The film is receiving criticism for racial stereotypes :
- it takes place in a dystopian Japanese city called Megasaki.
- all of the dog’s barks have been translated into English.
- The Japanese characters are heard speaking their native language and Anderson does not rely on subtitles.
- Sometimes Frances McDormand translates the Japanese into English.
“Much of the Japanese dialogue, especially Atari’s, has been pared down to simple statements that non-speakers can figure out based on context and facial expressions. The dogs, for their part, all speak clear American English, which is ridiculous, charming and a little revealing; all these coy linguistic layers amount to their own form of marginalization, effectively reducing the hapless, unsuspecting people of Megasaki to foreigners in their own city.”
"Wes Anderson appropriates and marginalizes Japanese culture and people in his so-called homage. It is ugly.”
“Is it not bad enough that a white American filmmaker is utilizing the language and visual qualities of another culture, but simultaneously distancing them from the viewer through some arbitrary mechanism we’re meant to applaud?”