Created By: Pichu-kun on March 4, 2016 Last Edited By: alnair20aug93 on yesterday

Abled In The Adaptation

A characters disability or illness is removed from adaptations

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Sometimes in adaptations a characters physical or mental illness is removed or downplayed compared to the source. This could be for pragmatic reasons (such as the disability being difficult to adapt) but often times the disability is simply removed.

This is inverted in many fanworks. "Disabled AUs" are a popular type of fanfic.

Sub-trope of Adaptation Deviation. Compare to Throwing Off the Disability.


    Fan Works
    • Inverted in the Frozen fanfic Café Liégeois. Elsa was born blind in the fanfic. It's also played straight, as she lacks main!Elsa's depression and anxiety.

    Film - Animation
    • In The Hunchback of Notre Dame Quasimodo is deaf due to working with loud bells. In the Disney adaptation he is able to hear and speak.
    • Shere Khan in The Jungle Book is referred to as a "lame tiger" who was born with a crippled hind leg - he is a man-eater specifically because his disability stops him from being fast enough to catch a deer or a bull. Adaptations (including the Disney cartoon) tend to leave out this trait to make him a more threatening villain.
    • According to religious texts Moses was "slow of tongue", indicating a Speech Impediment or speech disorder. In The Prince of Egypt this is absent.
    • Ronno from Bambi is a buck whose has a lame leg due to surviving a gunshot. In the Disney adaptation Bambi's age was decreased, he became a rival to Bambi, and he lacks any disabilities.

    Film - Live Action
    • In the comics Hawkeye is partially deaf, wears a hearing aid, and can use American Sign Language. In the Marvel Cinematic Universe none of this is included.
    • Peeta from The Hunger Games loses his leg in the books but not in the film adaptation.

      • While usually not considered a disability, Sherlock Holmes had a cocaine habit in the original books. Most adaptations do away with any drug references. The 21st century Setting Update Sherlock has Holmes as being on a nicotine patch as a Mythology Gag to both his drug addiction and his smoking habit. Elementary, which is also set in the 2010s, goes the full mile and has Joan start as Sherlock's sober companion in order to help him kick his heroin addiction.

      Live-Action TV

      • Wicked:
        • In the original Wicked book Elphaba has an allergy to water. She bathes using oils and avoids water. Her death involves Dorothy splashing water on her. In the theatrical adaptation there are rumors that water can melt her - and in the song "Thank Goodness" Fiyero gets upset at the absurdity of the idea - but it's not true. Elphaba ends up Spared by the Adaptation when she fakes her death.
        • In a case of Pragmatic Adaptation, Elphaba's sisters' disability was changed for the musical. Nessarose was born with no arms in the books however, due to the difficulty of representing that in a play, she was changed to being wheelchair bound.
      • Inverted in a 2015 production of Spring Awakening. Many of the major characters were played by deaf performers while hearing people would translate their sign language.

      Western Animation
      • In The Killing Joke the first Batgirl, Barbara Gordon, was shot by The Joker. She became paralyzed due to the incident but later became the Disabled Badass "Oracle" until the New 52 reboot retconned her to having recovered the use of her legs after the shooting. In the DCAU there are no signs of Batgirl ever having been wheelchair bound. In Batman Beyond she is shown as a senior but her legs work perfectly fine.

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