That Dog Is Real: Queer Identities in the New Wes Anderson’s Film Isle of Dogs

  • Bianca Friedman università di pisa
Keywords: Isle of Dogs, Animal studies, queer studies, film studies


The representation of animals in movies deals with an unavoidable premise which has pragmatic consequences: movies are made by humans, for humans. Therefore, since humans usually define their identity in opposition to animals, representing them as individuals implies a problematic application of human categories to animal characters’ performance. Trying to combine queer theories with Animal Studies, I propose an analysis of Wes Anderson’s latest movie, Isle of Dogs, and in particular a reflection on the relationship between animals and machines. This article focuses first on the stop-motion technique which has been used to create speaking animal characters. Then, it explores how in the movie the machines are used by humans with animals and what ambiguities can emerge. Finally, it closes with a reflection on how the dogs relate to an identity constructed and ascribed to them by human society.