AN inspired choice to open this year’s Glasgow Film Festival was the latest stop-motion, voice star-studded, dog-loving delight from the one and only Wes Anderson. He brings the same level of meticulous detail and wit found in everything from The Royal Tenenbaums to The Grand Budapest Hotel but finds a way for it to stand out.

For his second stop-motion animation, following 2009’s Fantastic Mr Fox, Anderson carefully places us into a Japanese society 20 years in the future, beautifully inspired by the old and new of the real nation as well as the cinematic masterworks of Akira Kurosawa. Specifically the setting is the fictional Megasaki City, where a bout of diseases, chiefly the dreaded “snout fever”, have spread throughout the canine population.

As a response to this the corrupt, cat-worshipping Mayor Kobayashi (voiced by Kunichi Nomura) declares a law that exiles all dogs to Trash Island, a place miles off the coast of the mainland where the city’s waste is dumped. As the film playfully asks, “whatever happened to man’s best friend?”

During a search-and-rescue attempt for his beloved guard dog Spots (Liev Schreiber), Mayor Kobayashi’s spirited 12-year-old ward Atari (Koyu Rankin) crash lands on Trash Island where he encounters “a pack of scary, indestructible alpha dogs” who agree to help him on his quest.

They include self-appointed leader Rex (Edward Norton), a loyal yet thoroughly domesticated dog; Chief (Bryan Cranston), a stray loner with a chip on his furry shoulder; Boss (Billy Murray), a plucky former baseball mascot; Duke (Jeff Goldblum), who likes to gossip; and King (Bob Balaban), once the face of a famous dog biscuit advert. There’s also Nutmeg (Scarlett Johansson), a beautifully groomed poodle who swans in through the garbage to add a sense of glamour.

Meanwhile, back on the mainland, determined human Tracy (Greta Gerwig) uses her position at the student newspaper to get the Snout Fever serum that the ruthless Mayor is keeping hidden from the public.

The level of scrupulous detail on display is staggering, resulting in a film that can be marvelled at purely on a visual level before you even take into account dialogue full of witticisms, distinct character work and stylistic and idiosyncratic filmmaking flourishes that stick in your mind because of the quintessential Anderson touch.

For instance, as the elegant on-screen titles inform us, the barking has been translated into English whereas the rest of the human cast speak in their native tongue, with only sporadic translation given for the Japanese words when absolutely needed.

This gives us an unusual way into experiencing a plot that impressively tackles such heady themes as militarism and the dangers of pollution, while also cleverly emphasising both the importance of the canines in the story as fully formed, distinctive characters in their own right and firmly underlining the special fondness people have for them as a species.

As much as this has all the quirky hallmarks of an Anderson picture, it stands firmly on its own four paws as a particularly rambunctious and winningly affectionate adventure that’s as loving as a caring scratch behind the ear and as vibrant as a fervent wagging of the tail. Go on, say the title slowly out loud – the film’s heart is built right into the name and it simply flourishes from there.