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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 in 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.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    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).

    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 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.
  • 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 (non-venomous) python.
  • 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 demise 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.

    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.

    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...

     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.

    Theatre 
  • In the stage adaptation of the Disney animated feature Aladdin, Jafar's sidekick Iago is a human instead of a parrot.

    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.
    • 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.


Adaptation SequenceDerivative WorksAdaptational Attractiveness
Tropesaurus IndexAnimal TropesAdoring the Pests
Adaptational VillainyMedia Adaptation TropesAdaptational Angst Upgrade

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