While most critics are praising the new animated film “Isle of Dogs”, some are criticizing it for possible cultural appropriation with its Japanese setting.

The Wes Anderson stop-motion film tells the story of a future Japan in which all dogs are sent to live on a quarantined island after the spread of a canine flu.

In his review of the “Isle of Dogs” at The LA Times, critic Justin Chang had plenty of kind words for the “often captivating” film, but he was also bothered by the depiction of Japan and its people in the film.

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Chang’s criticism is centred primarily on the use of language in the film. “The human residents of Megasaki City speak their native Japanese, a choice that would seem respectful enough except for the conspicuous absence of English subtitles.”

“The dogs, for their part, all speak clear American English, which is ridiculous, charming and a little revealing. You can understand why a writer as distinctive as Anderson wouldn’t want his droll way with the English language to get lost in translation,” he explains. “But 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.”

“I like Wes Anderson Land; it’s always a fun place to visit,” Chang concludes, “but some parts are less fun than others, and what we see of it in “Isle of Dogs” is finally ugly in ways beyond what even its maker could have intended.”

Chang also tweeted a clarification of his position on the film.

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The review prompted a wider debate on Twitter about the review and whether “Isle of Dogs” is indeed guilty of cultural appropriation.

Wes Anderson has not yet commented on the controversy.