Created By: tvtroper98 on February 22, 2012 Last Edited By: Basara-kun on June 27, 2017
Troped

No Focus on Humans

A story with almost no humans or just a few of them as part of the story.

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
Up for Grabs by Basara-kun. Let's fix this thing, added some examples as well starting to remake the description to be something more complete and delete the "animals only" and "child-friendly" thing. Also this Needs a Better Name. Any help is welcome.


Usually humans are the focus on the series, as well there're stories with no humans at all. This specific version is about humans present in this kind of stories but being few of them compared to the rest of the cast. Usually and in most of cases it's about a World of Funny Animals, but also can be a world of Robots as well Sentient Vehicles. So, as this trope says, there's no focus on humans.

Specific versions for this trope:
  • Humans exist and everyone knows about them, but they are very rare in the setting. Other characters might be Funny Animals, fantasy creatures, aliens, etc. (Example: Adventure Time).
  • Humans are very common, and may be the dominant species, but only a few appear in the story, which is dominated by animal or fantasy characters (Example: Finding Nemo, Bambi).
  • Humans are everywhere, but mostly you might just see their feet or vehicles from the point of view of an animal character. There are only a few human characters that have a speaking role (Example: Oliver & Company).

Compare Token Human, in which there's only one human present in the story, and Xeno Fiction. See also Humans Are Cthulhu, where humans are not treated as characters, but as a terrifying outside force, and Sliding Scale of Animal Cast, in which the level 2 is referred to very few humans added to the animal cast. Compare and contrast Absent Aliens, in which the aliens are this trope for humans. See also Humans Through Alien Eyes.

Not to be confused with Beast Fable, Humanity's Wake and World of Funny Animals for when there are no humans at all.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 
  • The Pokémon short film Pikachu's Vacation, which was played before Pokémon: The First Movie and is on that movie's DVD, only has the trainers at the very beginning and end.
  • There's one episode of Excel Saga that parodied Disney's World of Funny Animals in which Menchi escapes from Excel and joins a group of talking stray dogs, being animals the only focus on the episode.

    Comic Strips 
  • The only human characters in U.S. Acres are a farmer and his daughter who appeared right after Orson fell out of the truck and took him to the farm. They only appeared for four strips, were only seen waist-down or in silhouette, and never appeared again.
  • Stephen Pastis's Author Avatar is the only human main character in Pearls Before Swine. However, one-shot human characters appear quite often.

    Film - Animated 
  • Usually seen in Disney Animated Canon as well in some Pixar movies, in which if well the movie stated a World of Funny Animals, the humans are still present but don't appear on focus. Some examples:
    • In Bambi, humans don't appear often but play an important role (prominently Bambi's mother get killed by a human deer hunter).
    • The Good Dinosaur takes place on an Earth that missed the KT-Extinction event and thus, Dinosaurs evolved into sentient life, on the level with late 19-20th century humans by the time of the story proper. While a humans do exist, they are more feral and are treated like pests by the Dinosaurs. The whole thing sets up an unusual A Boy and His X where the Boy is in fact a Dinosaur and the X is a human boy.
    • Oliver & Company: The Disney interpretation of Oliver Twist but with cats and dogs in which the focus is on the street animals only in a human world.
    • Toy Story series only focus on the sentient toys, having few references on humans, mostly Woody's owner Andy, because of toys' Point of View of the story.
    • Finding Nemo is about a clownfish looking for his lost child under the sea as well in the human world. A similar case with his recent sequel.
  • Much of the drama in Once Upon a Forest centers on three young Barefoot Cartoon Animals on a hazardous mission to retrieve medicinal herbs. There are incidental humans, but none are named, and none get more than a minute or two of screen time.

    Literature 
  • Richard Adams' book Watership Down has its focus mainly on a troop of rabbits that journey far afield seeking a new home. There are several humans in the story, but few are named, and they tend to be more plot devices than characters. Much of the drama centers on the hazards rabbits face traveling overland, and the dystopian warrens they encounter in their travels, such as Efrafa.

    Video Games 
  • Mega Man:
    • In Mega Man, is known humans and robots coexists in this world, but the only humans that are part of the story are Dr. Light, Dr. Wily, Dr. Cossack and the latter's daughter Kalinka.
    • In the distant future sequel Mega Man X, also seems that the world are humans and robots (more advanced ones called as "Reploids"), but also is implied the humans are less than in past eras, being only the Dr. Cain the only human in the series. One of the themes is how the heroes are trying to make peace between humanity and robots. Yet, as in this trope, humans don't get much focus.
    • Mega Man Zero: Though one human (Ciel) is a prominent character, she couldn't really represent humans as a whole, until the fourth game where some human society is finally shown.
  • In Sonic the Hedgehog series, the main setting is the World of Funny Animals. That, until Sonic Adventure, in which Sonic and his friends (and enemies) go to the human world to save it as part of a Parallel Universe, in which few humans appear in the game.

    Western Animation 
Community Feedback Replies: 62
  • February 22, 2012
    randomsurfer
    That's not what Adults Are Useless means.
  • February 22, 2012
    tvtroper98
    Oh, sorry. Just wanted to list one related trope.
  • February 22, 2012
    Cider
  • February 22, 2012
    Catbert
    That and Beast Fable.
  • February 22, 2012
    SeptimusHeap
    Xeno Fiction is about the POV, rather than the setting.

    We don't need Names In Bold. They don't do anything to an argument
  • February 22, 2012
    captainsandwich
    IIRC in Bambi humans don't appear often but play an important role
  • February 22, 2012
    pawsplay
    The description is much more narrow than the laconic. The laconic would qualify the rpg Talislanta, which has numerous humanoid races, but no elves... and no humans.
  • February 22, 2012
    miru
  • February 22, 2012
    Cider
    That seems to be standard policy here, why are you getting all defensive on what you didn't even propose? So maybe they are different tropes but they are similar enough the author may want to address the distinction in the description. I would have put any work where people don't show up on Xeno fiction.
  • February 22, 2012
    MetaFour
    Would works with humanoid fantasy races, but no humans, count?

    "That seems to be standard policy here,"

    It's common, but not condoned. We're trying to crack down on the practice.

  • February 22, 2012
    LarryD
    The Lion King completely ignores humanity, humans aren't even alluded to.
  • February 22, 2012
    pawsplay
    Going by the description and examples in Xeno Fiction, this is a subtrope.
  • February 22, 2012
    Lumpenprole
    In a lot of cartoons you have the trope of animal characters being "only" animals if any human is present, but anthropomorphized when humans are absent. The Tom And Jerry cartoons are an example; we only ever see the legs of a housemaid, and Tom is "just" a cat while she's present.
  • February 22, 2012
    chicagomel
    Guardians Of Gahoole and its sister series Wolves Of The Beyond appears to take place in a time after humans have disappeared. They're only referred to as the Others, and all that's left are a few artifacts that some owls find intriguing.

    Along the Disney lines, the other work with animals only, albiet anthropomorphized ones, was Robin Hood. I can't count 'Bambi', because though there were no humans onscreen, Man was still a big part of the film.
  • February 23, 2012
    Tambov333
    Web Comics:
  • February 23, 2012
    pawsplay
  • February 23, 2012
    chicagomel
    The book series Clan Ground by Clare Bell. Mostly because it was a pre-human world. Ditto with Raptor Red.
  • February 23, 2012
    Stratadrake
    What exactly is this trope about? The suggested examples are all over the place. I would not place The Lion King in the same category as, say, Disney's Robin Hood or Guardians Of Gahoole. All three lack humans, but in different ways. If this is going to be a Super Trope we can probably do that, but then we should focus a little more on what existing tropes we have than straight examples.

    For example:
  • February 23, 2012
    fulltimeD
    A key element seems to be whether the animals are anthropomorphic or not. I'm confused on this matter.
  • March 2, 2012
    tvtroper98
    The aniamls are always anthropomorphic, because if they are not, how can you focus a story on them?

    I added the two tropes Stratadrake said on the page and deleted the examples that had to do with them.
  • March 2, 2012
    PsiPaula4
    Kung Fu Panda has no humans whatsoever. It's all anthromorphic animals.
  • March 2, 2012
    chico
  • March 2, 2012
    SeptimusHeap
  • March 2, 2012
    Stratadrake
    @Psi: We call that a World Of Funny Animals.
  • March 2, 2012
    Met
    I don't get the distinction between this and World Of Funny Animals except for a few possible humans allowed, "Or none at all." If none at all, it is World Of Funny Animals exactly by the description. If any humans besides a Token Human are allowed, it is different, but only just enough to be a subtrope of World Of Funny Animals, not the other way around.
  • March 2, 2012
    captainsandwich
  • March 3, 2012
    Stratadrake
    And in most cases there's no need to explain why the setting doesn't involve humans in the first place. If somebody asks "well, why?", that's Audience Reaction territory, not an objective trope, and it's quickly countered by the MST 3 K Mantra.
  • March 3, 2012
    tvtroper98
    Fine, I will change this trope so it's only about works with a little humans in them.
  • March 3, 2012
    azul120
  • March 3, 2012
    nman
    "Humans Are Sparing" as a name makes me think this is a trope about humans being nice, kind of like Humans Are Special. Didn't you have "Absent Humans" as the name? If you didn't then it would be pretty good for a name.
  • March 3, 2012
    FrodoGoofballCoTV
    Definately Needs A Better Name but I want to work on the definition first. I can see some possible subtropes, which of these would count?
    • Humans exist and everyone knows about them, but they are very rare in the setting. Other characters might be Funny Animals, fantasy creatures, aliens, etc. (Example: Adventure Time).
    • Humans are very common, and may be the dominant species, but only a few appear in the story, which is dominated by animal or fantasy characters (Exammple: Finding Nemo, Bambi).
    • Humans are everywhere, but mostly you might just see their feet or vehicles from the point of view of an animal character. There are only a few human characters that have a speaking role (Example: Oliver And Company).
    • There are no humans in the story.
    • There used to be humans. Now there aren't any.

    Two other issues:
  • March 4, 2012
    tvtroper98
    The distinction from Token Human is that Token Humans is when ONE human is in the series. This is when there are more than one, but they still rarely appear.

    Also, the last two would be sub-tropes, the second-to-last being either Xeno Fiction or World Of Funny Animals, and the last being Humanitys Wake. All the others are straight examples.
  • March 4, 2012
    BackwardThgindiM
  • March 4, 2012
    tvtroper98
    Do you think I should put the examples in separate parts of the page or just have them all be in the same example list?
  • March 4, 2012
    Met
    In the An American Tail movies, animals take advantage of human technology and resources, but the focus is on the animals and animals rarely interact with humans.
  • March 4, 2012
    Stratadrake
    ^ And it falls under Mouse World.
  • January 24, 2017
    AHI-3000
    Perhaps this should be named Absent Humans, to match the similar trope Absent Aliens.
  • January 26, 2017
    AHI-3000
    Is this draft still valid, or better covered by another trope?
  • June 22, 2017
    Basara-kun
    ^In fact, I was looking for a trope like this and there's nothing about it, so yeah, this could be very valid IMO. Also bumping with this:

    Western Animation:
  • June 22, 2017
    Malady
    ^^^ Disconnect from Absent Aliens, there's no reason to expect humans, so not having them, as a subversion of that expectation isn't noteworthy?

    This is about the lack of humans in general, or the lack of a human majority or something.
  • June 22, 2017
    hszmv1
    • The Good Dinosaur takes place on an Earth that missed the KT-Extinction event and thus, Dinosaurs evolved into sentient life, on the level with late 19-20th century humans by the time of the story proper. While a humans do exist, they are more feral and are treated like pests by the Dinosaurs. The whole thing sets up an unusual Boy And His X where the Boy is in fact a Dinosaur and the X is a human boy.
  • June 22, 2017
    oneuglybunny
    Literature
    • Richard Adams' book Watership Down has its focus mainly on a troop of rabbits that journey far afield seeking a new home. There are several humans in the story, but few are named, and they tend to be more plot devices than characters. Much of the drama centers on the hazards rabbits face traveling overland, and the dystopian warrens they encounter in their travels, such as Efrafa.
  • June 22, 2017
    Getta
    Absent Humans as a title sounds non indicative. Humans do exist (unlike those tropes listed at the bottom), just that they don't get focus. In Absent Aliens the aliens are completely nonexistent.
  • June 22, 2017
    TrueShadow1
  • June 23, 2017
    Getta
  • June 23, 2017
    Arivne

    Zero Context Examples have been marked as such. They need more information to show how they fit the trope. Please don't remove the marking unless you add enough context.
  • June 23, 2017
    Basara-kun
    What about Lack Of Humans and directly compare with Token Human as the OP says?
    The distinction from Token Human is that Token Humans is when ONE human is in the series. This is when there are more than one, but they still rarely appear.
    Also, i think examples from Token Human that are more than one human should be exported to here. And someone should take this Up For Grabs or just add Rolling Updates to the main post
  • June 24, 2017
    Snicka
    This is covered by level 1 and 2 of the Sliding Scale Of Animal Cast.
  • June 24, 2017
    Basara-kun
    ^And what about worlds of Sentient Vehicles and Robots as seen in various examples here??
  • June 24, 2017
    YasminPerry
    This doesn't really seem like a trope...

  • June 24, 2017
    TrueShadow1
    Should also mention Humans Are Cthulhu, where humans are not treated as characters, but as a terrifying outside force
  • June 25, 2017
    Basara-kun
    OK, I'll take this as Up For Grabs. OP doesn't appear since 2012 and the description is ver vague and only applied to animals, when, as I said before, there're also Sentient Vehicle and Robot worlds that has almost no humans. I got other examples from these 2 kind of worlds that I could add here (like Mega Man Classic and Mega Man X), so everyone who want to add examples from there are welcome to do it.

    PS: Should I rename this as Lack Of Humans??
  • June 25, 2017
    Getta
    ^ Again, Humans Get No Focus (It's not about the literal "lack" of humans)
  • June 26, 2017
    Pichu-kun
    Don't xenofiction and World Of Funny Animals already cover this?
  • June 26, 2017
    zarpaulus
    ^ Xenofiction doesn't necessarily mean "no humans". There's a few Humans Through Alien Eyes examples.
  • June 26, 2017
    Getta
    So Xenofiction shouldn't be grouped with those tropes at the bottom.

    Btw, maybe you'd like to add to Mega Man X example that one of the themes is how our heroes are trying to make peace between humanity and robots. Yet, as in this trope, humans don't get much focus. This extends to Mega Man Zero note  until the fourth game where some human society is finally shown.
  • June 27, 2017
    Basara-kun
    ^Got it, adding these things to the main post

    EDIT: Added some more examples I found, mostly from Disney Animated Canon
  • June 27, 2017
    oneuglybunny
    Film Animated
    • Much of the drama in Once Upon A Forest centers on three young Barefoot Cartoon Animals on a hazardous mission to retrieve medicinal herbs. There are incidental humans, but none are named, and none get more than a minute or two of screen time.
  • June 27, 2017
    AmourMitts
    Monsters Inc and Monsters University look like examples of this.
  • June 27, 2017
    Basara-kun
    ^I couldn't see complete those 2 movies (yet), so I'll need a more complete explanation to be added to the main post
  • June 27, 2017
    oneuglybunny
    There is one significant human child in WesternAnimation.Monsters Inc, namely Boo. We never learn her real name; Boo is a moniker bestowed on her by Jimmy Sullivan, who thought she was cute. Thing is, Boo forms a huge part of the plot, which is how to return her to her bedroom in secret, without the monsters' contagion team finding out. Boo is too prominent to be an incidental character.

    It's been awhile since I saw WesternAnimation.Monsters University, and I can't recall any human characters in it. Mike and Jimmy are at college, and have yet to use the closet portals into the human world. The only thing human-ish in their universe is the practice dummy. Then again, humans are acknowledged to exist, it's just that none make an appearance.
  • June 27, 2017
    Fuyumoto
    Video Games
    • Onmyōji: It is known that humans and Youkai coexist in the same society, but there are exactly four named humans in this game.
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