ISLE OF DOGS
2018, Fox Searchlight, 85 min, USA/Germany, Dir: Wes Anderson

This animated gem from writer-director Wes Anderson tells the story of Atari Kobayashi, 12-year-old ward to corrupt Mayor Kobayashi. When, by executive decree, all the canine pets of Megasaki City are exiled to a vast garbage dump, Atari sets off alone in a miniature Junior Turbo Prop and flies to Trash Island in search of his bodyguard-dog, Spots. There, with the assistance of a pack of newly found mongrel friends, he begins an epic journey that will decide the fate and future of the entire prefecture. The star-studded voice cast includes Frances McDormand, Scarlett Johansson, Greta Gerwig, Bryan Cranston, Bill Murray and Jeff Goldblum.


MIND GAME
2004, GKIDS, 103 min, Japan, Dir: Masaaki Yuasa, Kôji Morimoto

This exhilarating animated cult classic is an explosion of gloriously colorful mages ricocheting in rapid-fire associations - like Masaaki Yuasa’s brain splattered onto the screen in all its goopy glory. Audiences will begin to grasp what they are in for early on as loser Nishi, too wimpy to try to save his childhood sweetheart from gangsters, is shot in the butt by a soccer-playing psychopath, projecting Nishi into the afterlife. In this limbo, God – shown as a series of rapidly changing characters – tells him to walk toward the light. But Nishi runs like hell in the other direction and returns to Earth a changed man, driven to live each moment to the fullest.


MARY AND THE WITCH'S FLOWER
MEARI TO MAJO NO HANA
2017, GKIDS, 102 min, Japan, Dir: Hiromasa Yonebayashi

Based on Mary Stewart’s 1971 children’s classic The Little Broomstick, director Hiromasa Yonebayashi’s follow-up to the Oscar-nominated WHEN MARNIE WAS THERE is an action-packed animated adventure full of jaw-dropping imaginative worlds, ingenious characters and the simple, heartfelt story of a young girl trying to find her place in the world. While living in the country with her great-aunt, Mary follows a mysterious cat into the nearby forest, where she discovers an old broomstick and the exotic Fly-by-Night flower. Together the flower and broomstick whisk Mary far away to Endor College – a school of magic where some terrible things are happening.


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