Anderson’s quirky sensibility arrived fully formed in his amiable debut feature, with the comedy deriving as much from the editing and compositions as from the dialogue and performances. Ultimately, though, it will be remembered for introducing the world to the thickheaded but charming Dignan—more or less the same character Owen Wilson would play in every subsequent movie.
If you hear that delicate tinkling in the air, it can only mean one thing: A new Wes Anderson movie is imminent. The finicky auteur is due to release the pooch-centric Isle of Dogs in a matter of weeks (its world premiere, opening the Berlin Film Festival, is February 15). Obsessive fans of Fantastic Mr. Fox will thrill to the director’s return to the realm of stop-motion animation. In the meantime, all of Anderson’s 22 years of movies are worth revisiting, and if some grow in estimation while others recede, they all bear the distinctive signature of a bona-fide artist. We’ve done the hard work of ranking the features below; he’s made some great short films, too, if you want to take a taste.