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Franchise: The Future Is Wild
The Future is Wild is a franchise focused on the possibility of how life would evolve in the future, focusing entirely on three distinct eras: 5 million years into the future, 100 and 200. Starting as a book co-written by Dougal Dixon (who also wrote After Man: A Zoology of the Future), it was later made into a documentary aired by Animal Planet, being a Canadian/European co-production. Eventually, it became popular enough to spawn a children's series; being made entirely in Canada, it lacked the accurate models of the documentary and added cartoonish animal CGI models.


The Future is Wild provides examples of:

  • After the End: The premise of the documentary is how life will evolve millions of years after humans are gone.
  • Animal Talk: In the children's series all animals (even absent brained invertebrates like jellyfish and sea spiders) are capable of sentience and speak a language of their own (which can be understood by all species apparently).
  • Apocalypse How: Class 3. It's left unexplained how this occurred.
    • In the US release, for Humans, it's said that they simply left to settle/live in Space. The probes documenting the various creatures were sent by them/their descendants.
    • In the UK release, Humans are extinct.
  • Bat out of Hell: The Deathgleaner; for some reason afterwards, bats disappear alongside other mammals, despite how adaptable they and other types of mammal like rodents are.
  • Big Creepy-Crawlies: Silver spiders, falconflies, slickribbons... hell, the future seems to be especially wild for invertebrates
  • Big Damn Heroes: The squibbons rescue one of their young from a megasquid. It actually plays out like a Saturday Morning Cartoon.
  • Bioluminescence is Cool
  • Carnivore Confusion: In the children's series, every single animal is sentient; as a result, carnivores are portrayed as villains, ranging from genuine Affably Evil examples into at least one full fledged evil monster without a mind of its own.
    • Averted in documentary, however, where many carnivores are portrayed sympathetically
    • Averted twice: a carakiller was portrayed as sympathetic in "Monkey Brains" and Gill and Butch, the lurkfish, are just hilarious.
  • Chest Monster: The Spitfire Beetle acts as this to the Spitfire Bird- four of these assemble into a fake flower to attract the bird, and then they jump on it and take it down.
    • The Deathbottle's top looks like a rotting fish , which attracts the Bumblebeetle. Thankfully for the bug, this one isn't lethal to them.
  • Comically Missing the Point: In the TV series, from Sign Of The Time Flyer:
    Ethan: We could run around in the grass and play Marco Polo.
    C.G.: You want to pretend to be the 13th century explorer who journeyed to China?
  • Crapsaccharine World: This is pretty much the Poggle's natural habitat. They are farmed by Silver Spiders, who provide them with loads of food, look after them, and protect them until they are fully grown, at which point they are brutally slaughtered and fed to the spider colony's queen.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: This causes some species to go extinct
  • Dark Is Not Evil: A few of the more cute and harmless future critters, such as the Spinks and Desert Hoppers, are mostly nocturnal and come out at night to avoid the heat and the predators.
  • Everything's Even Worse With Sharks: 200 MY in the future and they are still there!
  • Everything's Messier with Pigs : The Scrofa are descended from European wild boars. Subverted in that they are not at all filthy. However, they can be quite violent when defending themselves
  • Everything's Squishier With Cephalopods: The Swampus, Rainbow Squid, Megasquid and Squibbon.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Gannetwhale, Lurkfish, Rainbow Squid, Snowstalker, and so on.
  • Expy: Many creatures are expies of other animal species, both living and extinct, since they all fill similar ecological niches, and were subject to convergent evolution.
    • Snowstalker: Sabertooth
    • Toraton: Sauropod
    • Squibbon: Ape
    • Rainbow Squid: Giant Squid
    • Carakiller: Terror Bird/Dromaeosaurid
    • Rattleback: Pangolin
    • Shagrat: Musk Ox.
    • Gannetwhale: Seal
    • Cryptile Lizard: Frilled lizard
    • Megasquid: Elephant
    • Spink: Naked Mole Rat
    • Lurkfish: Electric Eel (it resembles a Monkfish, though)
    • Babookari: Baboon
    • Terabyte: Termite
    • Sharkopath: Shark (duh)
    • Deathgleaner: Desert hawk
    • Silver Swimmer: Fish
    • Flish: Birds.
    • Also, there are a lot of expys from After Man: A Zoology of the Future.
      • Snow Stalker: Bardelot
      • Shagrat: Woolly Gigantelope
      • Gannetwhale: Vortex and Porpin
      • Cryptile: Fin lizard
      • Gryken: Pamthret
      • Scrofa: Zarander and Turmi
      • Spink: Termite Burrower
      • Great Blue Windrunner: Bootie Bird
      • Rattleback: The Grassland Rattleback is an expy of the Testadon and Spine-tailed Squirrel. The Desert Rattleback is an expy of the Rootsucker.
  • Feathered Fiend: The Carakiller. Also, while only trying to defend themselves, both the Gannetwhale and the Spitfire have very lethal defense mechanisms.
  • Flying Seafood Special: The two species of flish. Most people would assume a flying fish would evolve from modern gliding species (or at least any pelagic one), but the makers decided to make it a codfish descendent, and mind you that codfish are among the least likely candidates to develop flight.
  • Friend to All Living Things: Emily from the children's series.
  • Giant Flyer: The Great Blue Windrunner. The sources don't seem to agree on its size; some offer a realistic approach at 3 meters (about the same size as the largest modern flying birds), but the official site states a wingspan of 15 meters, which would make flight impossible given how thin the atmosphere is at the altitudes it flies at and how narrow its wings are (though it can increase the wing area by raising its legs, which have wing feathers).
  • Hey, It's That Voice!: the creatures in the kids show are mainly voiced by Canadian Voice acting veterans, including Stephanie Beard.
  • Humanity's Wake: The British version of the documentary was after humanity went extinct, the American version changed it so that the human race simply left the system.
  • Killer Rabbit: The Snowstalker, the Spitfire Bird, and the Gryken
    • The Spitfire Bird, at least. While the Snowstalker and Gryken aren't much bigger than a wolverine, they look just as scary as they act.
  • Last of His Kind: 100 million years in the future, nearly all mammals are extinct. The only one left is the Poggle, a tiny rodent-like animal farmed by giant spiders in mountain caves.
  • Light Is Not Good: The Sharkopaths, whose yellow bioluminescence fits them well. Also, one of the main problems for life in the high plateau is ultraviolet radiation, and thus both the Windrunner and the Silver Spider reflect it, looking as if glowing in blue and silver light respectively.
    • The Deathgleaner, a gigantic carnivorous diurnal bat, also fits this trope.
  • Loads And Loads Of Hypothetical Creatures
  • Names to Run Away From Really Fast: Some animals have names that are scary.
    • Sharkopath
    • Carakiller
    • Deathgleaner
    • The Deathbottle, an enormous carnivorous plant. Though since it's a plant and can't actually move, it's more like "Names to Stay at Least Five Metres Away From at All Times".
  • No Flow in CGI: This common problem was the other reason for showing so few mammals, and having them die out in the end. Hair is hard to animate!
  • Planimal: Garden worms
  • Portmanteau: Boy, does this series ever love them. We have Babookaris, Bumblebeetles, Carakillers, Sharkopaths and Squibbons, and that's just the tip of the iceberg.
  • Psycho Electric Eel: The Lurkfish
  • Punny Name: Sharkopath, Squibbon, Carakiller, Bumblebeetle, Baboukari, Swampuss, Flish.
  • Ragnarok-Proofing: Completely and utterly averted. The only times it's brought up are during the Paris time lapse scene and occasional mentions of how geological processes would have long destroyed any sign of human civilization.
  • Reality Is Unrealistic: The rainbow squid may seem unrealistic, but it's just an Up to Eleven version of real bio-luminescent squid.
  • Rodents of Unusual Size: The shagrats and rattlebacks.
  • Shock and Awe: The Lurkfish
  • Speculative Documentary
  • Spider Swarm: One of the speculative future creatures is the Silver Spider, which has a similar eusocial caste system to ants or bees.
  • Stock Sound Effect: Bear cub cries for the young Snowstalkers.
  • Super-Persistent Predator: Refreshingly averted. The Snowstalker reastically flees after the Gannetwhales bombard it with their vomit, the Deathgleaners give up on attacking the baby Rattleback after its mother charges them, and the Falconfly flees after the Spitfire Bird starts squirting it with reactive chemicals. Granted, the Snowstalker does wound a Shagrat and track it down until it dies from blood loss, but this is a Real Life tactic that many predators use.
  • Team Pet: Squibby the Squibbon from the children's series.
  • Too Dumb to Live: If you're a juvenile Toraton, then walking straight into a nest of amphibious squid, with a highly venomous bite, may not be such a good idea.
  • Too Important to Walk: Every terabyte caste except the porters, which haul the other castes' members around.
  • Totally Radical: In the children's series, the Antarctic Forest is described as 'trippy'. Uh, that's not really what trippy means...
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot: Literally. The Gannetwhales regurgitate and spit their last meal at possible predators while they are incubating their eggs at the shore.
  • Wham Line: "Adult toraton."
    • To explain, the toraton is introduced as an elephant-sized herbivore descended from tortoises. It is then killed by a swampus. We then find out that it was only a baby. Adult toraton are the heaviest land animals ever, and have no predators.
  • Why Won't You Die?: The Carakiller trying to attack the armoured Rattleback.


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alternative title(s): The Future Is Wild
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