Created By: CaveCat on April 29, 2013 Last Edited By: CaveCat on July 5, 2013
Troped

Adaptation Species Change

A character in a work is changed to a different species when the work is adapted.

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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


Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[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]]

[[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]]

[[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.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
  • 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]]

[[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]]

[[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.
[[/folder]]


Needs More Examples
Community Feedback Replies: 42
  • April 29, 2013
    DennisDunjinman
    Comparing to a Race Lift, where the character remains the same species (human), but a different type of human.
  • April 30, 2013
    Duncan
    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).
  • April 30, 2013
    IsaacSapphire
    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.
  • April 30, 2013
    LOAD
    Also in Tarzan the apes he lived with weren't Gorillas, but a fictional species of ape called mangani.
  • April 30, 2013
    Waterlily
    I think that might explain why the lioness was changed to a leopard. Apparently leopards are the main feline predator where most gorillas live.

    Most of these changes were probably for a more animal savvy audience.
  • May 1, 2013
    CaptainPeregrin
    • 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.
  • May 2, 2013
    NESBoy
    • In Flatland: The Movie, the women of Flatland are the same shapes as the men, rather than simply be lines.
  • May 2, 2013
    EdnaWalker
    • 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.
  • May 2, 2013
    Darthcaliber
    how about the 2003 version of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles where Shredder went from being human to an Utrom?
  • May 3, 2013
    CaveCat
  • May 4, 2013
    Darthcaliber
    what's to elaborate? In the original comics Shredder's a human. In the original cartoon he's a human. In every single incarnation of TMNT he's a human.... until the 2003 cartoon where suddenly he's an alien brain in a robot body.
  • May 4, 2013
    xanderiskander
    ^Actually I heard that reveal in the 2003 cartoon happens in the comics too. Kraang in the 1987 cartoon on the other hand was based on the Utroms from the comic but was not adapted very well at all. He was just goofy.
  • May 6, 2013
    chicagomel
    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...
  • May 7, 2013
    randomsurfer
    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.
  • May 7, 2013
    acrobox
    Shredder was only an Utrom in the 2K3 series
  • May 11, 2013
    Olaf_Merchant
    ^ Similarly to Shredder, Baxter Stockman was originally caucasian and turned black in the newer animated series of TMNT.
  • May 11, 2013
    1810072342
    ^ That's Race Lift
  • May 13, 2013
    Darthcaliber
    ^also Baxter was black in the original comics and made white in the 80's toon. Later continuities went back to the original source material.
  • May 13, 2013
    complainian
    May not fit because it's not really an adaptation, but the Khajiit from The Elder Scrolls. They looked like normal humans for the first game, Arena, then like humans with tails for the second game, Daggerfall. Despite being described in both of these games as being descended from cats, they are full blown cats (albeit walking, talking, humanoid cats) in the other games which take place not only after the first two, but two of them are within the same era.
  • May 23, 2013
    Paradisesnake
    This trope clearly isn't exclusive to books so the laconic needs to be reworded.
  • May 23, 2013
    SneakySquirrel
    • Originally, in the Arthur books, the Tibbles and their grandmother were humans; in the animated series, they're bears.
  • May 23, 2013
    randomsurfer
    Another Tarzan: In the original books he has a monkey Animal Sidekick named Nkima, but in the classic films and live action TV show he has a chimp sidekick named Cheeta.
  • May 25, 2013
    Waterlily
    Would Splinter from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles count? He's 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 was a pet rat.
  • May 27, 2013
    Paradisesnake
    Sigh... since no one seems to be listening to me (^^^^), I took the liberty of changing the wording of the laconic myself.
  • June 4, 2013
    randomsurfer
    re Muppets Wizard of Oz - is Toto actually a prawn, or is it just Pepe playing the part of toto? I mean, the Muppets are Animated Actors so...wouldn't Fozzie Bear playing the lion count too? And, in Mickeys Christmas Carol Mickey Mouse, Scrooge Mc Duck, etc. all playing what were originally human characters? Etc.
  • June 5, 2013
    EdnaWalker
    ^I think that they can count.
  • June 5, 2013
    Duncan
    ^^ 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.
  • June 5, 2013
    jbrecken
    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.)
  • June 10, 2013
    Kayube
    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).
  • June 10, 2013
    CaveCat
  • June 10, 2013
    MorningStar1337
    Compare Human Focused Adaptation: Speaking of which, My Little Pony Equestria Girls may be a literal example with Twilight Sparkle going form pony to Amazing Technicolor Human in this one
  • June 11, 2013
    Paradisesnake
    Fixed a couple of Red Links.
  • June 25, 2013
    DaibhidC
    If we're including human-to-anthropomorphic-animal examples...

    • In A Muppet Christmas Carol Bob Cratchett and the Cratchett sons are frogs, Mrs Cratchett and the daughters are pigs, Fezziwig is a bear, and Scrooge's schoolmaster is an eagle.
    • In Muppet Treasure Island Captain Smollett is a frog, Squire Trelawney is a bear, Mister Arrow is an eagle, Ben Gunn is a Gender Flipped pig and Morgan is a goat.
    • In The Muppets Wizard Of Oz, the witches are pigs, Scarecrow is a frog, the Tin Man is a ... whatever ..., the Munchkins are rats and the Soldier with Green Whiskers is an eagle.
    • In Oliver And Company, Oliver is a kitten and Fagin's gang are dogs.
    • There was a very loose animated adaptation of David Copperfield in which the Copperfield family and Murstone were cats, Uriah Heep was a rat, Peggoty was a hedgehog, Steerforth was a dog and Mr Micawber was a monkey.

    There's probably a lot more of these...
  • June 25, 2013
    randomsurfer
    In the original Bosko The Talk Ink Kid shorts Bosko and Honey were stereotypical African-American characters. In the Tiny Toon Adventures episode "Fields of Honey" they get changed into amorphous animal characters a la the Warner Brothers and their sister Dot.
  • June 26, 2013
    Paradisesnake
    Please remove the Circular Link from the description.
  • June 27, 2013
    CaveCat
    ^?
  • June 27, 2013
    Paradisesnake
    If you had read the article, you would know that adding links to the very same page is considered bad formatting. There is no reason to Pot Hole Adaptation Species Change in the description.
  • June 29, 2013
    DA
    Question...would this trope include Human-to-Different Humanoid Creature examples, or would that be just Race Lift?
  • June 30, 2013
    CaveCat
    ^I think that's Race Lift.
  • July 3, 2013
    CaptainPeregrin
    I think Anthropomorphic Animal Adaptation would be a different trope...it's one thing to change, say, the species of a pet, but it's a totally different thing to make the entire (human) cast into animals. It's a pretty common practice for an Animated Adaptation, but it's usually done for much different reasons.
  • July 4, 2013
    CaveCat
    ^If that's true, then maybe that could be a separate trope (with the human cast being turned into animals). I'd be glad to work on that one as soon as possible.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=sjv8o1m74gqwu5k3x0ton0vb&trope=AdaptationSpeciesChange