A character, almost Always Female and the heroine of the piece, is shown to be almost supernaturally innocent, sweet, altruistic, or any combination thereof, by the way that all manner of wild forest creatures flock to her. Deer will shyly eat out of her hand, chipmunks will frolic at her feet, and birds will alight on her finger, shoulder or head (and not void their bowels while doing so). Occasionally, a male is used due to St. Francis of Assisi being the patron saint of animals, in which case the character is rather shown to be wise, calm and kind-hearted. As for the animals, they will all be cute in most examples.
Any other person approaching will break the spell and send the timid woodland animals fleeing, but not before they witness the supernatural wonder of her loving heart in action.
Sometimes the heroine has such influence over the wild creatures that they will perform small tasks for her. In the case of gods or saints, flowers will spring up at their feet.
Some works acknowledge that the ability to befriend any living thing could be alotmorebadass than it seems. It's easy to forget that the same princess whose singing summons an entire forest full of animals could, if she so chooses, send her animal friends to beat the tar out of you. Squirrels bite and scratch, birds peck, deer kick, and heaven help you if she befriended a bear. Being Friend To All Living Things will sometimes also mean the person is a Fluffy Tamer, in which case they're even friends to snarling, terrifying living things.
This is often parodied. If the parody is clearly referencing the Disney Animated Canon examples below, it falls under Disney Creatures of the Farce, and the examples should go there. Note that, while Friend to All Childrensounds similar, it isn't necessarily the same thing—and, unlike this, is about just as likely to be a male trait as a female one.
This is a frequent attribute of the All-Loving Hero and Princess Classic. With females, this may be related to the myth that only a virgin girl may approach a unicorn.
In Fan Fiction, this is an early warning sign of a particularly blatant Purity Sue, being tricky to play well in a fanfic. This goes double if they also strike up an immediate friendship with characters like Tinker Bell, i.e. those who, in canon, are at best distrustful of and at worst violent towards newcomers.
Some Truth in Television in that a number of studies suggest animals prefer women to men because of their softer voices and gentler demeanour.
A Sub-Trope of Nature Lover.
A Sister Trope to Green Thumb, Fluffy Tamer (a friend to dangerous living things), Nature Hero (especially a female one).
Compare Cloud Cuckoo Lander, Licked by the Dog.
Contrast Evil-Detecting Dog, Enemy to All Living Things, Not Good with People, Animals Hate Him, Cruella to Animals.
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Anime & Manga
Edward Elric in Fullmetal Alchemist. He calls combining animals with alchemy "the most depraved sort of alchemy there is" and Al mentions that he and his brother would always bring in stray animals a lot and beg to keep them as children. Al even spends the entire episode trying to look for a place to keep the cat. When Wrath is fooling around with a mouse and trying to torture him, Ed tells him that animals aren't his play-things and makes him release it.
Asuka Tokugawa from E's Otherwise is always seen tending to and caring for animals. She can sense their feelings and it seems they are attracted to her instantly.
Glen Baskerville seems to have a thing with birds. They always love to sit on his head.
Madoka Kaname from Puella Magi Madoka Magica counts, since her wish in the contract she made in the first world, was to save a cat that got run over by a car.
Shion (Or Sion) of No6 is beloved by all animals, especially robot mice and dogs.
Vash the Stampede in Trigun. Apparently the animals have never heard how dangerous he is...
Umi and Sora, with countless marine and shore animals, in Children of the Sea Though the 'friendship' might be more malevolent than assumed, since those sea creatures also eat Sora and intend to do the same to Umi. It's a weird manga.
Belldandy in Ah! My Goddess, although she talks to the machine spirits of motorcycles far more often.
Ruka Nogi in Gakuen Alice has an animal pheromone which allows him to communicate with animals. He himself says that other than Natsume, the animals are his best friends. He genuinely loves and cares for the animals, whom he can also control. He is seen perpetually carrying a rabbit on his shoulder.
Sakura in Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicle. She's not exactly The Messiah but she is the linchpin in a Gambit Roulette. Her power is described as 'speaking to things that do not have voices', and therefore can communicate with ghosts and inanimate objects. The unfailingly gentle persona starts to develop cracks in the second half of the series.
Alice (and Mokuren) in Please Save My Earth can talk to plants and animals, and makes plants grow when she sings.
Parodied in School Rumble. Harima Kenji, in a fit of despair over a broken heart, rejects civilization to live as a hermit. In time, he gains the ability to talk to wild animals and a veritable zoo follows him wherever he goes for a time.
Dragon Ball Z has Dr. Gero's Android 16 portrayed this way. Interestingly, he had still intended to follow his programming and kill Goku, but otherwise had no particular ill feelings towards anyone else - except Cell, enemy of all living things. In the same saga, Trunks could often be seen feeding animals (usually squirrels).
Gender-reversed with one of Naruto's characters, Juugo.
Also parodied/lampshaded recently when Naruto goes through training that requires him to be still enough to balance on a stone slab on a spike. When he finally manages to do it a bird perches on his shoulder... which throws him off balance and sends him plummeting to the ground.
Killerbee is definitely every animal's friend. Probably because they can tell how awesome he is.
Taken to the extreme when Killer Bee comforts Kisame's freaking sword Samehada after it was weeping over its master's death.
Beautifully used to send up all expectations in the Wham Episode of GUN×SWORD. Wendy meets an old man in a park who's feeding the birds. The animals are gathered peacefully around him, and birds even land on his outstretched finger. He has a pet St. Bernard, and gives a speech about dreams, adding that his own is world peace. This charming old man, loved by all the animals, is the Claw.
Yukina, from YuYu Hakusho, was portrayed this way in her first appearances. The manga has an off-hand mention of the birds being Reikai messengers, however, and later, one of Hiei's Whole Episode Flashbacks has her make an interesting statement...which makes her a subversion of the trope, if anything.
Caro of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha worked for the Wildlife Preservation Division before the events of the third season. In the manga that showed her time there, we see her surrounded by birds she had befriended (Not in that way), with her superiors talking about how her nature as a summoner lets her connect with animals easily.
Monster has a rather tragic example of a man who used to be a Friend To All Living Things in the forest he grew up around. That was before he killed an innocent man in the place because he was ordered to.
Jinpei in Science Ninja Team Gatchaman, big time. A prime example is in episode 18 when he blows the team's mission just to save a baby whale, getting them all in hot water with Dr. Nambu. Then there's his puma in the second series...
Yellow from Pokémon Special. She is not only a particularly kind and gentle trainer, but she has the power to both heal and listen to the thoughts of Pokémon, which leads to her befriending just about any Pokémon that isn't being trained by an enemy.
Hareta from Diamond and Pearl Adventure actually lived with Pokémon for most of his life, and can even make a Gallade owned by Commander Saturn smile at him.
Lance, Yellow's Shadow Archetype, is basically Friend to All Pokemon gone wrong. He hates humans for destroying Pokemon's natural habitats and tried to wipe out mankind.
Diamond as well. Byron even notes how he managed to quickly tame a Shieldon even he couldn't handle. He befriends Steelix, the cavern boss of Iron Island as well, and can convince legendaries to side with him.
America from Axis Powers Hetalia loved to play with bunnies and bison (if you count, uh, sort've dancing with them?) as a young child and befriends whales as an adult. It's so over the top that he even comes to befriend extra-terrestrials, one of which lives in his house (hi there, Tony). Nevertheless, he doesn't particularly care about global warming and whatnot. He also has a very unusual personality for this trope, especially a male version, being a Large HamBoisterous Bruiser instead of a calm Messiah type.
He's even friends with the unicorn England gave him, whom he can't see.
Appachai in History's Strongest Disciple Kenichi. Occasionally the omakes will exaggerate this, such as him thinking he only needs to stand still for the next 20 days and the birds nesting on top of his head will be gone.
Fumina Konoe from Shakugan no Shana, when she's a sort of scout/spy form where she's acting/temporarily really as just a normal girl at the school. It would be spoilered that it's her but it's kind of really obvious. She has something of an affinity for birds, getting easily distracted by them, and they tend to love her back.
Sara in Shokojo Sera is a straight, if somewhat realistic example. Her animal friends include a pony, a parrot, the Seminary's comic cat, the sparrows outside her attic, and even a group of mice that live in her attic.
Parodied, (surprise, surprise) in Violinist of Hameln when Lute's entourage of birds eventually grows into a mob of adoring animals, including crocodiles, gorillas, and a boa constrictor, which prove to be difficult to shoo off. His original bird companions stick around, played fairly straight, though lampshaded by people around him.
One chapter of Osamu Tezuka's Black Jack, "The Painting Is Dead!", features a horribly tragic version of this. Artist Go Gan is seen chatting happily with cute animals gathering around him as he paints in a jungle on a South Seas island... that's suddenly hit by the shock wave from a nearby atomic bomb test, leaving Go Gan the only survivor, surrounded by dead bodies of animals and natives, and horribly stricken with radiation poisoning.
Also played tragically in the newer TV series. One of Black Jack's friends is a young scientist who adopts one of his former experiments, a deer with human-level intelligence, and treats him like a brother much to BJ's skepticism. When the doctor gets married, the deer's jealousy is so terrible that it attacks his "brother"'s wife and almost kills her, then keeps attacking when BJ is trying to save the poor girl. The scientist has to shoot the deer to force him back off and it disappears, never to be heard of again.
Leo Aoi of Beast Master. Yuiko also tries to be, but she's just a little too enthusiastic...
In Buddha, being one is a sign of some spiritual enlightenment or supernatural gift.
An inverted case with Zoro in One Piece who, though he doesn't care much for animals, often finds them coming towards him. An octopus stuck on his head when he was inspecting a shipwreck. A South bird stayed near his side during Skypiea (to get his food) and his crewmate Chopper (a half-reindeer) clamps on his head when he's scared.
Daitokuji-sensei from Yu-Gi-Oh! GX (called Lyman Banner in the dub) was a self-proclaimed animal-lover. He once threatened a group of scientists who were performing cruel experiments on a monkey, and he had a pet cat named Pharaoh that he was very close to. SO close, in fact, that when he died, Pharaoh literally swallowed his soul, making him unable to depart to the afterlife. He remained inside his pet's stomach from that point on, occasionally acting as an advisor to Judai.
Sotomura from Waratte Sotomura San would be late for school for the sake of the cicada that once landed on her skirt.
Oddly, several Batman villains exemplify this trope with regard to certain animals:
Catwoman, in several interpretations, has a feline-specific version. From the tiniest kitten to the largest tiger, there's something about her that they all instinctively trust.
Unsurprisingly, Catman has shown a similar affinity, particularly with the big cats.
The Penguin has a similar ability regarding birds. A Secret Origins special written by Neil Gaiman even has one of his ex-henchmen describing this with awe to a TV crew.
Subverted by Doomsday, the DC Comics character who killed Superman. In one of his first appearances, while he was still wandering aimlessly through a forest, a deer came up and nuzzled his hand. Doomsday, of course, broke the poor deer's neck. He did the same thing to a bird that landed on his palm.
Cooch from Footrot Flats is described this way from day one, and is notable for caring for even introduced feral animals, which even Australian and New Zealander environmentalists would shoot on sight. He says that somebody's got to care for them. However, he's not a vegetarian, and makes some great cave weta sandwiches.
In James O'Barr's graphic novel The Crow, Eric Draven is shown with all of the cats living in a tenement happily following him.
In an interesting subversion, Eric isn't actually that knowledgeable about cats — he names one Gabriel, and it turns out he's a she. A pregnant she.
One of Wonder Woman's more obscure powers is "Unity With Beasts," a gift from the goddess Artemis that fits this trope perfectly.
The Silver and Bronze Age versions of Hawkman and Hawkgirl/Hawkwoman had the ability to speak with and befriend Earth birds.
Aquaman, of course, is most famous for being able to talk to fish and other sea life.
Subverted/parodied in Beetle Bailey — the chaplain (an appropriate sort of character for this) just had crumbs of food on his clothes that the animals liked. He's also played it more straight, as has Zero, who's innocently dumb and used to animals from the farm where he used to live.
Issue #4 of Princess Natasha (based on the KOL web cartoon), Natasha uses her talent of communicating with animals to save a passel of zoo animals from the clutches of her evil uncle (who is also principal of the school she attends).
Film — Animated
Nausicaä in Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind is one of the classic examples of this trope, perhaps even prototypical. She takes it much further than most others; she not only befriends cute wild animals but also horrifying battleship-sized insects, slavering-jawed giant dragonflies and so forth. Her compassion extends to people of all nations as well, so she really is a friend to All Living Things.
The Garden Master in the manga is a nasty subversion of the trope, as he tends to a beautiful, perfect garden and can speak with his animals (indeed, they act as his servants.) He knows of, but cannot comprehend violence and the human need to survive, and a prolonged stay within the Garden's limits will destroy the visitor's will and cause them to forget the outside world..
Just about all Disney princesses get a forest scene where she sings and all the animals flock to her, with birds sitting on her hand or shoulder and joining in the song, making them the Trope Namers.
Snow White is probably the Ur-example. Watch the scene on YouTube, starting around 3:20.
Briar Rose (Princess Aurora) in Sleeping Beauty has a host of animal friends that ends up stealing the prince's clothes so they could assemble together as a kind of homemade dream prince.
Cinderella begins with the heroine's animal friends waking her up in the morning and helping her shower and get dressed. They also make her a dress while she's too busy with her chores, and eventually end up saving the day in the end.
Justified in The Little Mermaid: Ariel is friend to all living sea critters, especially Flounder. Which makes a certain degree of sense, since her father is Triton, king of the sea and considers all the ocean life, not just merpeople, as his subjects. (In fact, the reason he rails against Ariel visiting "the surface" is because the barbarian humans eat fish for food.) So, after Ariel is turned into a human by Ursula and goes up top to see Eric, quite a bit of Hilarity Ensues when, following "Les Poissons", she nearly gets served Sebastian for dinner.
More recent Disney films have tried to avoid this or make the trope a little more realistic, to varying levels of success.
Princess Jasmine from Aladdin, for example, is friendly with birds and a tiger, but they grew up around her, so it's at least justified.
Mulan's horse and cricket simply act like wacky sidekicks along with Mushu.
Belletries to talk to farm animals, but they don't seem to understand what she's saying, so it's just another reason for the townspeople to think she's insane. Even her trusty horse tries to run away when she's being attacked by wolves. She is at least somewhat friendly with birds, but they abandon her for the Beast when they see he's got more food.
Megara from Hercules is about the only Disney heroine without any animal friends. In one scene, she even tells some cute and cuddly animals to get lost. (They turn out to be Pain and Panic in disguise.)
Rapunzel from Tangled has a pet chameleon and manages to befriend Maximus by simply petting him and cooing over him, although the latter verges on parody with Flynn expressing disbelief that a trained horse is acting like a lovestruck puppy with her.
Subverted in Oliver & Company: the character whom the birds help dress up in the morning is a spoiled, vain show-dog, voiced by Bette Midler, singing one of her songs of course.
Johnny Appleseed in Melody Time. It helps that he doesn't carry any sort of weapon, but having the ability to pet a skunk takes a true air of benevolence.
A male example from Disney; Cody from The Rescuers Down Under is good friends with a lot of animals from the Australian outback, including a kangaroo, some wombats and a giant golden eagle.
Pictured above: Giselle from Affectionate ParodyEnchanted, who's even able to make friends with all the normal pests you might find in New York City (cockroaches, sewer rats, etc.), and charms them into cleaning Robert's apartment (the "Happy Working Song" scene).
Parodied in Shrek the Third when the princesses commit the jailbreak and raid the castle: Snow White (Amy Poehler) frolics in the woods, and starts off with a cute little song in front of two talking trees guarding one of the gates to bring a bunch of animals to her. The two trees are quite surprised when she suddenly changes to the opening riff from Led Zeppelin's "Immigrant Song" to make them attack.
Also parodied in the first Shrek, where Princess Fiona sings with a bird... then suddenly kills it with her voice. She then takes and cooks its eggs.
Hiccup in How to Train Your Dragon becomes this, at least to dragons. He gets to the point that he can win over the trust of virtually any dragon ( except for the humungous ones).
Red Puckett in Hoodwinked gives a variant of this. If her song "Great Big World" is any indication, many of the creatures of the forest know her by her first name. Then again, she is their delivery girl. In that number, there's also a scene where hummingbirds carry her on her bike across a river (the Wolf, who is observing her through the bushes, comments, "Whoa! Creepy!"). After the sour encounter with the Wolf, Red tricks him into falling off a cliff by handing her hooded cloak off to these same hummingbirds.
Flippers lampshades it by reassuring Granny that the only thing Red is guilty of is "flying a swarm of hummingbirds without a license".
Red also apparently is a friend to woodpeckers. There's a scene where she is in a treehouse reading a travel magazine and a woodpecker flies up.
Red is not a total Friend to All Living Things, though, as she does use physical violence on the Wolf and on Boingo at separate points in the movie.
Film — Live Action
Altaira in Forbidden Planet has this ability, even charming a tiger, until she falls in love with Captain Adams.
In M. Night Shyamalan's Lady in the Water, the identifying mark of The Healer is that he/she attracts butterflies.
The eponymous Ace Ventura: Pet Detective is a male example of this used straight in a comedy. Animals instinctively know to obey him. He suffered an Heroic BSOD and retreated to a Buddhist monastery when he failed to rescue a raccoon. He's able to get animals to protect him by using baby talk. The only exception is bats, which he absolutely hates.
Layla from Sky High can control plants, and her mother can talk to animals.
There's a running theme in Children of Men that animals like Theo, even the farm dogs who supposedly hate everyone. He's also the one who manages to get Kee's baby to calm down near the end.
The title character of The Golden Child, a young Buddhist monk with mystical powers.
One female character in Ilya Muromets (The Sword and the Dragon) is portrayed this way. In one scene she sings cheerfully, surrounded by forest animals.
I Really Hate My Job: What does Suzy do when she spots a rat in the kitchen? Interview it, and ask how its day has been.
Disney's Enchanted plays this very straight in the animated segment before memorably parodying it in the live-action part - by having her singing charmed vermin in New York City into cleaning Robert's apartment.
In Seven Years In Tibet when the Buddhist monks have to build a building in their monastery, they first comb the ground of the would-be construction site in search of earth worms and carry them away to safety.
Subverted with the blind woman in the Haters hideout in the Apocalypse film series movie Revelation, who by her own admission became a vegetarian not because she loved animals, but because she hated plants.
Radagast the Brown in the Jackson film version of The Hobbit.
In a strip, Garfield is relaxing on the farm, and a bunch of cute animals gather around him. He says "Walt Disney, eat your heart out."
In an early Sunday comic, where he was out expressing that he loves all the animals in the field he was in, and invited them to his home for dinner, much to Jon Arbuckle's shock.
In another Sunday comic, a bunch of cute woodland creatures gather around Pooky and even a rainbow appears behind them. Disgusted, Garfield says "That's even too much for me... and leaves.
Subverted in the Discworld book Moving Pictures. When sending for a new archchancellor, the wizards select Ridicully the Brown on the note that he loves nature and speaks to animals and assume that he will be very naive and easy to murder because of this trope. Turns out, he's an avid hunter, his speaking involves yelling at birds to shut up, and damn near impossible to kill to boot. He single handedly stops the University's tradition of Klingon Promotion.
It is said that he does a lot for rare animals, mainly, keeping them rare.
Also in Wyrd Sisters, where the population of the local forest, carnivore and herbivore alike, shows up on Granny Weatherwax's front lawn, in an attempt to silently guilt her into getting a new king of Lancre. Subverted in that her response is to say, "I don't know what's going on, but when it wears off, some of you buggers better be quick on your feet or you'll be lunch."
Likewise, Granny's practice of leaving out food for animals she's Borrowed: it's the sort of thing this trope would do, but she'd never admit it's for any reason other than equitable payment for the temporary use of their senses. In fact, it's kind of an insight into her character; given the option, she'd just Borrow and be done with it, because she doesn't much like anyone, person or animal, but obligations are pretty central to how she works.
Subverted in The Restaurant at the End of the Universe where one character, Ford Prefect, stands alone in a field, smiling serenely. A deer comes up and rubs against him, whereupon Ford immediately reaches out and breaks its neck. He attributes the effect to "pheromone control" and notes, "You just need to emit the right smell".
In Anne Bishop's Black Jewels trilogy, Jaenelle, being made up of both human and animal dreams, is the catalyst for the reconciliation of the kindred and Blood when she convinces the kindred to open their realms again.
This is a mixed blessing for Una in The Faerie Queene: On the one hand, an army of forest critters save her from being raped by Sansloy, but then they practically kidnap her and force her to stay with them so they can worship her until she's rescued by Satyrane.
Subverted in HP Lovecraft's mythos. Nyarlatothep is described as having wild beasts licking his hands, and in some RPGs based on the mythos, it is specifically mentioned that no animal can attack him. This is probably related to his unnatural charisma and has some effect on people too (he tends to gather a large following wherever he goes). Of course he's pretty much the exactopposite of sweet and innocent.
Also played somewhat straight in The Dream Quest of Unknown Kadath, where Randolph Carter befriends the cats living in the dream world. He aids them on several occasions, and is aided by them in return.
In Frances Hodgson Burnett's classic children's novel A Little Princess, heroine Sara Crewe befriends and tames the rat who lives in her attic.
Her other classic children's novel, The Secret Garden, has two gender-flipped examples: Ben Weatherstaff, who is good friends with the robin who leads Mary to the garden, and Purity Stu Dickon, who has tamed darn-near every creature on the moor.
Subverted in Darkest Powers with Derek, who tends to send animals into screaming fits of rage or fear just by being within a fifty foot radius of them. He explains this to Chloe as, being that he’s a werewolf, the animals see a human but smell something entirely different, which makes them nervous. It’s still hilarious when he mentions that a Chihuahua randomly attacked him at one point and took a chunk out of his hand, though.
In Jim C Hines's The Princess Series, Danielle ("Cinderwench") is often underestimated because she has no obvious skills or magic. However, she can speak to animals and strongly persuade them to agree with her. Beyond that, animals simply like her, and will help her out even if she doesn't ask for (or want) their help.
Conan the Barbarian: In "Beyond the Black River," "Zogar boasted that he could summon wild beasts to do his bidding." Then, he inverts just about all the other traits usually associated with it.
In L. Jagi Lamplighter's Prospero in Hel, Calvin remembers Miranda being like this, as a child, singing to an orchid to make it grow.
Mephisto's staff summons creatures but does not make them obedient. Mephisto manages by friendliness.
In Colleen McCullough's Masters of Rome series has a Badass male example. Quintus Sertorius, a renegade Roman general and brilliant tactician possess an uncanny ability to attract and tame wild animals (including an eagle at one point.) A barbarian tribe even considers him a servant of the gods after observing him feed a skittish albino fawn from his hand.
In Gary Larson'sThere's a Hair in My Dirt!: A Worm's Story, most of the book is the worm's father telling him a story about a human girl who is a clueless Deconstruction of the trope and it ends with the the moral that loving nature is different from knowing it.
Cassie in Animorphs. Her affinity for critters also makes her the best morpher in the group.
The Pemalites were biologically designed to be a Planet of Hats for this trope.
Justified for Francis Sandow in two novels and a short story by Roger Zelazny, but only for animals he's designed, on the planets he's created. When a lizard is momentarily frightened of him in one book, it shows he's entering enemy territory.
He began filling it with handfuls of wheat from his pockets. In a swarm the grain-eaters arose around him as a flock of tame pigeons. They perched on his arms and the cap, and in the stress of hunger, forgetting all caution, a brilliant cock cardinal and an equally gaudy jay fought for a perching-place on his head
In John C. Wright's Count To A Trillion, Prince Ranier. Menelaus realizes that he should have realized that he was dead when he saw a mural of an attack from their starship: the prince would never had countenanced it for any reason.
Rosie, the heroine of Robin McKinley's Sleeping Beauty novel Spindle's End, has the fairy-given ability to communicate with animals. Later, when she discovers that she's actually the country's missing princess (not a spoiler since the reader knows it from the get-go), the animals around her are shocked by the revelation, but immediately determine that "if she is a princess, then she is our princess."
Ilya in Firebird (Lackey). He's willing to eat meat, of course, but he immediately saves a nightingale from an evil water spirit and a fox from an unfortunate tree.
Stephen Maturin in the Aubrey-Maturin series; almost any animal immediately takes to him, including sloths, wombats, dogs, cats, orangutans and aardvarks, usually with hilarious results. The only exception is a llama.
Beren, a hero in Tolkien's The Silmarillion, is helped by forest animals to avoid capture by Morgoth's troops, and converts to vegetarianism out of gratitude.
Veralidaine Serrasri of The Immortals along famously with animals of all kind right from the start of the story. Somewhat unusually, she does admit to playing favorites with some species (bats and wolves) and disliking others (chickens, who she finds offensively stupid). It turns out her Wild Magic has something to do with it, making animals see her as one of them even before she can control it. And it turns out to go even further than that - of course she and animals will love each other, she's basically a nature demigoddess.
Keladry of Protector of the Small has no wild magic, but she has a habit of taking in strays and nursing injured animals even before she goes to the palace for knight training. Once she gets there, the animals become companions and quasi-sentient helpers because Daine's proximity has made them more intelligent and therefore inclined to assist their benefactor.
Prim in The Hunger Games. She brought home her cat Buttercup, who only likes her, as a mangy, worm-infested stray (Katniss wanted to drown him), adores her goat, Lady (Katniss prefers to think of her as a source of milk and money), and utterly failed at learning to hunt because she would cry over and want to heal any animal that Katniss shot.
In Andre Norton's Catseye, Troy had an uncanny skill to work with animals, despite not having done so for years. He has an telepathic ability to communicate with the enhanced animals.
Aretzes in A.L. Phillips's The Quest of the Unaligned become this as one facet of their earth magic. For example, Karetzina of Brighthollow keeps six badgers: Diamond, Jasper, Opal, Beryl, Amber, and Lord Broccoli. This is extremely important, as Alaric learns to his great frustration.
Sings-To-Trees in Nine Goblins. The other elves might pretend they are, but who gets stuck with a problematic unicorn birth or a leaky troll at ungodly hours?
Live Action TV
Radar from MASH. The 4077's company clerk had lots of guinea pigs, mice, rabbits, and the like as pets (including at least one goat), and took excellent care of them, despite being close to the front lines in a war. His deeds involving animals have included taming a wild horse (which became Col. Potter's pet, Sophie) and saving a lamb from slaughter by getting it a military discharge.
Private Charles Lamb.
This was subverted in an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer in which Willow lures a fawn to her in the forest... and she then slaughters it to collect its blood for the rite which will raise Buffy from the dead.
Despite being very aware that she wasn't actually killing the fawn, actress Alyson Hannigan was traumatized over even having to act it out.
An episode of Jim Henson's The Storyteller called "Sapsorrow" showed the titular princess having this power. The episode was based on the German folk tale "Allerleirauh" and featured Princess Sapsorrow having her coat made by all her animal friends.
The Goodies. After Tim Brooke-Taylor becomes Bigfoot (his right foot has swollen from walking around the sides of mountains, looking for legendary creatures) he retreats to the wild (so people will stop laughing themselves to death over the sight of his enormous foot) and becomes friends to all the animals, who join him in a rendition of the "Bigfoot" theme song.
Cameron: Goodbye bird. There's a 51% chance I wouldn't have killed you.
The Janitor from Scrubs becomes one of these when he starts wearing a baby blue uniform. While he switches back to gray to regain his "fearitude", he's later shown wearing it off duty, and surrounded by birds again.
Vince Noir from The Mighty Boosh is one of these. He can talk to animals and is referred to as Mowgli in Flares—although he often "squanders" his gift by talking to the animals at the zoo about Gary Numan and and dressing the lion up as Adam Ant. Sometimes his boundless charisma does prove useful, however.
Howard: What about the polar bear?
Vince: Oh, we got on.
Howard: You don't "get on" with a polar bear!
Vince: We did, we just clicked!
Carrusel has a male example. Mario Ayala has a German Shepherd and a rabbit. He had also found a stray dog that he was fond of- but returned him to the righteous owner, who then gave him the German Shepherd.
Sookie from True Blood. Right in the first episode she is licked by a stray dog and her grandma's cat is shown purring in her arms while she's having a dream.
Subverted in the TV Series Soap, the leader of the "Sunnies" (in-show parody of the "Moonies") is a "Lover of All Things, but [he] hate[s] mint tea."
The title character of The Life And Times Of Grizzly Adams was like this. Some of the more aggressive predators are the exception, but Adams' grizzly bear companion, Ben, is able to deal with them.
Within Temptation's "In Perfect Harmony" is a textbook example, apart from the subject being male.
Close to You by The Carpenters.
Why do birds suddenly appear, every time you are near? Just like me, they long to be close to you.
Played with in Dave Barry's Book of Bad Songs. "Do I really want to be near somebody who causes birds to appear suddenly? Didn't Alfred Hitchcock do a horror movie about this?"
Also parodied in thisXKCD comic: "Wait, are those turkey vultures?"
Ben Fold's Five's "Kate" plays on this trope, to an admittedly exaggerated effect:
She plays "Wipeout" on the drums, The squirrels and the birds come Gather 'round to sing the guitar
And later, "And you can see the daisies in her footsteps," and "She never gets wet; she smiles and it's a rainbow."
Myths & Religion
Saint Francis of Assisi, according to legend. (Next to Buddha, he might be the most commonly featured figure in garden statues.)
And Saint Martin of Porres. He's often represented with a dog, a cat, a bird and a mouse... that eat peacefully from the same dish placed at the saint's statue's feet.
And St. Anthony and the fishes, St. Aegidius with the doe, St. Raymond Nonnatus with cats, St. Kevin of Glendalough with the blackbird nesting in his hand, St. Jerome and the lion, St. Gall with the bear, St. Agnes and the lamb — this is a very common trait in hagiology.
Contrary to common belief, Francis of Assisi is not the only patron saint of animals. There are also Anthony of Padua (represented alongside birds), Anthony the Abbott, Nicholas of Tolentino and Blaise. More info here.
The most well-known tenet of Jainism is veneration of all life, no matter how small.
The Ranger and (especially) Druid classes in Dungeons & Dragons have a version of this ability, animal empathy, but they definitely don't have to be innocent or naive.
The Binder class from Tome of Magic in the 3.5 rules has a vestige that grants an even better ability more in keeping with this trope. Animals start with a default attitude of friendly toward the Binder when this vestige is bound. Animal Empathy, by contrast, requires a check.
A subversion can be found in the 2E AD&D monster-books, which describe how ordinary rats or mice will emerge from hiding because they're drawn to a wererat's presence, timidly following the lycanthrope around. D&D wererats, as it happens, are Always Lawful Evil and are Friends To Nobody.
An 2E issue of Dragon introduced the liminals, a race of Half Human Hybrids descended from water elementals with the power to befriend marine animals, especially dolphins.
The Book of Exalted Deeds supplement for v3.5 has the prestige class "Apostle of Peace," which is this trope. It gets a lot of neat abilities, but it can't kill any living thing. The entry mentions how most apostles drink their water through a strainer to avoid swallowing any bugs.
Vow of Peace is a Feat related to this class. It's very hard to maintain, but the benefits are incredible. Someone with this Feat is very hard to hurt; weapons shatter against her skin, and most destructive magic cannot harm her. However, not only can she not harm living things, she cannot condone an ally doing so; if one does against her wishes, she weeps, and her tears inflict a slight curse on the one causing the harm.
One very ironic example is Vlad Drakov, the Darklord of Falkovnia in the Ravenloft campaign. While Drakov is a cruel tyrant with no concern for human life, he is a skilled falconer, and cannot bear to see his birds being hurt.
Fey in general in the game are like this, but especially nymphs. One edition states that wildlife love them so much that they forget their instincts as far as predator and prey are concerned, and animals who are natural enemies gather together with each other simply to flock around the nymph to be petted and caressed.
Exalted: Raksha with very high Cup Grace is this trope. And it's not even a mental compulsion. But of course, like everything Raksha, it's all fake.
GURPS. The Animal Empathy advantage gives this quality.
Nobilis: everything becomes like this within the confines of the 3e Locust Court, which can end very badly when you leave if you, say, picked up a disease that your body refused to harm. Characters who want to get in on this outside said Chancel can probably get by using the Afflictions system, which allows for things such as "Animals like me (3)", which means that miracles will periodically surround the character with cheerful and happy deer and whatnot, and you will get three miracle points whenever your entourage gets you into trouble.
Amaterasu, the main character in Ōkami, takes this to the logical extreme. Not only do animals adore her, but she also makes flowers bloom wherever she steps. She's a Physical God though, so it only makes sense. Nor is it one-sided — she will stop any time, anywhere, to feed the animals she encounters on her travels, whether rabbits or tigers.
And when you make flowers bloom near animals, they get hearts over their head and run over to Amaterasu to nuzzle up to her.
Guy, from Final Fantasy II, is a lumbering giant of a man... who speaks squirrel, is pure of heart, and has stats that make him an ideal White Mage.
Lenna from Final Fantasy V, to the point that she steps on poisonous plants to rescue the wind drake. She became this after learning that her mother was sick, and could only be cured by the tongue of a wind drake, which would kill it. In the end, she chose to keep the wind drake alive, if you decided to do so; if not, the King shows up to stop her.
To a lesser extent, Krile—she's able to speak with every sentient being, but she doesn't go to the extremes that Lenna does.
In Final Fantasy VI, this seems to be the case with Relm, who becomes instant friends with Shadow's Right-Hand Attack Dog, Interceptor. It may be subverted, however, if Interceptor is simply picking up on the fact that Relm may be Shadow's daughter. Then again, she managed to make Ultros go "D'AWWWW" and let her paint his portrait while he was in the middle of attacking your party.
In Fable if you get your good rating high enough, butterflies start flying around you. If you get your evil rating high enough, flies do the same.
Sakura Wars V's Diana has a specific bond to birds... they flock to her and she can't stand to see them harmed. She actually faints when served Fried Chicken at a Harlem Church. Coqulicot from the Third Game lives in a circus and is a variation on this Trope as well.
Erana from the Quest for Glory series is a powerful mage whose goodly influence you will come into contact with throughout all of the games. Several gardens have sprung up wherever her magic is at work, causing animals to gather and exerting an influence of calm and purity over everything.
Kasen Ibara, the one-armed, horned hermit, has several exotic pets, and handles all animals well.
B.B. Hood of Darkstalkers is a funny case—plants sprout around her, and butterflies and moles like her far more than is normal, but she does not get along with wolves. (It should be noted that she has a lot of "cute" traits and a less-than-cute personality.)
Played even more bizarrely with Huitzil/Phobos, the local killer robot who shows to be quite fond of birds, squirrels and kids.
The "Animal Friend" perk in Fallout makes you this (somewhat). The first rank of it makes it so animal enemies won't attack you. The second makes animals attack enemies (except other animals, which they already do anyway making the 2nd rank practically useless).
N from Pokemon Black And White, a male example and probably a deconstruction, as he was deliberately conditioned into this through brainwashing and social maladjustment, and that deconstruction is a large part of the plot.
Morgan LeFlay in Tales of Monkey Island. Not only does she like monkeys, but she also loves cute parrots, especially one that is made of pyrite, which she says she'll keep as a souvenir once she's done with Guybrush.
It is revealed in Chapter 3 that Santino even loves bugs, as discussed by Moose.
Subverted by Metal Sonic in Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode Metal. He goes through the same levels as Sonic all while freeing animals by destroying the robots they're trapped in (robots made by his own creator), much like Sonic would; but he's only going through them to track down Sonic and because they attack him first. Once he's found Sonic, the animals he's unintentionally freed jump happily around him, but he gets annoyed by this and scares them off.
The Aurin from Wild Star an entire alien species of this, male or female, animal or plant.
Marsha of College Roomies From Hell. She sees it as a curse, calling it "Snow White Syndrome"....until she realizes the ballistic value. It also becomes slightly disturbing during her Freak Out, when she goes off to murder her former best friend, riding Satan's own staff, cloaked by a massive swarm of bats.
Subverted in Dumnestor's Heroes by Dark Lordess Tyfnee. She first appears in silhouette with what looks like a bird, a butterfly and a fawn cuddling up to her while she sings about how her broken heart will be made whole when she finds the man she's looking for. The last panel reveals that the animals are actually a bat, a moth and a hyena, and the last line of Tyfnee's song is her need for vengeance.
Whateley Universe example: Aquerna, who is kind and innocent, and has a special bond with squirrels and chipmunks. They'll do whatever she tells them to, and they'll follow her around.
Rorschach from Saturday Morning Watchmen is "friend to the animals/When he's not clowning around!"
Sabastian in The Graystone Saga is extremely fond of animals and takes excellent care of the horses he and Lady Gray ride. It's just people he doesn't seem to like. As he puts it, "Horses have more sense in their heads than most people."
Fluttershy from My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic certainly gets along with the animals; it's her job to care for the animals surrounding the town be they cute bunnies or the guardian of the underworld.
Batman, surprisingly, falls under this at times. He saved Catwoman's cat when it was about to get run over by a car in Batman: The Animated Series He also saves Poison Ivy's plant for her when he accidentally sets the greenhouse she had with her plants in it on fire.
Numbuh Three from Codename: Kids Next Door loves animals (showing maternal affection towards some of them) and they adore her. Even the Crazy Cat Lady's trained attack cats show affection toward her, much to the villain's dismay.
Admittedly, Aang is basically a spiritual being in a mortal body, so why not animals?
Word Of God is that the Avatar spirit is why he attracts animals.
While not as blunt about it as her predecessor, Korra was the first person to ever tame a polarbeardog and became quick friends with Pabu.
Charlotte from Making Fiends is this. Even Vendetta's fiends cannot resist.
Prowl of Transformers Animated isn't only a male-version, he's a giant alien robot. The savage Dinobots listen when Prowl speaks (... well, sometimes). He even has a room with a hole in it that has a tree growing through.
His room also apparently came with a poster of a puppy, captioned "Keep Your Chin Up!". Even though he made the rest of his space into a neatly-kept traditional dojo, he doesn't seem to mind leaving the poster on the wall
When he and the other Autobots are trapped in Soundwave's virtual reality world as humans in the episode "Human Error Part 1", guess what? When the group stops at the burger place to eat, everyone else eats burgers. He eats a salad.
Beachcomber, from the original cartoon. He seems to have a special connection with birds, and even learned their language!
Jana of the Jungle often communicates with the animals of the rain forest, and they obey her commands, especially when innocent people need to be rescued.
The Histeria episode "When America Was Young" has a scene where Charity Bazaar show herself to be an example of this.
Ma-Ti from Captain Planet. Not necessarily an extension of his Heart Power; in his introduction sequence, he calmly faces a jaguar about to eat his future pet monkey Suchi and manages to save the latter without throwing an attack against the former.
In Moral Orel, who better than God to have this power? In the opening sequence, a bluebird lands on God's finger and it has to be flicked away.
The titular Orel himself has this, particularly in "Nature." Well...the first part.
Roxy of Winx Club is the fairy of animals, so every animal from a bird to a white tiger loves her. (Yes, she picks up a white tiger cub and pets it like it's a good little kitty.)
Flora is the fairy of nature, mainly meaning plants, but she goes into animal lover mode sometimes, too.
To a certain extent, Emily from the children series version of The Future Is Wild. Then again, it's more like she's the friend of species she wants to be friends with, though almost invariably any animal species she wants to contact with becomes friendly with her.
Parodied in an episode of The Simpsons: Homer briefly has a spiritual awakening after seeing God in a dream had while skipping church. As he talks to Lisa about this, several animals light on his hands and shoulders. Smash Cut to Homer in the shower, the animals still there.
Homer: Guys, please, will you give me five minutes?
Zeta from The Zeta Project is a rare male robot example. Animals can sense the hostile intent of several humans in the series, but since Zeta is an Actual Pacifist and gentle person, they gravitate to him.
Steve Irwin loved all animals, and while he may have wrestled an awful lot of crocodiles, it was always to help them (by relocating them to safe places). He loved crocodiles so much that he felt incredibly guilty after once accidentally knocking a croc's tooth out. There wasn't an animal on Earth he was afraid to hang around (except maybe hippos), and he was extremely devoted to his dog Sui, to the very end. Irwin did say there was one type of animal that never got along with him — surprisingly, that was birds.
He used to say that if he was ever killed by an animal, not to blame the animals because they were just protecting themselves from this scary ape-thing that was intruding on their territory.
Another good example from Animal Planet's heyday is Jeff Corwin, who gushed and raved about every animal he came across on his show. Well, except for monkeys, but Jeff still liked them and just preferred to keep his distance so they wouldn't maul him. Due to him being a herpetologist, Jeff was especially fond of snakes and lizards, and always tried to give them a kind word and better reputation whenever he could.
Programs such as Jeff's and Steve Irwin's were amongst the first to reflect a "human coexistence with wildlife approach", which was in sharp conflict with poachers and past practices in many parts of the world.
According to Ripley's Believe it or Not, Elie Gourbeyre of Nouara, France could lure any bird to her shoulder by merely crooking her finger. This lasted only from the time she was six until she was twelve years old.
Values Dissonance: This type of character is almost Always Female...in North America and Northern Europe! In Latin America and Southern Europe...well, back then, it was a tomboy (Artemis / Diana the Greco-Roman goddess of wildlife). Nowadays it is a guy (Francesco D'Assissi). While in the USA it is often considered typical that All Girls Like Ponies- in many parts of the world this automatically deems you a tomboy.
People with autism, for all their trouble connecting with other people, are often said to have a special connection with animals.
A fairly famous example of this is Dr. Temple Grandin, who said that she was able to invent a new kind of cattle chute because she could look at it from the perspective of a cow instead of a human.
American TV personality and bear attack victim Timothy Treadwell really, really wanted to be this trope, and many of the film stubs he left behind show him playing with and adoring wild animals. Unfortunately (unlike Stewe Irwin) he had very little practical sense for conservationism and probably did more harm than good, not to mention he was eventually killed by a bear who didn't reciprocate his fondness.