Well, this is... jarring...
In many cartoon TV shows, films, and video games, the female animal characters may be drawn more obviously anthropomorphic than the male animals.
The males will look like cute cartoony critters or real animals, while the females will have curvaceous, more humanoid body shapes. They may come complete with Hartman Hips
and/or Non-Mammal Mammaries
. Frequently, females will be the only ones to have human-like hair, often long and flowing
There may be a reasonable purpose for this: Humans are much more visually oriented than many other animals (except most birds), and these features are the most obvious visual cues for humans in telling female humans from males. Other species may have different visual cues
, but what's the use in expecting the audience to recognize them
? And what else
could you do to distinguish that your animal character is female? Just give them human-like lady features and call it a day.
It is worth noting, perhaps, that facial hair is probably the one mostly male-exclusive attribute used for such characters, this being one clue of masculinity that is not hidden by clothing.
(Then again, this might be done for some other reasons
, though it is hard to imagine what they might be
In other words, the female animals tend to be at least a half-notch closer to the "human" end of the Sliding Scale of Anthropomorphism
than the male animals. A few of them may even be very anthro
compared to their male equivalents.
This trope applies only to characters based on actual known species. Aliens, monsters and mythical beings can have Bizarre Alien Biology
, after all.
See also Men Are Generic, Women Are Special
, Cute Monster Girl
, Humanoid Animals
and — of course — Cat Girl
. Subtrope of Bizarre Sexual Dimorphism
. Furry Female Mane
is a subtrope of this.
Sometimes results in Furry Confusion
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- The female hamster in the Kia electric car commercial looks humanoid to the point of being a Petting Zoo Person. Contrast that with the male hamsters in the same commercial and any hamster in all other Kia car commercials, who are also giant, but are still just Funny Animals.
Anime & Manga
- Little Bit Beastly tends to happen on female versions of otherwise Petting Zoo People characters in most anime and manga works.
- Every character in the world of Montana Jones (an Indiana Jones Expy) is an anthropomorphic feline. While their bodies are like those of humans, they have fur, and their heads resemble the ones of big cats, like for example tigers - with the notable exception of Melissa Sone, who basically looks like a human female with cat ears and cat nose. No fur (or fur that just happens to have the colour of Caucasian skin?), and no protruding animal-like muzzle.
- Subverted with the Ctarl-Ctarl of Outlaw Star: the few males of the species we see (Aisha's subordinates and ranking officer) have fewer feline features than Ctarl-Ctarl women.
- Rebecca of Dreamkix is noticeably more human-like (and taller) than her teammates. She also is the only one of the regular female cast to have a Furry Female Mane.
- In the Fritz the Cat comics and movies (Fritz the Cat and The Nine Lives of Fritz the Cat), the female animals look noticeably more anthropomorphic than Fritz and the other male characters.
- In Blacksad, the bodies are more or less completely anthropomorphic no matter which gender the character is, but the women often have more human-like faces than the men.
- Averted in Grandville, where the male and female anthropomorphic characters both have the same level of anthropomorphism.
- In the Ze Carioca comics starring Jose Carioca from The Three Caballeros, the female parrots look distinctly more humanoid than the male parrots, to the point that the former have Non-Mammal Mammaries.
- This is taken to extremes in the 2000 AD strip "The Meltdown Man". Sergeant Nick Stone is blasted into the future, where he finds a race of genetically modified animals with human attributes. He allies himself with three of them, a male wolf, a male bull, and a female cat. Here you can see the three of them together, while the animal traits in the two male ones are obvious, if I hadn't told you this girl was half-cat you probably wouln't noticed.
- A comic book spinoff of Who Framed Roger Rabbit introduces, Jessica's rival, Winnie Weasel. The male weasels depicted in the movie are built roughly like real weasels standing on their back legs. This is Winnie.
- Another Disney example: look at Morgana Macawber (human-like) compared with Magica DeSpell in the more recent Darkwing Duck comics. (Also, for reference, Sarah Bellum and Beatrice Brute versus Ammonia Pine and Gosalyn.)
- In Finder female Nyima are humanoid bipeds, while the males look like lions. The reasons for this aren't fully explained, but it seems to involve some sort of hormonal manipulation that suggests the Nyima were uplifted.
- Inverted in Kung Fu Panda in that Tai Lung (a male snow leopard) has a body that looks more human-like than that of Master Tigress [a female tiger]. His body is muscular and looks more human-like so as to contrast with her sleeker, leaner body.
- Sawyer from Cats Don't Dance looks more human-like than Danny. While Danny's really, really skinny Sawyer's got Hartman Hips and a leg to body ratio closer to human.
- The female mice in An American Tail look a little more human-like than the male mice, more so in the sequels.
- In the first film, Bridget has Caucasian flesh-colored hands which look much more human than those of any of the other mice, male or female.
- Same holds true for the mice in The Great Mouse Detective, especially with Kitty Mouse.
- Olivia Flaversham may be an aversion, but then again she's young.
- In The Pebble and the Penguin, the female penguins are given scary human hips way up where their wishbones should be and look more human-like in general.
- Inverted (!) in Rover Dangerfield, where the character of Rover is humanized quite a bit (he can even stand on his hind legs while doing comedic bits), while the canine love interest looks like a real dog.
- Maid Marian from Disney's Robin Hood. What makes this even more obvious is the fact that all of her dance moves are based on those of Snow White!
- Goldie from Rock-A-Doodle.
- Beans looks considerably more human-like than Rango. Also, Angelique the vixen looks considerably more human-like than the other characters, whether male or female.
- Frog!Tiana from The Princess and the Frog has a somewhat more humanoid body than that of Frog!Naveen.
- Inverted in Open Season, where Eliot the Mule Deer is almost always bipedal, while Giselle, his love interest, is a full-on quadrupedal Talking Animal.
- Subverted: Abby Mallard in Chicken Little is portrayed as a Petting Zoo Person in the Movie Within A Movie, but so is Chicken Little and Runt.
- Inverted in the Madagascar franchise. For example, Moto Moto the male hippo has a somewhat humanoid chest, but Gloria the female hippo doesn't. Also, Vitaly the male tiger looks a little more humanoid in the chest than the other cats in the franchise, male or female.
- A minor case appears in Devil's Dare; the male green demons have visibly wrinkled wings, bald heads, and three-toed talon feet, while the female demons (on the original backglass art) resemble green-skinned demonic babes with smooth wings.
- Krystal from Star Fox Adventures is noticeably more "human"-like than everyone else. The most blatant feature, aside from the Wrong-Type-of-Mammal Mammaries, is her human-like head hair.
- With the notable exception of The Contessa (who is a spider-centaur-thing with no humanoid legs), the female characters in the Sly Cooper video games tend to have more human-like bodies than the male characters.
- With the exception of THE inspector, there's not much difference, especially in the Holland hotel in Sly 3.
- Rouge the Bat from Sonic the Hedgehog qualifies, even compared to the other females.
- When Tess is turned into an ottsel at the end of Jak 3: Wastelander her proportions remain quite human, much more human than any of the males shown.
- Ratchet & Clank, sister series to the above, also plays with this trope. Sasha, Girl of the Week from game three, has a decidedly human face shape and hair. Both Ratchet and Sasha's own father have more feline facial features (and, in her father's case, a lion-like mane for hair).
- See also Angela from game two, who's actually a female Lombax (Ratchet's species).
- Inverted in Shining Force. Kris and Alf in Shining Force feature very canine features, Sarah and May do so in Shining Force the Sword of Hajya, and so does Grace in Shining Force 3
- Tauren and especially worgen females in World of Warcraft are more human in body shape than their male counterparts. Furbolgs, quillboars, and wolvars subvert this, however, as females of those species look no different from the males.
- Candy Kong (see picture) is far more human than any of the other Kongs in the original Donkey Kong Country. Dixie and Wrinkly, who were both introduced in Donkey Kong Country 2, aren't nearly as humanoid.
- Candy was the only female Kong with this distinction, until Nintendo redesigned Tiny Kong in Diddy Kong Racing DS and onward.
- DK Barrel Blast adds to the mix Kalypso, a female Kremling with an afro and a more human-like body than other Kremlings (though some of them do have a rather human-like muscular build).
- Jynx from Pokémon is essentially this trope, although it looks more like a full-on human than an animal. This is also true with Gothitelle.
- Gardevoir and Lopunny both would be a more straight example. Subverted however, by the fact that these Pokemon can be both genders.
- In an inversion, many Fighting-types such as Hitmonchan, Machoke, Throh, Sawk, and Hariyama have a stereotypical human male build, though in many cases there's a slight chance they can be female.
- Tawna, Coco and the trophy girls from the Crash Bandicoot series are more humanoid compared to Crash himself and other animal characters.
- The females of Solatorobo tend to have peach fur and very short muzzles, while the males have longer, more animal-like noses and fur colors from a wider palette like white, grey, or orange. Males may also have bicolor fur (such as Red's tan-and-white face) or distinctly animal-like patterns (Québec is tiger-striped), while all females ever get is a single stripe on each cheek (though that's all some males have, too).
- The exception to the "short-muzzle girls" rule is Merveille, who has a longer nose with her peach fur. Notably, this tendency toward short muzzles tends to make people mistake Red's sister Chocolat for a Felineko when she is in fact just a short-faced Caninu.
- Enough people think that Tera follows this, with the all-male cute critter style Popori and the much more human-ish Elin.
- Inverted with Ramone (who really turns out to be Nermal in disguise) and Arlene in Garfields Fun Fest. Arlene is a typical Funny Animal, but Ramone is a full-on Petting Zoo Person.
- A few of Zoophobia's female animal characters are this, specifically Kayla. Compare her and Zill in the last panel of this page.
- Zig-zagged with Furry work. Often, a particular artist's characters have about the same level of anthropomorphism regardless of gender, while others fall into this.
- In Adventures of the Puffincat the image of a female puffincat is essentially a woman with cat ears and a beak (as opposed to the male puffincat, which is more or less what you expect when you imagine something with that name). Amusingly enough, the only difference the narrator recognises is the presence of a bow in her head.
- In Tiny Toon Adventures, Binky Bunny, Bimbette, and Margot Mallard are more anthropomorphic than Buster Bunny, Johnny Pew, and Plucky Duck respectively. Averted with Fifi La Fume and Shirley The Loon, and mostly averted with Babs Bunny.
- In SWAT Kats, the female cats look more anthropomorphic than the male cats (and only males have distinctly cat-like striped coats and whiskers). This is mostly in the heads/faces and hands/feet; Male body builds are fairly humanoid with a few exceptions.
- In Heathcliff and the Catillac Cats, Cleo looks distinctly more anthropomorphic than Riff Raff, Heathcliff and the other cats.
- Notably, however, Hector, Wordsworth and Mungo were about the same height, as were most dogs and other adversaries.
- An exception is Heathcliff's girlfriend Sonja, who has the same round body type that he does. Notably, Sonja is from the original comic unlike Cleo.
- Gadget Hackwrench, the female mouse from Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers, looks more human like than the male mouse Monterey Jack.
- The female Dogfaces in Goof Troop and A Goofy Movie look a little more human-like than the male ones, to the point where their noses, muzzles, and ears can often be their only non-human feature.
- This has been lampshaded by both Don Rosa and Carl Barks, who draw "real" historical characters with this generic doglike feature because Walt Disney informed both artists that it would be less jarring to see them around Funny Animals.
- Walt Disney wasn't even alive when Don Rosa began to draw Duck-comics. In any case, Barks made exceptions quite often, especially with many 'ethnic' characters. Rosa on the other hand made only one exception, in Quest for Kalevala, where the Finnish god-heroes were drawn with human noses and five fingers.
- Rebecca Cunningham from TaleSpin has a slimmer, more anthropomorphic body than Baloo.
- In Disney's Springtime for Pluto, a male caterpillar with a long green body and multiple arms and legs transforms into a completely humanoid dancing female butterfly
- Lola Bunny and Melissa Duck from the Looney Tunes franchise (the former being from more recent works) look more anthropomorphic than Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck, respectively.
- The female cats in Tom and Jerry look more humanoid than Tom does, except those in Chuck Jones directed ones.
- Bernice, Grandma-Ma, and Agnes Delrooney from Duckman look more humanoid than Eric Duckman and the other male ducks.
- Kitty Katswell of T.U.F.F. Puppy looks more humanoid than Dudley Puppy.
- Many of the female characters from Arthur.
- Magaret the cardinal from Regular Show is a Petting Zoo Person whereas Mordicai the bluejay is somewhere between a Funny Animal and a Borderline PZP.
- Margaret's friend Eileen is a humanoid mole, but apart from her tail and feet she looks completely human.
- Inverted with the two cats from The Simpsons; the Simpson family's pet cat, Snowball II (a female cat) and Scratchy (a male Funny Animal cat) from The Itchy & Scratchy Show. This is likely because Snowball II is a "real" cat and Scratchy is a "cartoon" cat.
- In the second cartoon series, but not in the three live-action movies, Alvin and the Chipmunks are either Borderline Petting Zoo People or straight-up Petting Zoo People, but the Chipettes are Borderline Little Bit Beastly.
- Rita is a Civilized Animal cat who often walks on two legs, but her friend, Runt, is a four-legged Talking Animal dog.
- Newt the dog is a Civilized Animal and Wilford B. Wolf is a Funny Animal, but Minerva Mink is a Petting Zoo Person.
- Averted when Wilford become a werewolf, which in that case, he is just as anthropomorphic as Minerva.
- And played with regarding Slappy in the "Buttermilk Slappy" short. She's shown as being more human-like during when she looks to be in roughly mid 20s or so. Then she "regresses" back to the more squirrellike form we know and love.
- Also played with regarding Dot Warner in "Roll Over Beethoven". When she dresses in a red dress and shoes, she looks inexplicably more human-like than usual.
- Mousey Galore is more anthropomorphic than the other mice in Pinky and the Brain, even more so than the other female mice.
- The two adult female leads in Birdz (Betty Storkowitz and Miss Finch) qualify. Both have Non-Mammal Mammaries and the latter has Hartman Hips.
- Played straight in Kaeloo, where the female animals shown in men's magazines are bordering on Little Bit Beastly. Even Kaeloo herself, who lacks most forms of Tertiary Sexual Characteristics has some serious junk in the trunk and has a light curve to her hips which is often accentuated in the way she stands. She is also significantly less prone to dropping a Furry Reminder than her male friends.
- Common in Hanna-Barbera cartoons with animal protagonists. One notable aversion being Cindy Bear.
- Actually, the female animals were generally sleeker and daintier, but most stuck pretty much to the body conventions of their male companions (thus were merely female, and not sexualised from the viewers perspective). The only real examples of this trope would be Floral Rugg from The Hillbilly Bears and a few female cats that appeared in Top Cat.
- Clarice the chipmunk is more anthropomorphic than Chip 'n Dale, to the point that she is a Petting Zoo Person.
- Early example: The titular character of the 1932 Van Breuen cartoon, "The Farmerette."
- Generally averted in The Amazing World of Gumball: if we see male and female characters of the same species, either the difference in body shape is minor with neither being more humanlike (after season one, Penny's body is more curved than her father's) or doesn't exist (body-wise Gumball is identical to his mother at his age, but shorter, even having the same large hips). However, there are a few straight examples:
- The Wilson family◊: the father and son are almost naked cephalothoraxes covered in fur/hair. The mother and daughter are still quite cartoonish, but have heads distinct from their bodies, are fully clothed, and only have visible hair on their heads and faces. Nothing but their rainbow colored hair even indicates it not being Gender Equals Breed.
- The Robinsons◊: the husband and his son have pill shaped bodies and no necks. The wife, again, is still not very humanlike, but has Hartman Hips and a clear division between her head and body.