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 

     Comic Book 
  • Chilling Adventures of Sabrina has a cameo where the normally human Betty and Veronica are shown to be witches. Ms Grundle is a witch as well.
  • In pre-Infinite Crisis DC Comics continuity both the Champions of Angor/Justifiers and the Extremists were Human Aliens from Angor: an earth-like planet that also had similar technology and pop-culture. In their re-imaginings as the heroes and villains of Earth-8 in both Countdown to Final Crisis and The Multiversity they are normal humans from that universe’s version of Earth.
  • Teen Titans: Earth One:
    • Raven is usually half-demon in most continuities, but here she appears to be entirely human albeit not a normal one.
    • Garth/Tempest is normally an Atlantean. Here like most of the Titans he is a human genetically enhanced with Tamaranian DNA.
  • Ultimate X-Men
    • Both John Wraith and Doug Ramsey are humans, not mutants.
    • Juggernaut in 616 is often mistaken for a mutant, and his brother (Xavier) is, but his power actually comes from a magic ruby. Here he actually is a mutant.
    • Instead of being interdimensionial beings, Mojo's a human and Longshot is a mutant. Sprial is also a mutant, too, instead of a mutated human.
    • Lilandra Neramani is the human leader of a Church of Happyology called Shi’ar Enlightenment, rather than the alien ruler of the Shi'ar Empire.
  • A sort of example with the post-Zero Hour version of the Legion Of Superheroes Princess Projectra, who goes by Sensor. She's still a member of the royal family of the planet Orando, but the Orandans have gone from humanoid aliens to giant snake aliens.
  • In The Ultimates, Abigail Brand appears to be a regular human with dyed green hair, rather than a mutant/alien Half-Human Hybrid.
  • In Secret Wars: 1602: Witch Hunter Angela, Angela and Sera are human, not Asgardian and Hevenite. When they meet Gardiner's Men, the 1602 version of the Guardians of the Galaxy, Goodman Root (Groot) and Madame Gomorrah (Gamora) are human, and the Aroughcun (Rocket) is an actual raccoon.

    Fan Works 

    Film - Animated 
  • Edgar Rice Burroughs' original Tarzan stories:
    • Sabor was a lioness, but in Disney's Tarzan, she was changed to a leopardess. note 
    • 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. Terk from the Disney adaptation is loosely based on them.
  • 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.
  • Justice League: Gods And Monsters and its tie-in media made Giganta into a Humongous Mecha and Brainiac into a genetically engineered little boy.
  • In the original How to Train Your Dragon books, Toothless was a tiny Common Dragon. In the film, he is now a Night Fury, a rare and powerful dragon type. The books later retconned him into being a young Seadragonus Giganticus Maximus, a powerful, rare type of dragon like the Night Fury.

    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 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.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe
  • 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 the comics, Deadpool was a normal human who gained special abilities from genetic experimentation done by Weapon X. In X-Men Origins: Wolverine, he's an outright mutant with enhanced strength and superhuman reflexes. The Deadpool movie splits the difference by making him a human with dormant mutant genes, which are activated after he's experimented on.
  • 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.
  • King Louie from Disney's 1967 adaptation of The Jungle Book was originally an orangutan. For the 2016 live-action movie (also by Disney), he's changed to a Gigantopithecus, as orangutans aren't native to India.
  • In Dr. Who and the Daleks the Doctor (referred to as Doctor Who), unlike the main series, is a human scientist instead of a Human Alien Time Lord.
  • Madame Dorothea is a mundane in City of Bones, but a witch in The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones.
  • Used twice in the film adaptations of Annie:
  • The film version of Wolfen alters the title creatures from human-like intelligent wolves into supernatural creature wolves.


    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.
  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.:
    • In the Secret Warriors comics, both Quake and Slingshot were human women who gained superpowers as a result of having superhuman fathers (Mister Hyde and Griffin, respectively). In the show, they're both Inhumans.
    • Likewise, Hive was a human HYDRA agent who was subjected to an experiment involving ravenous parasites that ended up bonding with him. The series has him as an ancient and powerful Inhuman.
  • In Smallville, Brainiac is not a Coluan, but rather a Kryptonian AI, similar to Superman: The Animated Series.
  • Madame Dorothea is a mundane in City of Bones, but "Dot" is a witch in Shadowhunters.
  • In the Little House on the Prairie books Jack is an English Bulldog however his breed was changed in the tv adaptation.

     Mythology and Religion 

    Puppet Shows 
  • In The Muppets' Wizard of Oz, Toto is a King Prawn instead of a Dog. Justified, since after Dorothy ends up in Oz, Toto is played by Pepe. Pre-tornado, he's seen as an actual prawn in a goldfish bowl. This trope is averted with the Cowardly Lion, though: he's still a lion, even though his "actor," Fozzie, is a bear.
  • In Emmet Otters Jugband Christmas, one of Emmet's bandmates is a raccoon called Wendell Coon. In the Jim Henson adaptation, he becomes Wendell Porcupine.

  • In the stage adaptation of the Disney animated feature Aladdin, Jafar's sidekick Iago is a human instead of a parrot.
  • In A dzsungel könyve, a Hungarian stage adaptation of The Jungle Book, Chil is a vulture instead of a kite.

    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.

     Web Original 

    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.
    • Also in the 2012 cartoon, April O'Neill, previously a 100% pure-blooded human in most other TMNT works, is now made half-human, half-Kraang due to being experimented on by them when she was still in her mother's womb.
  • Arthur:
    • Originally, in the Arthur books, the Tibbles and their grandmother were humans. In the animated species they're bears.
    • 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.
  • X-Men: Evolution split the difference in relation to the Juggernaut. Instead of a full-blooded mutant (seen in X-Men: The Last Stand) or a man given powers by a magical relic (X-Men Comic Books), Juggernaut was described as having a dormant mutant gene that he "awakened with mysticism".
  • 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.
  • Iron Man changed Firepower from a man in a Mini-Mecha to a robot.
  • Superman: The Animated Series changed Brainiac into a Kryptonian AI, instead of the Coluan he is in the comics.
  • In Hulk And The Agents Of SMASH, Sauron is an intelligent pterosaur from the Savage Land (and he's seen in the prehistoric era in "Days of Future Smash"). In the comics he was a human called Karl Lykos who was bitten by a Savage Land pterosaur, and mutated into intelligent-pterosaur form.
  • The Imperium, the alien invaders from the first three episodes of Justice League, are heavily based on the White Martians from the comics. Instead of being actually from Mars, they're a species of unknown origin who invaded Mars and wiped out all but one of the natives inhabitants years ago.
  • The Trash Pack Mondo TV Cartoon plays for an...interesting version of this idea. As the core chunk of Trashies are Animate Inanimate Objects anyways, Putrid Sardine, originally a can of sardines in the toyline, is instead adapted into a juice box in the cartoon. He still keeps his oozy green juice and dent-formed unibrown, however.
  • Bunnicula:
    • Potentially. In the Bunnicula books it is suggested that Chester is an Unreliable Narrator and Bunnicula is a normal rabbit. The cartoon makes it clear he is a vampire.
    • Chester's breed was changed. In the books he is a tabby but in the cartoon he is a Siamese cat.
  • One of the few things we know about the never fully released Toon Makers Sailor Moon is that Luna from Sailor Moon would have gone from being a black short-haired cat to a white longhaired one.
  • In ''My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: In G1, Scorpan was a human turned into a monster by Tirek, the G4 Scorpan is a natural-born Gargoyle.

Alternative Title(s): Adaptational Species Change