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The stories behind your favorite Wes Anderson movies

Stacker Logo By Molly Pennington of Stacker | Slide 1 of 10: Wes Anderson films are known for possessing a precise, distinct signature that is at once whimsical and droll; technical and ironic. Film critic Matt Zoller Seitz’s definitive “The Wes Anderson Collection” explores the remarkable delivery of the director's movies with a compilation of Zoller's essays and interviews with Anderson on all his films up to “Moonrise Kingdom” in 2012. In the book, Seitz describes watching the short “Bottle Rocket” and recognizing a distinctive cinematic voice he recognized as simultaneously cool and warm. Anderson’s film style revels in an undeniable hipster vibe. There’s a self-conscious sense of a director schooled in art cinema and American pop classics. His films carry references to Alfred Hitchcock, Orson Welles, Akira Kurosawa, and Satyajit Ray—as well as directors from the French New Wave, like Francois Truffaut and Jean-Luc Godard. His work also shows the influence of directors from the 1970s American New Wave, including Martin Scorsese, Francis Ford Coppola, and Roman Polanski. Anderson's work immerses viewers in a film style that displays cultivated vision alongside a tone that’s accessible and almost childlike in its sense of the wonder at cinematic possibilities. These films have a unique and idiosyncratic mise-en-scène—a design with intensive detail in shot compositions that resemble tableaus or illustrations filled with meaningful props and affective light and color schemes. Anderson's movies are remarkable for their sense of control and directness, often read as ironic and quaint. They're also famous for giving actors' parts with quixotic intensity and deadpan quirk. Anderson often works with a  recurring cast that includes the likes of Bill Murray, Owen Wilson, Luke Wilson, Jason Schwartzman, Adrien Brody, and Tilda Swinton. Anderson films also feature recurring themes centered on grief and anxiety within the human experience, while finding ironic and ambiguous meaning in the glory of the mundane. His films often feature recurring father figures such as Royal Tenenbaum, Steve Zissou, and Herman Blume, as well as lost young boys or sons who seek a place in an odd, precisely beautiful, and heartbreaking world. Stacker has curated a gallery of Anderson films in chronological order and their accompanying scores from Metacritic, IMDb, and Rotten Tomatoes. These movies are iconic for their quirky details and ironic whimsy—and here are the stories behind each of them, from “Bottle Rocket” to “Isle of Dogs.” You may also like: Award-winning TV shows that ended in controversy

The stories behind your favorite Wes Anderson movies

Wes Anderson films are known for possessing a precise, distinct signature that is at once whimsical and droll; technical and ironic.

Film critic Matt Zoller Seitz’s definitive “The Wes Anderson Collection” explores the remarkable delivery of the director's movies with a compilation of Zoller's essays and interviews with Anderson on all his films up to “Moonrise Kingdom” in 2012. In the book, Seitz describes watching the short “Bottle Rocket” and recognizing a distinctive cinematic voice he recognized as simultaneously cool and warm.

Anderson’s film style revels in an undeniable hipster vibe. There’s a self-conscious sense of a director schooled in art cinema and American pop classics. His films carry references to Alfred Hitchcock, Orson Welles, Akira Kurosawa, and Satyajit Ray—as well as directors from the French New Wave, like Francois Truffaut and Jean-Luc Godard. His work also shows the influence of directors from the 1970s American New Wave, including Martin Scorsese, Francis Ford Coppola, and Roman Polanski. Anderson's work immerses viewers in a film style that displays cultivated vision alongside a tone that’s accessible and almost childlike in its sense of the wonder at cinematic possibilities.

These films have a unique and idiosyncratic mise-en-scène—a design with intensive detail in shot compositions that resemble tableaus or illustrations filled with meaningful props and affective light and color schemes. Anderson's movies are remarkable for their sense of control and directness, often read as ironic and quaint. They're also famous for giving actors' parts with quixotic intensity and deadpan quirk. Anderson often works with a recurring cast that includes the likes of Bill Murray, Owen Wilson, Luke Wilson, Jason Schwartzman, Adrien Brody, and Tilda Swinton.

Anderson films also feature recurring themes centered on grief and anxiety within the human experience, while finding ironic and ambiguous meaning in the glory of the mundane. His films often feature recurring father figures such as Royal Tenenbaum, Steve Zissou, and Herman Blume, as well as lost young boys or sons who seek a place in an odd, precisely beautiful, and heartbreaking world.

Stacker has curated a gallery of Anderson films in chronological order and their accompanying scores from Metacritic, IMDb, and Rotten Tomatoes. These movies are iconic for their quirky details and ironic whimsy—and here are the stories behind each of them, from “Bottle Rocket” to “Isle of Dogs.”

You may also like: Award-winning TV shows that ended in controversy

© Ian Gavan // Getty Images

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