Humanlike Hand Anatomy
Cartoon animals often have human hands, but the feet of their derived species.
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(permanent link) added: 2012-05-30 16:54:11 sponsor: leafshroom edited by: CaveCat (last reply: 2013-02-14 10:11:40)

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A common design choice for Funny Animals and other characters on the Sliding Scale of Anthropomorphism is giving them human-like hands (in spite of their apparent lack of proper wrists). However, their feet (and, perhaps, other parts of their body) often remain unchanged, resembling the feet, fins, flippers and hooves of their original species.

Quite frequently the hands will be four fingered (three fingers and a thumb). This is due both to cartoon drawing conventions of Four-Fingered Hands and the fact that cats and dogs have a "dewclaw" as their fifth digit, making their forepaws look superficially like they only have four digits.

Compare Feather Fingers, where birds are given human-like hands. Related to Humanlike Foot Anatomy.


Examples:

Comic Books
  • Howard the Duck has White Gloves on human-like hands, but has webbed feet.
  • Donald Duck and the rest of the more Funny Animal bodied ducks in the Disney Ducks Comic Universe have human-like arms and hands, but webbed feet.
    • Interestingly, while Disney's ducks and other anthro birds typically have birdlike feet, Gyro Gearloose has human feet (he's also usually drawn with shoes, unlike Donald and the rest).

Film
  • Largely averted in Bambi. Aside from Friend Owl, who switches from regular wings to Feather Fingers when needed, the only characters to have human-like hands are Flower and his girlfriend, and that is mostly based on a real skunk's anatomy.
  • Likewise, Timon is the only major character in The Lion King with hands. Again, excluding Zazu and his Feather Fingers.
  • The Chipmunks and the Chippettes in the live action Alvin and the Chipmunks films have human-like hands but are otherwise very much like chipmunks.
  • For Chicken Run, they would have needed to come up with some pretty ingenious ways for all the chickens to use their various tools if they all had actual wings instead of arms.

Literature
  • An interesting variation in the Sholan Alliance series. The Sholans are a felinoid race with retractable fingers, enabling them to alternately run on all fours or grip things with human-like hands.

Tabletop Games
  • In a non-cartoon example, the darklord Markov from Ravenloft is cursed to always have the body of a beast and the head of a man, but can invoke this trope on himself at will.

Video Games
  • Sonic the Hedgehog characters have a strange variation of this; their hands are human-like, but their feet are very... not human, but not exactly those of their derived species, either. Their feet are just...ovals. No features, no toes, nothing. They look like ovaloids flattened on the sole part. Note that most the characters wear shoes anyway, so you rarely have to behold their flipper[1] feet.[2]

Western Animation
  • Any animal character in Animaniacs and Pinky and the Brain except Runt and Buttons (two "non-anthro" dogs), Pharfignewton (a "non-anthro" horse) and Minerva Mink (Petting Zoo Person mink with somewhat human-like feet). The Goodfeathers, Godpigeon, Girlfeathers, and Chicken Boo have Feather Fingers instead.
  • Averted with Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Goofy, and any Dogface that shows up because the former two are Funny Animals with feet shaped like human feet and the latter two have that along with a completely humanoid body shape.
    • Oswald the Lucky Rabbit and Ortensia the cat have humanlike hands and feet shaped like blocks that are flat on the soles in Epic Mickey. In early cartoons, Oswald was drawn either with oval feet or feet shaped roughly like that of his species.
  • Looney Tunes loves this trope:
    • Bugs Bunny
    • Daffy Duck
    • Parodied in the Looney Tunes short "What Makes Daffy Duck?" where a fox has human like hands. At one point it's revealed they're gloves when they fly off revealing fox paws underneath.
    • Porky Pig, though his hooves can look more shoe-like depending on the design
  • Played with to disturbing effect on an episode of Adventure Time, where a deer is attacking the citizens of Candy Kingdom. During the climax the deer stands up on its hind legs and, to everyone's shock, takes off its front hooves, revealing human fingers beneath.

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