A bluejay three times the size of a raccoon?
This trope is about animals that are either unusually large or unusually small for their species. This is especially true of Funny Animals
, which tend to be within normal human size ranges. Thus a small animal (say, a mouse
) will be about as tall as a very short person or an average housecat, which is gargantuan compared to the actual species, while a big one (say, a bear
) would be as tall as a normal person.
This is a common Artistic License
for various reasons, and can be easily ignored when either only a single individual is out of scale from its Real Life
counterpart, or when all animals are consistently
larger or smaller than Real Life
. This trope focuses primarily on animals who are not merely depicted on a different scale from Real Life
, but on different scales from each other.
There are two variants:
- Variant 1: Unusually Large
- Variant 2: Unusually Small
The examples can range anywhere on the Sliding Scale of Anthropomorphism
from Nearly Normal Animal
to Petting Zoo People
. Shows with animal protagonists of many species will often have them all roughly
the same size (with occasional slight variations as a nod to which species are larger; otters being One Head Taller
than fieldmice, for example). Less-humanised species may get a pass, with predators
being considerably larger and pets
Subtropes include Rodents of Unusual Size
(rats, mice, and other rodents), Giant Spider
(spiders), Giant Enemy Crab
(crabs), Big Creepy-Crawlies
(insects and other arthropods), Canis Major
(dogs), and Mega Neko
(cats); can overlap with Kaiju
(giant Japanese monsters).
Can also be related to Furry Confusion
. See also Your Size May Vary
Variant 1: Unusually Large Examples:
Anime and Manga
- In-universe variant: The Pokedex lists Charizard's average height as 5'7", a typical height for a human. In the Pokémon anime, some are portrayed as being at least twice that size. Even the smallest are at least that tall.
- Another example is Nidoking and Nidoqueen, who are depicted in the anime to be the size of an SUV, but the stats and size comparison from the game's show them to be roughly the height of an 8-year-old child.
- Of course, it should be noted that most Pokemon have wildly improbable height and weight figures in the games, a number of which don't correspond in the first place.
- The Spirit Beasts of Cat Paradise are much, much larger than the rest of their respective species. As in, comparable in size to a bus in some cases.
- Many animals of Animal Land are enormous compared to what normally would be in real life. One example would be Kurokagi, a lynx whose size would be comparable to that of a real life bear. A number of animals in particular are the size of small skyscrapers.
- Baku from You Are Umasou is nearly three times larger than the other adult Tyrannosaurus in the film, which are normally sized.
- In The Legend of Total Drama Island, the lake is allegedly infested with giant man-eating lampreys, implied to reach a maximum length of 50 feet or more.note These become the unlikely subject of a running gag. Some of the sharks are improbably large as well, big enough to “down a fully loaded canoe at a gulp”.
- Who Framed Roger Rabbit: Roger Rabbit looks a little large for a rabbit, and the weasels look awfully large for weasels. May be justified in-canon as toons are treated as a separate species with little to do with their mundane-animal counterparts.
- The weasels in The Wind in the Willows segment of Disney's The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad are awfully large for weasels too.
- The villain of Disney's Dinosaur is a Carnotaurus that's considerably larger than the film's hero, Aladar (an Iguanodon). In real life, both dinosaurs were about the same size. This seems to be at least partly because the villain role was originally going to a much more familiar giant theropod, which was considerably larger than the average Iguanodon.
- Another dinosaur-related example: the Velociraptor from Jurassic Park and its sequels were famously oversized, owing to Rule of Cool and taxonomic confusion. Combine all three and we've got ourselves a classroom full of crying paleontologists.
- However, a credible reasoning for this is that, at the time the film was made, the larger Deinonychus was considered a species of Velociraptor by Gregory Paul, the primary source of reference for Michael Crichton.note
- The Spinosaurus from Jurassic Park III was thought to be this variant, but, according to later discoveries, it turns out the Spinosaurus in the film was actually smaller than its real life counterpart, thus making it the other variant.
- Both Chanticleer the rooster and the evil Duke of Owls from Rock-A-Doodle are the same height as a human.
- Some of the anthropomorphic characters at the Disney Theme Parks that were originally small are now the same height as a human. For example, in the film Cinderella, all of the rodent characters are proportionally correct in size, but at the theme parks, they're all the same height as Cinderella!
- Drake, the main villain of The Pebble and the Penguin, for some reason, unlike all of the other Adelie penguins in the film, is actually the same height as a human. Also, the leopard seal that constantly pursued both Hubie and Rocko throughout the entire film is actually the same size as a submarine!
- And the entire Adelie and Rockhopper penguins as a whole, who for some reason all have their approximate sizes reversed! (in real life, Rockhopper penguins were larger than Adelie penguins, something that was actually corrected in the later film Happy Feet.)
- Both Foulfellow (a fox) and Gideon (a cat) from Pinocchio are apparently the same height as a human (more so Foulfellow than Gideon).
- Becomes extremely noticeable during the Elephants' Graveyard scene from The Lion King where all of the elephant skeletons that make up the savanna's resident elephant graveyard are the same size as those of whales! (all of the living elephants, however, are correctly proportioned)
- Mighty Joe Young, the Disney one, which had a giant gorilla, supposedly from a genetic mutation.
- The Rescuers Down Under features an oversized wedge-tailed eagle named Marahute. A real life wedge-tailed eagle (or eaglehawk) only has a 7 foot wingspan.
- Oddly, the Teletubbies managed a live action example (sort of), populating the set with an unusually large variety of rabbit to make the costumed characters (adult actors) look child-sized.
- In Dilbert, when Ratbert was introduced he was more or less normal-sized for a rat. At least Scott Adams could explain a size increase by saying that Ratbert was still living at the science lab for a while and was experimenting with a growth formula.
- In The Space Gypsy Adventures most of the cast of dogs, cats, foxes, weasels and raccoons are three to four feet tall. Smaller than most examples but certainly bigger than their real life counterparts, with the possible exception of Alsatians (German Shepherds) like Detective Spiker who might be a little shorter, and certainly not scaled with the foxes and cats.
- Sonic the Hedgehog and Tails, a fox, are about the same size, which is unrealistic by itself. Both can be estimated to be about three feet tall at most. It's not just Sonic and Tails though, Wave the Swallow is roughly the same size as her acquaintances Jet the Hawk and Storm the Albatross, Charmy the Bee is pretty big for a bee, Rouge the Bat is roughly the same size as the other characters, etc.
- In-universe example: to make the fighters roughly equal, various characters are sized up in the Super Smash Bros. games, including Pikachu and Captain Olimar.
- Most Pokémon based on small animals are enormous compared to whatever creature they're based on. A few examples: there are Raticate the forty-pound rat, and Pikachu the foot-tall mouse. The smallest Pokémon, the tiny Joltik, is 10 cm long. It is based on some sort of Acari(ticks and mites), the largest of which are about 10 mm.
- Jurassic Park: Warpath may also have type 2, but the only one that stands out atm is the raptors. They're Megaraptors, not Utah- or Velociraptors, (back when Megaraptors were thought to be raptors), but at 20 to 25 ft long, they were still nowhere near T-Rex size, or the other large theropods.
- The giant octopus in Ecco The Dolphin. There are huge giant squids, and the largest North Pacific Giant Octopus are perhaps 14 or 15ft long, but this one was at least twice the size of Ecco, a bottlenose dolphin, which grows to about 12ft long.
- The original Ecco also had gigantic seahorses and trilobites in the distant past.
- Animal Kaiser has fish/insects/birds/bats/snakes which are at least the size of large cats.
- In Sabrina Online most of the characters are anthropomorphized skunks, squirrels, or raccoons and about human-sized. Then there's Thomas' father, a wolf who appears to be at least ten feet tall.
- Lampshaded a few times with Kevin in Kevin & Kell—for a rabbit, he's built more like a small heavyweight wrestler.
- In Rocko's Modern Life Rocko the wallaby seems to be about 3 feet or so tall, making him one of only two realistically sized animals on the show (Rocko's pet dog, Spunky being the other one). Heffer the steer and Dr. Hutchison the cat (presumably of the house variety) look normal human size, about 5 and a half to six feet, Filburt the turtle is in-between, while the Bigheads who are cane toads are maybe 6 and a half feet tall, with their heads counting for at least half of that, their adult son Ralph who does not have a large head, and has about the same body height is a little taller than Rocko, not counting his hair.
- Depending on the Artist, Bugs Bunny stands somewhere between three (slightly large for a rabbit) and five feet tall (petite for a human woman). Either way, much larger than your average rabbit.
- Regular Show: Mordecai is a six-foot tall blue jay, and his Love Interest Margaret is a cardinal about the same size. Rigby is only slightly larger than a real racoon, but his younger brother Don is as tall as a man. Eileen is about Rigby's size, which much larger than any kind of mole.
- Whenever you see a Bully Bulldog on a cartoon, he is usually about twice the size of an actual bulldog.
- Domestic dogs have the greatest variation in average size range of any domestic animal, but each breed has its own size range.
- Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse the housecat sized mice and Mortimer Mouse the human sized mouse in contrast to Donald Duck and Daisy Duck the normal sized ducks, Chip 'n Dale the normal sized chipmunks, and Pluto, Mickey's "normal" sized dog.
- Frog and Ant from Word World are unusually large for their respective species.
- The main cast in the Catillac Cats segments of Heathcliff and the Catillac Cats are all cats, but there are some vast differences in height among them: Riff-Raff is about the size that a cat walking upright would be, Cleo is about twice as tall, and the rest are human-sized. Heathcliff himself is also regular cat-sized, and while this is consistent with the characters in his segments, this trope comes into play when he crosses over with The Catillac Cats, as has happened several times in the series.
- Kaeloo the frog is about a head taller than Stumpy the squirrel and slightly taller than Mr. Cat. Quack-Quack, who is a duckling, is in in turn half a head taller than Kaeloo. In the Making Of video, it's shown that Mr. Cat and Stumpy are actually reasonably sized for a domestic cat and a squirrel. To make things weirder, Kaeloo is often described as being little.
- Chicken Boo from Animaniacs: He's a chicken, I tell you! A giant chicken!
- Slappy Squirrel and especially Minerva Mink are the same size as the humans.
- In the short-lived The Buzz on Maggie, germs and bacteria are roughly half to a third of the size of the insects.
- The weasel in the animated series The Animals of Farthing Wood is greatly oversized, approaching the size of the badger. In reality, weasels are smaller than rats. The fox is also too large, at least in certain scenes. When encountering a Mastiff, which is a very large breed of dog, it and Fox are close to the same size. A Mastiff should tower over a fox.
Variant 2: Unusually Small Examples:
Anime and Manga
- In Fullmetal Alchemist, May has a very small panda named Xiao Mei; often times she is mistaken for a cat by other characters in the series.
- Sort of justified in that she was supposedly stunted as a cub due to an unnamed illness.
- A recent Direc TV commercial for some reason showed a giraffe that's the same size as a chihuahua! (the giraffe was running on a treadmill watching a nature documentary film about (normal-sized) giraffes)
- In real life, skunks, raccoons, and oppossums are about the size of a housecat, but RJ the raccoon, Heather and Ozzie the oppossums, and Stella the skunk from Over the Hedge are way smaller than Tiger the cat.
- Gloria (the hippo) from Madagascar looks more similar in size to Alex (the lion) than a real life hippo would.
- In Once Upon a Forest, the badgers are about the same size as the mice.
- Dilophosaurus from the first Jurassic Park is much smaller than its real life counterpart. In this case, though, it probably wasn't fully grown, as Dennis did say to it, "You're not like your big brothers, you're not so bad". The Spinosaurus in Jurassic Park III is a different story: It was once thought have had its size exaggerated, thus making it the first variant. But later discoveries made it clear that the Spinosaurus in the film was actually smaller than its real life counterpart, not larger.
- Word of God from Steven Spielberg is that the the dilophosaur was supposed to be a juvenile, though Jurassic Park The Game contradicts this by having all of the dilophosaurs that appear be around that size. (Doctor Sorkin attributes this to the genetic engineering.)
- Evidenced by comparsion with the cave people, most dinosaurs in, well, Dinosaurs are only slightly larger than average humans. Since they are played by People in Rubber Suits, this is hardly surprising.
- A notable aversion is Fran's friend Monica, a sauropod who is too big to fit into the Sinclairs' house. Another aversion is shown in the episode in which Earl has to duel a ridiculously large opponent - when he finally appears on screen, we can only see his foot! Unfortunately, he is identified as a Dilophosaurus, which in Real Life was with approx. 7 meters of unremarkably average size for a dinosaur.
- Clarabelle Cow and Horace Horsecollar from the Classic Disney Shorts are human sized.
- There really are miniature cattle and horses, but normal sized cattle and horses are about half a ton.
- The penguins, King Julien the ring tailed lemur, Maurice the aye-aye, and Marlene the otter from The Penguins of Madagascar fit this trope, but Mort the mouse lemur is average sized for his species.
- Pearl and all the other whale characters in Sponge Bob Square Pants. If the others are implied to be about six inches high, that makes the whales no larger than half a yard (or 18 inches).
- One episode was actually about SpongeBob and Patrick trying to protect an egg inside Mrs. Puff's classroom. The egg can easily fit in their hands, but at the end of the episode, the egg finally hatches... ...into a live action baby chick!
- Yogi Bear is small for a bear, being about the same size as Ranger Smith.
- This was fixed a bit in the movie, making him small for a bear, but at least a half a foot taller than some of the humans.
- Tyrone the moose and Tasha the hippo from The Backyardigans.
- Nick Jr.'s mascot Moose A. Moose is only twice as tall as Zee the bird.
- Bullwinkle J. Moose from Rocky and Bullwinkle is as tall as an average man.
- Bubbie from The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack is often drawn relatively small (at least from the outside) considering she is a fricking whale and the main characters live inside her. Making her a combination of this and Bigger on the Inside.
- All of the marine animals from Fish Hooks given the fact that they all live in a pet store aquarium...
- Lulu from Ni Hao, Kai-Lan is awfully small for a rhino, being about the same size as Tolee the koala and Rintoo the tiger cub.
- The Disney animated short Goliath II, which is about a baby elephant that's the size of his father's (a normal-sized elephant) toenails.
- Youre In The Super Bowl Charlie Brown, the next-to-last Peanuts animated special in which Bill Meléndez had a hand didn't have quite enough plot for 25 minutes, so they do cutaways with Woodstock's football team curb-stomping teams of various animals. The animation is exactly the same all three times, except with new species slipped in over top the existing ones. First it is cats, then dogs, lastly bison, meaning that the third team consists of bison who are no bigger than the cats and dogs before them. The dogs are forgivable as even though real life dogs are generally larger than cats, there are some dogs that are just as small as average sized cats, if not a little smaller. The bison, on the other hand, should be much larger than both dogs and cats and much larger than even the largest dogs at that.
- Iago the scarlet macaw from Aladdin is fifth the size of a real macaw.
Examples That Show Both Variants:
- The rhino guards from Robin Hood are for some reason, the same size as the film's Big Bad, Prince John (a lion) and his Dragon, the Sheriff of Nottingham (a wolf).
- Also, Robin Hood and Maid Marian are unusually large for foxes, given the fact that the former is almost the same size as Little John (a bear), and that the latter is the same height as a human whenever she is dancing.
- In Fantastic Mr. Fox, while the foxes are decently proportioned to the humans, there's a bear who is the same size as they are — and a rat who is taller than Mr. Fox.
- Rango is especially guilty of this. Rattle-snake Jake and the metal-beaked hawk is able to tower over the other townsfolk, yet in Real Life half of them would have equal, or even greater, size to them (such as the fox, grisled bobcat, turkey vulture, and tortoise). For example, the Gila Monster (one of Tortoise John's lackeys who initiated the shootout with Rango before the untimely arrival of the hawk) would have been more than a match for Rattle-snake Jake and the bird due to its equal size and poisonous bite.
- The realism of Jake's size is a bit hard to pin down. While Gila monsters (Bad Bill) get to be about 2 feet long, western diamondback rattlesnakes usually get to about 4 feet, and 5 feet, while not common, is not unheard of. The largest confirmed size was 7 feet, so depending on where Jake falls in that size range, he could justifiably tower over the townsfolk of Dirt. The hawk, however, should have only been one or two inches taller than Bad Bill.
- While the townsfolk are equal to Rango's size, the spiritual armadillo he encounters on the road towers over him as an armadillo would in Real Life.
- Ice Age:
- Rudy, the Big Bad of Dawn of the Dinosaurs is portrayed in the film as a Baryonyx that's twice the size of a Tyrannosaurus rex! However, the T. rex sized Suchomimus may be a species of Baryonyx, as well as the fact that the 30-ish feet long Baryonyx we have isn't fully grown, may lend some credibility to Rudy's size.
- Ice Age fans however often seem to forget the fact that the dinosaurs encountered by the main characters are living millions of years after the Cretaceous and have obviously become larger than their ancestors, as Mamma Dino is (according to the creators of the film) twice as big as an actual T-Rex. Most other animals in the film are similarly scaled up, including Buck who is huge for a weasel.
- In The Magician's Nephew the talking Beasts of Narnia are differentiated from their non-talking beast cousins by having the small Beasts (like hedgehogs) becoming larger and the large Beasts (like elephants) becoming smaller if they are able to talk.
- Wordof God says that the sizes of characters (as well as objects) in the Redwall series depend on the reader's imagination. This could very well be an example for both forms of this trope.
- The first two books of Dinoverse have a Tyrannosaurus, an Ankylosaur, a Leptoceratops, and a Quetzalcoatlus. There is an index at the back which shows each species besides a human, for scale; put them together and they would be about like this◊. But while they do have distinct size differences in the book, there are occasional illustrations in which the size differences are not nearly as pronounced.
- The Whos from Horton Hears a Who! all live on a dust speck, and the Grinch owns a pet dog named Max. And they all live on the same speck (in the live-action Grinch movie starring Jim Carrey, the Whos all live on a snowflake).
- Most Pokémon based on small animals are unusually large; most Pokémon based on large animals are unusually small. For example, Ariados and Donphan are both 3'07'' tall. Ariados is a spider and Donphan is an elephant.
- The Dino Crisis series have a few cases of this in the first two games. The first game has Therizinosaurus as much smaller than it's real life counterpart and depicted as a super-sized raptor, which isn't even close to what it looked like in real life (the animal was an herbivore, roughly comparable to a cross between a goose and a giant ground sloth). The sequel has a quite infamous example with the Giganotosaurus that appears at the end of the game. In real life, it was about the size of Tyrannosaurus, with a slighty different build. In this game it dwarfs it.
- Hatoful Boyfriend has many pigeons which were affected by a virus that gave them larger brains, which suggests that their bodies are larger as well, considering that their portraits have normal bird proportions. One path involves one of them getting killed and cooked up and he's apparently the size of a chicken or turkey. There's also this. But another path has the human in a three-legged-race with one of the pigeons as a partner - and the pigeon does most of the work.
- Banjo-Kazooie was seriously weird about this. While Banjo is unusually small for a bear, he'll come across many critters that should be smaller than him (ex. Squirrels, monkeys, turtles), but are at least as large as he is. The humans on the other hand, range from being somewhat larger than him, to being freaking giants.
- Neighbors and other Talking Animal characters in the Animal Crossing series are all close to the same size as the player character, who will appear to be a gradeschooler of either sex. This is regardless of whether the neighbor is a mouse, duck, alligator or elephant.
- Kevin & Kell's characters are mostly the same size, be they hedgehogs, lions, or moths.
- 21st Century Fox is somewhat notable for a furry comic in that the author at least attempts to get the relative sizes of the different characters right.
- Beast Wars characters combine all the issues of this trope with common scale problems prevalent in Transformers media, mostly in beast mode. Cheetor and Tigatron, being introduced right next to actual animals of their species, are explicitly according to scale. However, Rattrap is exceptionally large for a rat, Waspinator, Tarantulus et. al. would be horrific in real life, and Megatron is downright pathetically small for a T-Rex. The same scale problems can be said for Beast Wars II (anime) and other Transformers series in other media.
- It is highly likely that the beast modes are deliberately resized to fit their original Cybertron scale, however.
- Some episodes lampshade the discrepancy of character size. A season one episode had Rattrap following a life-sized rat, while a season 3 episode showed Tarantulus preparing to eat a meal suitable for him (a deer).
- The animals in Arthur are all more or less the same size as each other. This includes George (a moose), Sue Ellen (a cat), and Buster Baxter (a rabbit), who are the same size as an aardvark and a bunch of dogs, monkeys, and cats of their same age; and Mr. Ratburn (a rat), who's of a size with the other adults. Then there's the fact that Arthur's (non anthropomorphic) dog Pal is the size of a real dog relative to the anthropomorphized characters.
- The two mascots of the German Edutainment Show Die Sendung mit der Maus are an orange mouse and a blue elephant. The mouse is twice as big as the elephant. Judging from the third mascot (a duck), as well as most of the objects they interact with, one may assume that the mouse is roughly human-sized, while the elephant has the size of a dog.
- Camp Lazlo features an elephant character named Raj and a rhinoceros character named Clam, who are both portrayed as being the same height as Lazlo (a monkey). The tallest campers in the cast are Chip and Skip (a pair of dung beetles that pretty much look like purple hot dogs).
- In defense of Clam, he is explicitly an albino pygmy rhino, making him smaller than a standard rhinoceros.
- Looney Tunes has Foghorn Leghorn, a human-sized rooster, and his archnemesis Henery Hawk, a sparrow-sized hawk.
- Many birds of prey are smaller than roosters, and "sparrow hawk" is a common name for kestrels and other tiny birds of prey. The smallest bird of prey, the Pygmy Falcon, is not much bigger than a finch. So while a human-sized rooster is an animal of unusual size, a small hawk isn't.
- Henery Hawk is just a child. His grandfather showed up in The Foghorn Leghorn and he is closer to Foghorn's size.
- Cow from Cow and Chicken is really tiny for a cow, but Chicken is totally normal sized for a chicken. Both only come to their parent's knees height wise. Also, I. M. Weasel is close to the size of I. R. Baboon.
- Danger Mouse and Penfold will jump in sizes, based on the story at hand. They will usually be regular mouse and hamster sizes, especially when they're in their mail kiosk headquarters; other times (like in "The Trip To America"), they'll be the size of small humans.
- SpongeBob SquarePants has sponges, starfish, crabs, lobsters, pufferfish, and generic "fish" who are roughly the same size as the human, sea lion, orca, shark, and whale characters.
- Zig-zagged in The Amazing World of Gumball: Many of the anthropomorphic animals/food/plants/objects are human-sized even when this is much larger or smaller than normal, for example Darwin, Penny, Anais are a goldfish, peanut, and rabbit all the size of human children. Others, like Banana Joe, Anton (piece of toast), Alan (a balloon), Idaho (potato), and Tina Rex (tyrannosaurus), are the exact same size, even when this makes them much smaller or larger than their classmates. Still others are visibly smaller or larger than a human, but still a bizarre size for their species. Ocho and Molly are both of different sizes than human children, but freakishly large for a spider and small for a sauropod, respectively. This is lampshaded by Darwin still sleeping in a fishbowl, presumably the same one used when he was non-anthropomorphic and thus regular-sized, even though he barely fits in it. This trope becomes especially evident in one episode where Darwin tries to punch Anton but can't because Anton is too short, even though Darwin's a goldfish, which are smaller than pieces of toast in real life.
- Most of the animals in Littlest Pet Shop (2012) are, as the name suggests, littler than their real-life counterparts, though some particularly small animals are scaled up, such as Russell (a hedgehog) and Vinnie (a gecko). With a few exceptions, every animal in the series is no more than roughly a quarter the height of Blythe, a teenage girl.
- Breeds of domesticated animal have been developed that differ drastically in size from either their wild ancestors, or most other breeds of their species. Notable examples of species with extremely large and small breeds include dogs (Great Danes to chihuahuas), horses (Belgians to minis), and cattle (Chianina to Dexters).
- Islands can do strange things to the general sizes of its inhabitants. Animals that are generally large on the mainland end up being dwarfed due to such factors as limited food and limited space. Examples include dwarf elephants, dinosaurs and even Homo Floresiensis or "Flores Man". Other animals that are generally small on the mainland become gigantic due to lack of predators or taking up unoccupied niches that are usually filled by larger animals. Examples of these include the komodo dragon, galapagos tortoises and the weta (a cricket the size of a rat).