AdaptationSpeciesChange Adaptation Species Change YKTTW Discussion

Adaptation Species Change
A character in a work is changed to a different species when the work is adapted.
(permanent link) added: 2013-04-29 17:09:35 sponsor: CaveCat (last reply: 2013-07-05 21:05:08)

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You read a book about a hero and his faithful pet, but when the book is adapted to film, the hero's pet has been changed into a different species. This is what's known as an Adaptation Species Change.

May be part of Pragmatic Adaptation in live action movies and TV shows if the original species was rare, dangerous, or just not as easy to work with or they had something else similar handy instead.

Compare: Adaptation Name Change, Adaptation Dye-Job, and Race Lift, where the character remains the same species (human), but a different type of human.

Needs a Better Description



[[folder:Anime And Manga]]
  • In the OVA of Kujibiki Unbalance, Alex is a human character. In the TV series, he's a dog (and also the current student council secretary).

[[folder:Film - Animated]]
  • Edgar Rice Burroughs' original Tarzan stories:
    • Sabor was a lioness, but in Disney's Tarzan, she was changed to a leopard.
    • Also, the apes Tarzan lived with weren't gorillas, but a fictional species of ape called mangani.
    • In the original books, Tarzan has a monkey sidekick named Nkima, but in the classic films and live action TV show he has a chimp sidekick named Cheeta.
  • Bambi: The original Bambi was a roe deer in Germany but Disney's Bambi is a white-tailed deer to fit the North American setting of the movie.

[[folder:Film - Live-Action]]
  • In The Muppets' Wizard of Oz, Toto is a King Prawn instead of a Dog (actually listed on the works page as a subtrope of Race Lift). Justified, since Toto is played by Pepe.
    • Pre-tornado, Toto is seen as an actual prawn in a goldfish bowl. After Dorothy ends up in Oz, he's played by Pepe. Fozzie is just a lion in the movie.
  • In the Film of the Book for Inkheart, Dustfinger's horned martin was changed to a ferret. Because, well, horned martins don't exist.
  • In the Harry Potter books, Hagrid's dog Fang is described as a boarhound, which is an old term for a Great Dane. In the movies, Fang is played by a Neapolitan Mastiff. Downplayed as this is a change of breed rather than species.
  • In Flatland: The Movie, the women of Flatland are the same shapes as the men, rather than simply be lines.

  • In Tarnsman of Gor Cabot rides a tarn, which is a giant bird; in other books of the series people also ride tharlarion and kailla, which are land animals. In the films Gor and Outlaw of Gor, people ride horses.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
  • Variation in Animorphs...the short-lived TV series rarely used the signature morphs of the protagonists...Rachel never did her bear morph, Marco never went gorilla...possibly because there wasn't the budget for a ton of CGI and they wanted to use animals they could work with decently well. Then the Transformers toys got into it, with things like a Jake-bear and Jake-stingray toy...

[[folder:Western Animation]]
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
    • Shredder was changed to a Utrom (alien brain in a robot suit) in the 2003 series.
    • Splinter is always depicted as a mutant rat, but sometimes (like in the cartoon), he started as a human. Other times (like in the 1990s film), he started as a pet rat.
  • Originally, in the Arthur books, the Tibbles and their grandmother were humans; in the animated series, they're bears.
  • There's a Looney Tunes short where Goldilocks is a mouse and the Three Bears are replaced with the Three Cats (Sylvester and his family).
  • The Oddball Couple, a Saturday Morning Cartoon with a cat & dog living together a la The Odd Couple.

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