— Homer Simpson commenting on painted rats in Rio de Janeiro, The Simpsons
Sometimes, humans in animation and video games have decidedly non-standard skin colors. Instead of being tan and brown, they'll be green, gray, and purple. But they're not the only ones—sometimes, animators have a bit of fun when designing animals as well. And thus, the world is filled with Amazing Technicolor Wildlife.
Animals are a bit different from humans—a lot of them do come in wilder, more flamboyant colors, especially in tropical areas. Animals use bright colors as a way of saying "Don't eat me! I'm poisonous!" or "Look at me! Aren't I a sexy beast?," or even for reasons we're not quite sure of. However, not all animals come in strange colors—a lot of mammals tend to be the same grayish and yellowish and brownish and reddish colors we humans are, with the brightest colors reserved for birds, insects, and fish. (A few reptiles here and there, too.) And while no one would bat their eye at a blue peacock with green tailfeathers, a red peacock with bright purple tail feathers would be distinctly more unusual. For instance, there is no green in mammals (unless you count fur tinted green because of algae) and blue is only found in a few mammal species (unless you count greyish-blue or a blue sheen). It just doesn't exist naturally. Funny Animals in particular seem to be prone to this through Typical Cartoon Animal Colors but turned Up to Eleven.
Sometimes animators exaggerate the range of colors, patterns, and markings found on each species of animal in Real Life. Several species of penguin, like the Fairy Penguin◊, have a naturally blue sheen to their feathers, but many animated penguins tend to be bright blue. There are other accepted variants from the range of colors, markings, and patterns each species of animal can have in Real Life, like solid-colored, non-tabby red cats.
Other times, they're outright strange. Blue dogs, pinkrabbits, pink alligators, orange sharks, and teal-colored platypodes abound.
Little songbirds which are dull-colored in Real Life may be depicted as brightly colored; in a more subtle version, Crows And Ravens are often shown with yellow beaks and feet, though retaining their all-black plumage.
Compare Pink Elephants — if the colored wildlife is actually odd in the setting, expect a character to regard it as that trope. You Gotta Have Blue Hair as it pertains to humans and sometimes Petting Zoo People.
Overlaps with Typical Cartoon Animal Colors, can be subject to Hair Color Dissonance where the non-natural colour is adjusted to something more natural by the viewer's mind.
Monica's Gang. Played straight with blue dogs, green dogs, green elephants, etc. Yellow dogs, even bright yellow ones, not so much.
Changeling aka Beast Boy from the Teen Titans is always green when he shapeshifts, which obviously stands out when he turns into any non-reptilian or -amphibian animal.
Douwe Dabbert is accompanied by a dodo on two of his adventures. While no one is completely sure what dodos looked like, they are generally described as brown or gray, so there's really no excuse for the dodo to be bright pink.
The Wizard of Oz, offering many viewers their first glimpse of actual Technicolor, featured a "horse of a different color", which gradually changed from one color to another.
Nearly all of the animals living in the dark green forests of Pandora are a brilliant shade of cobalt. This is Hand Waved through them blending in when the plants start to glow at night, but it still doesn't explain why they keep this color during the day (one would expect them to either change colors or for only the nocturnal species to be blue, but nope).
There's also Cleo, a pink poodle; T-Bone, a yellow bulldog; and Machiavelli, a blue greyhound.
The picture book Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See features a blue horse and a purple cat.
Another Eric Carle book, Hello, Red Fox, featured a green fox, a blue cat, a purple bird, a red snake, an orange fish, and a yellow butterfly.
Elmer the Patchwork Elephant
Accidentally applied to a village full of Funny Animal wading birds in Chorus Skating, when Jon-Tom magically re-grows their lost feathers by revising the lyrics of songs about custom paint jobs on cars. Luckily, the altered birds get a real kick out of their new makeovers.
Live Action TV
Spanish show El Perro Verde was a interview program that featured, indeed, a green dog.
Some of the characters on The Muppet Show. Sure, you had a green frog (Kermit) and a pink pig (Piggy). Rowlf was a brown dog - not too far-fetched there. But how does one explain Gonzo the Great as... uh... some kind of... turkey-anteater with a cornflower-blue... uh... covering?
Mark Trail, a supposedly serious serial strip supposedly about nature and wildlife, nonetheless frequently features miscolored animals, such as ducks with green bodies and brown heads (instead of the other way around) and baby-blue chicks. Who often grow to the size of Buicks and talk out of their butts, but that's another issue.
The main character of My Cage, Norm, is a bright blue platypus. One of his friends is also an orange shark.
Just open a Dungeons & Dragons Monster Manual or similar setting supplement. Even if you entirely ignore the various "magical" monsters borrowed from mythology (such as the couatl, a feathered serpent based on depictions of Quetzalcoatl, an Aztec god) and the color-coded dragons you will find e.g. an amazing technicolor dream-coated wolf with feathered wings instead of front legs (the Senmurv◊), and Tribex, horned beasts of burden that resemble African antelopes but with a bright blue stripe along its flank instead of a brown stripe (in the Eberron setting).
Beanie Babies range from realistically designs and colors to more cartoonish designs with bright or pastel colors.
Care Bears also come in pastel colors. This works because they are not ordinary bears, but also have tummy symbols (belly badges), heart-shaped noses, and so on. The bears are Color-Coded Characters, though there are so many bears that some have similar shades. Some of the Care Bear Cousins also exhibit this trope; Bright Heart is a purple raccoon, Gentle Heart is a green lamb, and so on.
Many of the animal townsfolk in Animal Crossing are peculiarly colored, in almost every color imaginable. The quickest example? A bear called Bluebear. Guess what color she is.
A lot of Sonic the Hedgehog characters fall under this category. Sonic in particular is famous for being a "blue hedgehog" ("The Blue Blur" being his nickname), but there are also pink, black and silver hedgehogs, purple cats, red echidnas, yellow polar bears, green tufted ducks, black armadillos with red shells, purple weasels, green hawks, the list goes on and on.
A piece of information present in several Sonic continuities explain that Sonic's blue colour was the result of him breaking the sound barrier for the first time, turning him blue. This may make sense if blue is an unusual colour for an animal in the Sonic universe (if animals in red, yellow, orange and green are considered "normal").
The real, less-fun explanation is that Naoto Ooshima initially drew him with black fur, but quickly changed it to blue so it would match the Sega logo.
The small animals found in the badniks of certain games are also oddly colored, such as purple peacocks with red tails, pink and purple elephants, pink seals, purple penguins, and blue gorillas.
Krystal from Star Fox certainly fits under this trope because she's blue, as well as Katt Monroe, who's pink. Marcus McCloud, Fox and Krytal's future son, who appears in one of Command's possible endings inherits his mother's blue fur color.
In the Super Mario Bros.. games, there's the Yoshi species, which comes in a rainbow variety of colors.
Come to think of it, the Koopas [turtles] tend to be multicoloured as well, starting in the first game with the red ones.
There are some pretty funky Pokémon examples. True, they're technically not animals, but most are based on animals. A yellow mousenote the Pikachu line, a blue turtlenote the Squirtle line, a yellow and a blue duck/platypusnote the Psyduck line, a white kangaroonote Kangaskhan and her joey. And that's just the first generation of mons! Yeah, those critters cover the spectrum and back.
It also applied to the fictional critters themselves with the shiny Pokémon.
The orca that ferries you around in Ōkami is a pastel color.
The dream eaters in Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance are based on real and mythological creatures, and always unusually colored. The nightmare versions fought as enemies tend to use dark color schemes, while the friendly spirit versions are downright fluorescent. The latter can also be recolored to a limited degree by the player.
In Jet Set Radio, the GGs' dog Potts is blue in the first game, and green in JSRF.
Minecraft has sheep, which appear in the wild with colors that include white (of course), black, grey, brown (all plausible), and pink (plainly impossible in Real Life). Gets even more bizarre when colored dyes are added to the mix: Not only does a dyed sheep regrow its wool in the dyed color after being sheared, but if it's one of a breeding pair, it has a chance of passing on that color to its offspring.
Neopets is an interesting example. When you create a pet it can be red, green, yellow, or blue, but with magical paint brushes you get even more unusual colors. Paint brush colors include simple pink, brown, and purple... but they also include things like mutant, Darigan, robot, ghost, pirate, starry, cloud, fire, strawberry, and Christmas.
There's also petpet paint brushes, which let you do the same thing to your petpet only with fewer options. Petpets start out with a color/pattern that all members of that species are (such as a brown owl-like petpet) but can be changed to things such as rainbow and custard by using petpet paint brushes.
Tiny Toon Adventures had Buster (blue) and Babs (pink) Bunny (no relation), Furball (blue cat), Dizzy Devil (a purple Tasmanian Devil), and Fifi (purple skunk), among other animals with strange colors.
In All Dogs Go to Heaven Charlie and Anne Marie meet up with Flo to deliver pizza to her litter of orphaned puppies. Some of the said puppies are blue, pink, yellow, and bright green.
Blue's Clues, of course: Many of the animals are unusually-colored, and tend to be named after their color. Examples: Blue, Magenta, and Green (all dogs), and Periwinkle (a cat).
In The Fairly Oddparents, Cosmo and Wanda retain their hair color for some of the animals into which they can transform. Their hair colors are green and pink, respectively.
The Gummi Bears were actually small, mystical creatures, and not actual bears, but they were still as brightly colored as their namesake candy.
And on the subject of cartoon bears, both the Care Bears and the Care Bear Cousins were bright, often pastel, colors. See entry under Toys.
Cyrill and Cedric Sneer from The Raccoons are pink aardvarks. The show's creator did this so that kids wouldn't think real aardvarks were mean and miserly.
Similar to The Fairly OddParents example above, the animals Merlin and Madame Mim become in The Sword in the Stone are blue and pink respectively, same color as their clothing. The animals Wart becomes are tan, which is somewhat less conspicuous. Mim's purple dragon is something else entirely.
Phineas and Ferb's pet platypus, Perry, is teal-colored with an orange bill. In a recent episode, it seems like all platypodes (in Danville, at least?) are the same color as theirs.
The titular equines of My Little Pony and later generations come in all the colors of the rainbow and then some.
Semi-justified on The Wuzzles, given that each character was a crossbreed of two different species (although, oddly, each seemed to be the only one of its kind). Some of the color schemes were fairly reasonable for a "zoologically accurate" animated fantasy: "Bumblelion," for instance, was a half-lion, half-bumblebee creature, and had tan lion fur (correct) and brown and yellow bee stripes across his torso (close enough). But then again you had his pal "Rhinokey," who was a rhinoceros-nosed monkey with carnation-pink fur.
In Eek! The Cat, the titular character has purple fur, his girlfriend Annabelle is pink, and Sharky the Sharkdog is gray.
Also, The Incredible Elmo is brown, and Mittens is blue colored.
Averted for the most part in The Lion King—-they're not technicolor, they're just VERY bright. Downplayed with the lions. While the lionesses are more or less offset from realistic lion colors, the males are either bright gold with cherry red manes or extremely dark with completely black manes. This is played straight during the musical number "I Just Can't Wait to be King", though; it wouldn't be a Disney Acid Sequence otherwise!
Disney's Tarzan featured literalPink Elephants. Word of God says that the creators were inspired when they observed jungle elephants covering themselves in red dirt.
Reef wildlife typically consists of any of the (and often times, multiple) colours of the visible light spectrum.
Parrots and other tropical birds come in many bright colours.
Averted: Most depictions of dinosaurs tend to color them in various shades of brown—and until fossilized samples of dinosaur skin were unearthed, their skin tended to have no texture to them.
Played straight in real life. They have actually managed to figure out a way to tell what color dinosaurs were. (or at least the feathered ones.) They have tested two so far; the first one, Sinosauropteryx, was white with orange stripes, the second, Anchiornis, was black, with mottled white and a rufous mohawk. Confuciusornis, a primitive bird, had varying shades of gray, white and orange. Sinornithosaurus was most likely orange and black. In any case, every species of dinosaur was very likely flamboyantly-colored. They, like all other reptiles, had great vision and likely relied on visual signals and bright colors to communicate.
It's subverted as well. Although chameleons are famous for their ablitity to change colors, and use a pretty wide range of colors for camouflage and to communicate with one another, they cannot instantly change into every color in existence despite what movies/cartoons would like you to believe.
And, no, they cannot turn "pink with purple polka dots" or whatnot either.
Several kinds of snakes have bright colors; most of them are venomous snakes or mimics of venomous snakes. However, there are brightly-colored nonvenomous snakes such as blood pythons and rainbow boas, and Amazing Technicolor morphs of ball pythons and corn snakes are becoming increasingly popular in the pet trade.