jennifer Aniston Find Her Voice

    Jennifer Aniston, who was honored on Friday at Variety‘s Power of Women luncheon presented by Lifetime, said she began to see herself in a different light and find her voice when she began working on “Friends.” “I started meeting all of these people who expressed to me how much the show meant to them — how […]

  • Brie Larson Power of Women

    Brie Larson Wants to Know ‘Where Can You Bring Hope?’

    Brie Larson was honored at Variety‘s Power of Women luncheon presented by Lifetime on Friday, and talked about her upcoming film “Just Mercy” and the Equal Justice Initiative. Larson portrays Eva Ansley, who co-founded the Equal Justice Initiative, in “Just Mercy,” and revealed what she learned from Ansley while making the film. “Where can you gain […]

Access exclusive content