You will be redirected back to your article in seconds
'Isle of Dogs' Puppet Master Says
'Isle of Dogs' Puppet Master Says

Unrolling the Masterful Sushi Scene in 'Isle of Dogs'

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.”

More Popular on Variety

  • Game of Thrones

    Questions the 'Game of Thrones' Cast Can't Wait to Never Be Asked Again

    After eight seasons, “Game of Thrones” stars are tired of being asked the same questions. Cast members told Variety everything they look forward to never being asked again at the Season 8 junket in New York. “Everyone wants to know what we stole from the set,” said Joe Dempsie, who plays Gendry Baratheon. “Or like, ‘What’s [...]

  • 'Game of Thrones' Cast Picks Best

    'Game of Thrones' Cast Pick the Best Death Scenes

    “Game of Thrones” actors’ hearts break just as much as fans’ do over characters’ deaths. Cast members told Variety their favorite death scenes throughout the entire series at the Season Eight premiere in New York. The deaths of Oberyn Martell, Ned Stark and the infamous Red Wedding were a few of the more harrowing deaths that stuck [...]

  • 'Game of Thrones' Cast Relives Their

    'Game of Thrones' Cast Relives Their Wildest Fan Encounters

    “Look me in the eye and just say the word, ‘Khaleesi.'” “Game of Thrones” cast members sat down with Variety to recount their best fan encounters, from impromptu BTS concerts to full-on marriage proposals. Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, who plays Jaime Lannister, revealed one time a fan in a costume had him propose to his girlfriend… on his [...]

Most Popular

Access exclusive content