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07/24/2018 13:29:33 •••

A Satire about Jingoism and a Love Letter to Dogs and Japanese Culture

I am a strong believer in the importance of political correctness. However I feel that occasionally political correctness reaches out and strangles media that is actually trying to support its goals. Such is the case with Isle of Dogs, a film that takes place in a future Japan where there is an outbreak of diseased canines that everyone fears will poison the human population.

Subtlety is a key word in Isle of Dogs repertoire. It manages to talk about a number of topical subjects yet it never departs from the plot to speak these subjects directly. The dogs in the movie represent illegal immigrants, either abused or scapegoated by political figures in attempt to secure power. Their disease, or in the case of their counterparts legal status, is very much a problem, but the government isn't interested in fixing the problem because they have secured power by demonizing this voiceless minority. Furthermore, the film goes out of its way to make its audience empathize with the dogs. They may not have the same language and perspective of humans, but they show traits of loyalty and respect to each other as well as a human child that comes to help them.

Some might wonder why the film chose Japan specifically but I think its because it has such a rich folklore of children going on journeys of self discovery and changing the dynamic world around them. The main character is a stand-in for Momotaro, the hero that developed inter-species friendships that helped him save the land. His devotion to his dog, Spots, and Chief's devotion to him bears a resemblance to Hachiko, a Japanese dog famous for its loyalty toward its owner. The protagonists faced off against Kobayashi, a Frankenstein of jingoist propoganda, possessing the controlling attitude of Shinzo Abe, the blatant hate speeches of Donald Trump, and the brutal ruthlessness of Vladimir Putin. Wes Anderson pits the idealism found in fantasy against the cynicism that currently controls our global powers.

Admittedly, the film embraces some of the sillier quirks of Japanese culture, but silliness in culture is a common staple in satire. Dr. Strangelove showed the silliness of American militarism and The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp showed the silliness of British stuffiness. A serious film about talking dogs would undermine itself. Never mind the film shows the various cool parts of Japanese culture, such as its advancements in science, its intricately prepared meals, and its exotic atmosphere. Isle of Dogs is a great example of political subtlety mixed in with a tale about a boy's love for dogs.

04/25/2018 00:00:00

Apologies, but I had to rush this out quickly, before leaving for work.

Although I appreciated the review, I have a question regarding the terminology; I thought Jingoism was a term coined in Britain around WWI regarding the militant desire to dominate other nations through war. As tense as the relationship between the dogs and the humans are, I wouldn\'t say they were ever at war (the awesome fight scenes not withstanding).

Although some may wish to dispute the your accusation of \"hate speech\" in regards to Trump, your insight into satire, the conflict among minorities, and the Japanese culture is impressive. (even though I consider myself an enthusiastic admirer of Japanese culture, I had never heard of those legends before now). Needless to say, the movie gains far more significance upon realization their choice of Japan as their setting was not at random. Over all, a very poignant and insightful review.

04/25/2018 00:00:00

You accurately describe the root of the word, jingoism but like many words, it branches out over time. The Google dictionary defines jingoism as "extreme patriotism, especially in the form of aggressive or warlike foreign policy".Wikipedia extends it further to "Colloquially, jingoism is excessive bias in judging one's own country as superior to others — an extreme type of nationalism". I've seen various news articles using the latter definition to describe situations where one culture has aggressively antagonized another culture, even when they are in the same country. Nationalism may or may not be racist in certain contexts but jingoism is always negative.

I really want to avoid a political firestorm, but Trump's speeches about Mexican immigrants are notoriously inflammatory. The most infamous was "They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists." before adding a half-hearted walk back "And some, I assume, are good people". He has also called for the "complete and total shutdown" of Muslims entering US borders. He called Obama and Hillary Clinton, the founder and co-founder of ISIS. He has also called Hillary Cinton the "devil". while on stage. He has also been known to tweet inflammatory videos such as this ones in this article: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/nov/30/videos-tweeted-by-trump-where-are-they-from-and-what-do-they-really-show. To sum up, Trump's most common political move is to try to incite anger toward a social class, religion, or political party he does not like, much like how Kobayashi tries to incite anger toward dogs.

04/25/2018 00:00:00

BTW, I appreciate your input.

04/26/2018 00:00:00

Nice review, I'm not sure what you mean about political correctness in the opening paragraph though?

Also Catch 22 is American (The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp would be a better example).

04/27/2018 00:00:00

Sorry, I\'ve gotten a lot of satire mixed up over the years. Your example is more accurate.

My first paragraph was referring to some of the negative reception from some reviews as well as some negative reception from the YMMV section. They seem to think this movie was made to laugh at the expense of Japanese culture. I didn\'t want the review to come across as completely accusatory, but at the same time I wanted to say that political correctness came in different forms and shouldn\'t be condemned as racist just because it has some humor in a culture that is not American.

I feel like I\'m living in a film culture run by realists. Some critics say the dogs should have voices by Asian actors because it was set in Japan. Well, using that logic the dogs would have been more authentic if they were voiced by actual dogs except, you know, we would never understand what they are actually saying. The actors chosen for the dogs\' voices were chosen because they were recognizable and talented actors with an affinity for comedic timing, something that is highly desired in an animated film that is trying to be funny. What a lot of critics ignore is that this is one of the few films that actually tries to use the native language of the country they are trying to portray rather than have everyone speak English and simply hand wave it away.

Tracy is disliked for being a \"Mighty Whitey\". Except that she isn\'t one. She may play juvenile detective, but she mostly repeats plot points so that an audience that is mostly English speaking has less chance of getting lost in a plot that is mostly spoken in Japanese. She may have found the dog cure, but she only needed to find it in the first place because the grief of a Japanese scientist prevented it from being released. She confronted Kobayashi, but it is Atari\'s words and actions that win over the population and make Kobayashi remorseful about his sins. She is accused of being bossy, but Atari can be pretty forceful too. His relationship with Chief hits a rough patch when Atari sees some opportunities to act as a kid again, while Chief just wants to go to the agreed location. Ultimately, Chief placates to Atari\'s wishes. At some point, kids\' childish behavior just has to be attributed to them being kids and not some grandiose statement of cultural superiority/inferiority.

04/27/2018 00:00:00

Ah okay. I\'ve not seen the film, but I had heard somewhere about the american voice actors for dogs (and the implication that these American dogs are the familiar heroes and Japanese society are the villains). I can\'t say much on that myself, but I have noticed that animated movies are getting a lot more stick these days for getting white voice actors to do non-white roles (as in Kubo, or The Simpsons) and I think that is partially deserved; its not like it\'s hard to get people of colour to talk into a can.

04/27/2018 00:00:00

Then I suggest you watch the film. Atari, Professor Wanatabe, and his assistant are all heroes in the story and are all played by Asian actors. If you want more diversity, the narrator is Courtney B. Vance, who is black. Jeff Goldblum is brown, of Russian descent, and also plays one of the dogs. The two main villains are played by Asian actors, but the rest of the Japanese cast is a morally grey group, varying from those that want to help the dogs to those that are afraid of them. They possess all the flaws and virtues portrayed in typical society. The dogs play an important role in the plot, but it is Atari, Professor Wanatabe, and his assistant's actions that save the day.

07/08/2018 00:00:00

Okay, so I want to respond to a few points:

"occasionally political correctness reaches out and strangles media that is actually trying to support its goals."

The review argues that Isle of Dogs is ultimately more in opposition of racism than in support of it, because it is a story about an underclass being unfairly discriminated. However, I would argue that simply having a narrative that racism and fascism are bad does not make a movie anti-racist. This is because Isle, like many other Fantastic Racism films, makes the victims be analogous to white people, and makes the people of color be non-understandable and foreign, rather how it's usually been the other way around for the large majority of history.

This dilutes the metaphor because it obscures who the oppressor and victim being satirized actually are, so the punch it should be delivering doesn't hit. Another film exemplifying this is Star Wars. George Lucas has been very open in saying that the Rebellion represents the Vietcong and the Empire represents America. However, this isn't clear in the films themselves because nearly all the Rebellion actors are white Americans with Old West motifs (and all the Imperials are Brits with Nazi Germany motifs). So the obscuring hurts the metaphor as it does with Isle of Dogs.

From my own personal experience, someone who supports Trump's walls and watches this film wouldn't say "oh no, Trump incites anger against other peoples just like the villains do on these poor dogs", they'd say "yes, we have to keep those dangerous foreigners out before they get in power and lock us up like they did to American dogs!"

Clarity of satire is dependent also on casting, nor merely on story. Get Out would've not been as nearly effective a movie about prison-industrial slavery if it had starred a white actor.

"Some critics say the dogs should have voices by Asian actors because it was set in Japan. Well, using that logic the dogs would have been more authentic if they were voiced by actual dogs except, you know, we would never understand what they are actually saying."

Nobody making this criticism complained that the lead actor of Mowgli in the Jungle Book remake wasn't speaking Hindi or animal-speak the whole movie. Just that his casting was plausible enough was fine.

"the narrator is Courtney B. Vance, who is black"

That the movie was criticized for an absence of Japanese-American actors or characters has nothing to do with there being one black voice actor. Different races are not interchangeable. Changing all the black American soldiers in Glory to Japanese soldiers would not equal "diversity".

"Jeff Goldblum is brown, of Russian descent"

What.

...Jeff Goldblum is not a person of color. He's a white guy who recently had a tan for Thor Ragnarok. He's no more a person of color than President Orange is.

In closing: there's a good argument to be made that perfect political correctness isn't feasible and that some works are required to break boundaries for larger truths. But Isle of Dogs does not break any boundaries by its psuedo-Japanese setting. It just imitates the same orientalism used in films like The Last Samurai or Memoirs of a Geisha or Kubo or 47 Ronin and so on. Watching Isle under an actual Japanese lens reveals the film is full of poor translations, presents many ordinary Japanese things as perilous, and has a thorough lack of Japanese-American involvement in the crew. I recommend this overview of the film by Sandy Kim, a good friend of mine who also wrote The Herder Witch.

07/09/2018 00:00:00

By comparing this film to Get Out I assume that you see Get Out as an example of good satire in contrast to Isle of Dogs. Except that Get Out's message seems to promote segregation rather than interracial community. There is no positive portrayal white people in Get Out, rather its a boogeyman story of what happens when a black man goes to a mostly white community or dates outside his race. The blacks that live long term in mostly white communities are literal oreos. The film says that racial discrimination isn't wrong, just flipped, and that Chris needs to pull out a gun whenever he is near whites, as they can't be trusted.

I brought up Goldblum and Vance's involvement because I wanted to say that this film was more than just the production of a WASP film crew. People of various cultural backgrounds worked on it. Also Goldblum's skin color isn't just a tan job for a Marvel movie, if you look at his history all the way back to the 1983 "The Fly" he has always had a darker skin tone than his white costars. Russian doesn't equal white, as Russia is made of a number of different racial communities.

I don't know who you knew that misinterpretted this film, but it is probably the same kind of moron that thought Charlottesville was a peaceful rally gathering attacked by leftist extremists even though the "Unite the Right" group carried Nazi flags and torches. Those people rewrite context where there is none, and there is none in Isle of Dogs. The Japanese are in control of the government and they fear the dogs. The dogs have no representation in the community, so government opportunists use fear-mongering to control the country. The parallel to the Trump administration and its attitude towards immigrants is pretty clear.

Your Korean friend, Sandy Kim, has a closer racial background to the film than I do, but saying she speaks on behalf of the Japanese community is a bit of misstep. You also undercut the work many Japanese did on the project. The lead writer and voice of the antagonist is Japanese as is the protagonist. In fact, unlike any of the examples you mentioned, Isle of Dogs actually has a Japanese writer. Many of the supporting cast are also Japanese. To say that your friend has a better grasp of the film's culture than people of Japanese background is a bit authoritative. I've read your friend's tweets and most of it is either about unnecessary English or playing up Tracy's role to be larger than what it was. This article has actual opinions of Japanese speakers https://slate.com/culture/2018/04/what-its-like-to-watchisle-of-dogsas-a-japanese-speaker.html. It admittedly exposes flaws that I missed, but the article does not condemn it as a total trainwreck.

Maybe the film would have been better if it had Japanese comedians play the dogs. None of the voice actors made the film for me. Changing that element would remove the controversey. However, what I liked about the film is that it portrayed the Japanese as human, not a race to be scorned nor elevated on a pedestal. It was not the hyper-exaggerated utopian paradise of Wakanda, there were Japanese that loved the dogs and Japanese that hated the dogs. There was luxury and there was squalor. There was turmoil and unity. In Black Panther the only infrastructural conflict was "we are so awesome, we can't decide how to show the world how unbelievably awesome we are". Isle of Dogs portrays Japanese society as a society with all the goods and ills that come with it, whereas films like Black Panther and Get Out seem to say racial cultures can only be portrayed as victims of white dominance or as utopian societies who are far above the evils of the modern world.

GKG
07/11/2018 00:00:00

A Japanese-American person has as much authority to speak about the \"authenticity\" and racial attitudes of a movie about Japanese culture in Japan as a Polish person. Racial closeness does not equal cultural closeness in any way. Asian-Americans don\'t have a say about stuff relating to Asia if they haven\'t actually lived there or experienced the culture in any real way.

Reminds me of Asian-Americans getting mad at white people for wearing qipaos despite the fact that people in China sell that shit to tourists by the boatload. It ain\'t your culture, it ain\'t your call.

07/11/2018 00:00:00

"Get Out's message seems to promote segregation rather than interracial community. There is no positive portrayal of white people in Get Out"

Get Out (directed by a black man married to a white woman) is not pro-segregation anymore than The Shining is anti-marriage. Movies where all the white people are evil are pretty rare, as even strongly anti-white supremacy movies feature at least one good Token White Guy, such as Chi-Raq, Black Panther, Glory, Blood Diamond, Hotel Rwanda, Dear White People, etc. Get Out is the outlier, so it contributes to no larger message of "all white people are evil" because there are no other movies perpetuating that claim. Personally (as someone half-white), I find it condescending to include a "Token Good White Guy", oftentimes who has no personality beyond being the one good white guy. My self-esteem is not so fragile that I need a bland character pacifier just to assure me that I am not the evil mad scientist who gets stabbed with a deer head.

"I wanted to say that this film was more than just the production of a WASP film crew [...] Russian doesn't equal white, as Russia is made of a number of different racial communities."

I know that Russian can denote white or non-white. Regardless, Jeff Goldblum is not Japanese, and simply not having a 100% WASP crew does not equal the best sensitivity for a Japanese culture production because POC races are not interchangeable.

"I don't know who you knew that misinterpretted this film, but it is probably the same kind of moron that thought"

Nah, they can pretty easily get metaphor when the coding is there. They didn't like Avatar (I disliked it for different reasons), but they could pretty easily tell the Na'vi represented Native Americans, or that District 9 was a metaphor for apartheid. They didn't like being called out, but they could tell who it was aimed at. Not so much with Isle of Dogs, since again the dogs are coded as white Americans, not as Japanese-Americans or Muslims or Mexicans or gay people or Jews or any other group infamously locked in camps. How one codes a character matters.

"Saying [Sandy] speaks on behalf of the Japanese community is a bit of misstep."

To make my intent clearer, I cited her because she is a a storyteller herself and because she lived in Japan for several years before moving to America. She certainly does not speak for the entire Japanese community, but she's been on both sides of the pond and writes from experience how orientalism affects said communities differently.

Isle of Dogs actually has a Japanese writer

That's a good point in its favor, but it seems pretty clear from a watch that Kunichi Nomura did not have much involvement in the movie beyond the initial draft, as he is uncredited on the screenplay and the film has a lot of awkwardly translated Japanese, flat voice acting, and cultural inaccuracies like presenting maiko as sex servants when they're really underage theater performers. The article linked in your comment also notes these. It is unfortunate that he was not granted opportunity to participate further. So it's a step, but I'd say bigger steps are warranted, like with Coco where Pixar promoted Mexican screenwriter Adrian Molina to become co-director.

In Black Panther the only infrastructural conflict was "we are so awesome, we can't decide how to show the world how unbelievably awesome we are".

Not really. The first act of the film makes it pretty clear that the advanced super-nation is resting atop of a powder keg of problems. On Day 1 of T'challa's reign, the city is nearly conquered by an isolationist usurper taking advantage of old outdated laws, who came a hairsbreath from flipping their entire society and ordering all their technology destroyed. His lead national security general and his soldiers are nursing colonialist ambitions, causing them to nearly all immediately betray their king when someone offers a chance for war. The film's whole message is about their society has to evolve. Nobody looks at Rivendell in Lord of the Rings and says "Rivendell portrays white people as too awesome for the planet who deserve to leave and take their riches with them when the world gets less awesome than they can stand."

GKG: "A Japanese-American person has as much authority to speak about the "authenticity" and racial attitudes of a movie about Japanese culture in Japan as a Polish person."

........okay, I'm gonna say this as nicely as I can, as someone who lives in a town with a 60% Asian-American population: NEVER say this. Never. Never ever. Asian-Americans are not "less Asian" than mainland Asians. Doing so dismisses how orientalist racism affects Asian-Americans harsher because they have to live among its affects, while mainland Asians are safer amongst societies where they are not the minority. This is pretty often weaponized in America, so I highly highly instruct against it. Saying this tends to be the fastest way to hit an AA person's Berserk Button. End of story. Period.

"Reminds me of Asian-Americans getting mad at white people for wearing qipaos despite the fact that people in China sell that shit to tourists by the boatload."

The truth is actually more complex than that. The actual reason why qipao, kimono, and hanbok have been marketed "non-racially" to America is actually to increase accessibility for Asian-American immigrants, with the side effect of selling to white people. So yeah, Asian-Americans are allowed to say "this belongs to us." Sandy talks more about it here.

GKG
07/12/2018 00:00:00

I\'ll say this if I want to. Whether or not people get angry because I said it is not my problem, nor does it prove anything one way or the other. Are you seriously gonna argue that a Japanese-American who has never set foot in Japan is gonna be as familiar and influenced by Japanese culture as someone who has spent their whole life there? That\'s patently absurd.

\"while mainland Asians are safer amongst societies where they are not the minority.\" Yeah, because ethnic strife doesn\'t exist at all in Asia and any Asian person is ALWAYS going to be safer amongst Asian societies.

As for your friend: funny, I\'ve had Asian people telling me the exact contrary. That kimono/hanbok/qipao makers sell them to strangers for the simple reason that they think of it as just another article of clothing that isn\'t so steeped in cultural tradition that they can\'t just sell it like any other article of clothing.

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/opinion/2015/08/04/commentary/japan-commentary/kimono-cultural-appropriation/#.W0d0sLgyXIV

\"That message, recently iterated to me by an employee at the Nishijin Textiles Center in Kyoto, is this: Anyone can appropriate and creatively modify kimono styles whenever and however they like.\"

The recent prom qipao boondoggle illustrated this perfectly: basically no one in China had any issue with it. That should be the end of story. The people from the culture THAT ACTUALLY PRODUCES qipaos instead of just wearing them don\'t mind, so no one has any business stating otherwise. Claiming \"well they actually do it for us\" without any proof certainly smells of, mmmmmmh... appropriation.

07/12/2018 00:00:00

Are you seriously gonna argue that a Japanese-American who has never set foot in Japan is gonna be as familiar and influenced by Japanese culture as someone who has spent their whole life there?

There's a big difference between saying something like "We need someone with greater experience with reading and writing Japanese, as by your own admission you are rusty on that skill" and saying "A Japanese-American person has as much authority to speak about the "authenticity" and racial attitudes of a movie about Japanese culture in Japan as a Polish person". One is respectfully assessing an individual's personal aptitude at a cultural skill, the other says "you're basically a white person". Which, no.

The people from the culture THAT ACTUALLY PRODUCES qipaos instead of just wearing them don't mind, so no one has any business stating otherwise.

This is really not that different from when folks were claiming the recent Ghost in the Shell movie wasn't racist because mainland Japanese people didn't seem to mind. The difference is, again that mainland Asians aren't as used to competing for cultural attention and products as Asian-Americans are. If a sibling steals your formal uniform, your parents may find it cute to see them dressed up, while you yourself are upset because you need that and they've taken it and are getting way more praise.

GKG
07/13/2018 00:00:00

\"If a sibling steals your formal uniform, your parents may find it cute to see them dressed up, while you yourself are upset because you need that and they\'ve taken it and are getting way more praise.\"

What.

Explain to me how BUYING an article of clothing that is in no way unique or even difficult to obtain is stealing. If a white person obtains a qipao, it won\'t be hard for an Asian one to obtain it. If there\'s a demand, there\'s gonna be an offer. You can go to the same place as the white person and but one of the exact same make m. That is an inane metaphor.

07/17/2018 00:00:00

I\'d like to say that coding the oppressed party as white can be useful to give a white audience a perspective on being on the wrong end of power. This is what H G Wells did in War of the Worlds. Trump supporters would likely misread the film, but then these are the sort who read \"behind by 3.5 millions votes\" as \"winning\". Getting them to understand anything would be a lost cause from the start. If the dogs were coded as non-whites, they would likely cheer on their oppression. And War of the Worlds could be equally misread as warning Britain to arm against invasion (or to not sterilise surfaces) but that doesn\'t detract from Wells\' brilliance.

07/17/2018 00:00:00

(Late response because of computer issues.)

^^The analogy more pertains to situations like this movie and others. Non-Japanese actors occupying the role of the dogs excludes Japanese-Americans from a position that is not easily replaceable. This is also applicable to situations like Sandy has told me how she has difficulty acquiring a booth spot at cons, even Asian-American ones, precisely because the vendors tend to sell to white artists with more popular but less detailed imitations of manga and manhwa. As of yet, 4 non-Asian actors have won Oscars for playing East Asian characters, but East Asian-American actors have only won twice. Perhaps clothing can be replaced, but getting to sell it is a limited privilege.

^Wells's War of the Worlds does work today in describing a reversal of colonial power, particularly since it even compares its English citizens' fates to those of Aboriginal Australians. That said, it's not entirely separated from being a "we gotta protect ourselves from the foreigners" narrative, as the book was written in the style of speculative invasion stories at the time, that depicted "who would win" wars between Europe's empires. It was a useful metaphorical flip when it debuted, because it was the first to challenge our ideas of how we view our society. But now there have been so many imitators that "aliens invade Western civilization" has become the appeal and not the analogy.

07/24/2018 00:00:00

I don\'t care for the H. G. Wells analogy at all, nor would I apply it to this movie.

I was saying the film was worked on by more than just a single race because I thought if it was worked on by more than one race there would be a less likely chance to fall into some stereotypes. Clearly there were some missteps.

I admit to being wrong about Black Panther. I mainly focused on its advancements in science and medicine rather than the turmoil between T\'Challa and his subjects, particularly, W\'Kabi

However, more important than casting and crew, is content and that\'s where Get Out falls flat. You can dress it up in goofy sentences and sarcasm but the answer is in Get Out is intolerance. If Chris had shut out white people from his life in every way, except for what capacity is required to do his job, then he would have never have had to fight his way through a horrible situation. Get Out does not speak about tolerance in any form, rather white people are one of two extremes, blatant racists or condescending jerks that only see a non-white person by the color of their skin. The exceptions are only exceptional because they practice tolerance like a pedophile learns the habits of children, they trick their prey into a false sense of security. To borrow your tangent about misinterpretation, a white person could walk into the film and walk out saying the film justifies their segregationist attitude because the film tells black people to fear white people as a whole. You say its an outlier, but its not, Roots and Moonlight both show the white population as an oppressive force and I\'ve read plenty of books in college that describe whites as a corruptive force that destroys other cultures on contact. I appreciate Roots and Moonlight because they either have historical precedent to follow or expose personal social issues like sexuality. That is clearly not the case with Get Out which treats interracial relationships like a failure before they even start.

Get Out also hates multiculturalism. The victims in Get Out follow all the stereotypes of \"Oreos\", blacks with a lack of social awareness, possessing identity issues, unnaturally polite dialogue, and a general subservience to white people. Its not hard to see it as a shot against blacks living in white suburban neighborhoods, whom frequently are accused of selling out their culture. Chris and Rose\'s relationship is a microcosm of this message, with Rose constantly cutting Chris off when he attempts to speak up for himself and generally controlling wherever Chris goes.You tell me a mixed black man would never intentionally leave a statement that is racist against multiculturalism and I\'m sure Wes Anderson never meant to step on the toes of the Japanese. These things happen. Get Out is not exempt because its a darling of critics.

However, Isle of Dogs message is about tolerance and not letting the propaganda of fear control populations. The ending has dogs and the Japanese living together, whatever you\'re suggestion of the distortion might be. Atari is the hero of the story and the one that overturns the unjust laws. Professor Wanatabe is the one that cures the dog disease. The climax of the film has both dogs and humans working together. You tell me that voice actors need to be played by racially appropriate actors, but its never been that way and voice acting has never been as straightforward as live-action. Phil Lamar, a black actor played Samurai Jack, a Japanese character. Samuel L. Jackson , a black actor, played Gin Rummy, a white character. Voice acting recruiters hire voices they think are appropriate for the role, not whose racial backgrounds perfectly match the characters they are supposed to play. For a live action film racially appropriate casting is much more important, because the viewers see the actors\' actual face, not just hear the voice. I\'ve never coded animated characters by the ethnicity of the actor that played them. I\'ve said before, I wish the dogs were played by Japanese actors if only to avoid the controversy, but we can agree to disagree on whether or not it affects the film\'s message.

I agree that the film has its flaws, but I disagree that the film is some racial caricature that is irredeemable. If you want you can write a review on how the film affects you personally rather than continue this argument in the comments.


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