Adaptation Species Change

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.

In the case of domestic animals, there can be an adaptation breed change.

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

Compare: Adaptation Name Change, Adaptation Dye-Job, Anthropomorphic Animal Adaptation, and Race Lift, where the character remains the same species (human), but a different type of human. Can be the result of Doing In the Wizard if the adaptation is trying to be more "realistic" than the work it was based off.


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    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).
  • Lola and Layla in Venus Versus Virus are ageless, Artificial Human's in the anime but normal girls with psychic powers in the manga.

     Comic Book 


    Film - Animated 
  • Edgar Rice Burroughs' original Tarzan stories:
    • Sabor was a lioness, but in Disney's Tarzan, she was changed to a leopardess.
    • 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 novel's Bambi was a roe deer in (presumably) Austria, but Disney made Bambi a white-tailed deer in Maine because the latter species was more familiar to American audiences.
  • In the original Peter Pan, Nana is a Newfoundland, but in the Disney adaptation, she is a Saint Bernard.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • 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.
    • Also, in the first movie the species of the snake is changed from boa constrictor to Burmese Python.
    • Nagini's species isn't specified in the books, but we do know she's some kind of venomous snake. In the movies, she's also a python (but she's still venomous, even though real pythons aren't).
  • In Flatland: The Movie, the women of Flatland are the same shapes as the men, rather than simply be lines.
  • Happened in the transition from the book The Incredible Journey to the film Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey. They're all the same breed types as the original, although the dogs have age and personality swapped: Shadow is Luath's breed type (retriever, though Shadow is a Golden and Luath a Labrador) and stone-cold determined personality with Bodger's age, Chance is Bodger's breed type (bully breeds; Chance is an American Bulldog and Bodger an English Bull Terrier) and devil-may-care personality with Luath's young age, and Tao the male Siamese is changed into Sassy the female Himalayan (a Persian/Siamese cross). In both versions, it's the young dog who has a bad run-in with a porcupine and the old dog who almost doesn't make it home at the end.
  • In Murders in the Rue Morgue, the killer ape is a gorilla rather than an orangutan, like in the book.
  • Due to budget and special effects limitations, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory changed the nut-sorting squirrels of its source novel to geese that lay golden chocolate eggs. Veruca Salt's exit was altered accordingly — instead of being tossed down the rubbish chute by the squirrels, she carelessly stands on top of the trapdoor that "bad eggs" are sent down during her Villain Song. Subsequent adaptations have been able to return to the novel's version of events.
  • In the Guardians of the Galaxy comics, Drax the Destroyer was originally a human named Arthur Douglas who was turned into a living weapon by Thanos's father, Mentor, after he and his family were killed by the Mad Titan. In the film, he's an alien and Drax is his real name.
  • Thanks to rights issues, the Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver are not depicted as mutants in Avengers: Age of Ultron. The mid-credits Stinger from Captain America: The Winter Soldier seems to indicate that their powers are the result of experimentation done with Loki's cosmic scepter.
  • In X-Men: The Last Stand, the Juggernaut is a mutant rather than a human with powers from a magic gem.
  • In the comics, Silver Samurai is a mutant. In The Wolverine, Silver Samurai is a Decomposite Character, and both of the resulting characters are humans (one of whom is a martial artist, the other of whom is an old man in a suit of Powered Armor).
  • Stuart Little in the book is a weird, small, mouse-looking human, however the movie changed him into actually being a mouse who is adopted by humans.
  • In Jurassic Park III, the park's token pterosaurs are the iconic Pteranodon longiceps. In the original book, however, they were the less iconic Cearadactylus.

  • 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.

    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...
  • In the Secret Warriors comics, Daisy Johnson is a human whose powers come from her father's altered DNA. In Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Daisy (or "Skye") is an Inhuman.

     Mythology and Religion 

    Puppet Shows 
  • In The Muppets' Wizard of Oz, Toto is a King Prawn instead of a Dog. 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 stage adaptation of the Disney animated feature Aladdin, Jafar's sidekick Iago is a human instead of a parrot.

    Video Games 
  • In BIONICLE, the Gukko are a made-up species of orange and silver colored, four-winged, legless cyborg birds with a long, straight beak. In BIONICLE: The Game, the Gukko is a green and yellow cyborg parrot.

    Western Animation 
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
    • The Shredder/Oroku Saki was changed to an Utrom, whose real name was Ch'rell, disguising himself as a human in the 2003 series. Although it was eventually revealed that Oroku Saki was once a real human being who lived during the time of ancient Japan, and became the original Tengu Shredder. Ch'rell simply based his human identity on the original Saki.
    • Splinter was originally the pet rat of his human owner Hamato Yoshi prior to his mutation. In the 1987 and 2012 cartoon, he was made into a Composite Character where he formerly was Hamato Yoshi himself, before being mutated into a rat.
  • Originally, in the Arthur books, the Tibbles and their grandmother were humans; in the animated series, they're bears.
    • Also applies to Arthur's second grade teacher Mr. Marco. In the books, he was a moose; in the cartoon, he's an aardvark.
  • 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.
  • In the comics, Blue Beetle's Evil Counterpart, Black Beetle, is a human who at various times has been hinted to either be a a future version of Jaime Reyes, or Jaime's former friend Hector. In Young Justice, Black Beetle is simply an alien and agent of the Reach.
  • X-Men makes a few characters who weren't mutants in the comics into mutants, such as the Purple Man. An inverse example is Silver Samurai, who is a mutant in the comics, but was depicted as a human with a teleportation device in the show.
  • Likewise, Wolverine and the X-Men makes Nitro into a mutant. In the comics, he was a normal human who was given superpowers by the Kree.