Analysis: Sliding Scale of Anthropomorphism
Anthropomorphism TerminologyWhen people talk about the term "anthropomorphic," they usually refer to an animal (fictional or nonfictional species), plant, alien, mythical or fantasy creature, robot, inanimate object, or other non human that acts human or is humanoid in shape. However, the word, "anthropomorphic," technically means "of human shape or form."
- Anthropomorphic: technically means of human shape or form; usually used to mean an animal (fictional or nonfictional species), plant, alien, mythical or fantasy creature, robot, inanimate object, or other non human that acts human or is humanoid in shape
- Zoomorphic: means of animal shape or form
- Anthrozoomorphic: technical term for animals that act human
Peculiarities of The Anthropomorphism of Various Animal Species
Insect and Arachnid AnthropomorpismThere is a much greater tendency to actually add facial and bodily features to insects and arachnids that simply aren't present on their real counterparts in order to anthropomorphize them even slightly. Other animals are much less commonly subject to this when they are anthropomorphized pr otherwise drawn in a non-lifelike manner. Typically, those facial and bodily features are human or otherwise mammalian. There are Some Mammalian, Anthropomorphic, and other Vertebrate-Like Facial and Bodily Features That Cartoon Insects and Arachnids Are Often Drawn With, Including:
- Noses shaped either like human noses or like the generic jellybean shape that looks vaguely like a dog's nose. Real Life insects and arachnids don't even have noses to begin with.
- Vertebrate eye structure with sclerae, pupils, the ability to blink, and even irides.
- Often has four legs instead of the correct six if an insect.
- Often has six legs instead of the correct eight if an arachnid.
- Sometimes have Non-Mammal Mammaries.
- Having back legs or back and middle legs located on the abdomen instead of having all legs being located on the thorax like they are in Real Life insects.
- Have legs on the abdomen and a head instead of having all legs and head located on the cephalothorax and an abdomen like they are in Real Life arachnids.
- Hands and feet with fingers and toes respectively.
- Two eyes instead of the five eyes that Real Life insects have. This can be forgiven as three of those five eyes are far smaller than the other two.
- Two eyes instead of the eight eyes that Real Life spiders have.
- Have vertebrate mouths, jaws, and teeth instead of or in conjunction to their mandibles if an insect.
- Have vertebrate mouths, jaws, and teeth instead of or in conjunction to their chelicera if a arachnid.
- Sometimes have a facial "mask" marking
- Sometimes have a shortish, doglike muzzle
- Sometimes have a vaguely humanoid torso
open/close all folders
Anime and Manga
- The animated adaption of Maya the Bee.
- Similarly, the ants in Antz.
- The bees from Bee Movie
- The bugs in A Bug's Life are much more human-like than real insects, having hands (either mitts with thumbs like Heimleich or Four-Fingered Hands), four legs and Cartoony Eyes with irises. The grasshoppers have six legs and the houseflies have eyes like real houseflies, however.
- The insects in the Disney Fairies books and movies have Cartoony Eyes.
- In James and the Giant Peach, the giant insects inside the peach have noticably humanlike faces.
- Jiminy Cricket from Pinocchio is an extreme example; he looks a little man with a nose and head like a rabbit.
- The fireflies, including Ray, and butterflies in The Princess and the Frog
- Averted with the cockroach from WALL•E, despite its propensity to behave like a dog.
Live Action TV
- Though not a straight example of this trope, Star Trek's Andorians fit this description, at least how they were originally conceived, as having both mammalian and insect-like traits.
- Charmy Bee from Sonic the Hedgehog is a two-foot tall bee with only four limbs and a muzzle with a jellybean nose.
- Pokémon's bugs vary but usually just have somewhat more mammalian eyes than their real-life counterparts, often only four legs and optional bipedalism. Scyther, however, though nominally a praying mantis, obviously borrows several vital features from vertebrates: its head resembles a reptile, complete with the accompanying mouth, fangs and eyes, and while its forelegs end in curved blades based on those of a praying mantis, its hind legs are clawed. Additionally, though Flygon is arguably only partly based on an antlion, it has a cute mammal-like body, paws and a tail.
- In Bug and Bug Too, there are several insects with mammalian-looking characteristics. Two notable examples are Bug's girlfriend from the first game and several enemies from the sequel.
- Dreamwalk Journal features literally mammalian insect and arachnid hybrids. The implication is that the entire population is the result of genetic engineering (pantropy) by their human ancestors.
- The French short series Miniscule features otherwise quite realistically drawn insect characters, but the small spider's two eyes have pupils. It also shivers when cold.
- Chuck Jones' The Cricket in Times Square averts the body design issues with Chester Cricket◊, though he has a cartoonishly-stylized face.
- Ken the weevil and Grubby from Dirt Girl World have faces that look awfully like human faces.
- Mostly averted with the other insects in the show, though.
- The monarch butterfly who's considered a perfectly normal butterfly in the Handy Manny world has correct number of legs (that is, six), but it has Cartoony Vertebrate-Style Eyes.
- The insects in The Buzz on Maggie
- The Classic Disney Shorts are teeming with them.
- Bucky Bug, from the Silly Symphony "Bugs In Love" and a series of comics set on his hometown of Bugville.
- Wilbur the Grasshopper, from the Silly Symphony "The Grasshopper and the Ants" and the Goofy cartoon "Goofy and Wilbur". Also, the ants from the former short.
- Donald Duck often had to deal with insects, including ants, a bee (which had a big red nose) and the Bootle Beetle.
- The title character from the Silly Symphony "The Moth and the Flame", which was a Humanoid Female Animal, as well as the more cartoony male moths.
- The Pluto the Pup cartoon "Springtime for Pluto" had a butterfly that looked more like a '40s Pin Up with wings.
- Zipper from Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers, as well as any other insect characters the Rangers came across.
- The population of Santo Bugito.
- The moth and butterfly from the Animaniacs episode, "Wings Take Heart" are this. The moth has four legs, a light facial "mask" marking, and a red, doglike nose and the butterfly looks basically like a human with antennae and wings.
- The female Mantis in Kung Fu Panda Legends Of Awesomeness has a mammalian bustline, lipstick and blush.
- Averted with the giant ant in the Futurama movie, The Beast With a Billion Backs.