Who Killed the Robot Dog?

Jay Telotte

Posted December 14, 2021

External Article: Wired

Jay Telotte, professor emeritus in the School of Literature, Media, and Communication, was quoted in "Who Killed the Robot Dog?" published Dec. 14, 2021, in Wired.

Telotte, a film scholar with a particular interest in how robots and other technologies have been portrayed in film and animation, discussed the history of robot pets going back to a 1927 Disney cartoon.

An excerpt:

“The Mechanical Cow” imagines a robot bovine on wheels with a broom for a tail skating around delivering milk to animal friends. The worst that could happen is your mechanical farm could go haywire, as in the 1930s cartoon “Technoracket,” but even then robot animals presented no real threat to their biological counterparts. “In fact, many of the ‘animaloid’ visions in movies and TV over the years have been in cartoons and comic narratives,” says Telotte, where “the laughter they generate is typically assuring us that they are not really dangerous.”