No Focus On Humans

When human characters appear alongside other races in a given work, the humans are usually among the major characters. By the same token, some stories include no humans at all. The works that fall under this trope Take a Third Option—humans are present, but there are few of them compared to the rest of the cast. Additionally, the humans are not important characters, assuming they even appear on screen. Usually stories like this take place in a World of Funny Animals, but they can also be set in a world of Robots or Sentient Vehicles. So, as this trope says, there's no focus on humans.

Specific versions for this trope:
  • Humans exist and everyone knows about them, but they are very rare in the setting. Other characters might be Funny Animals, fantasy creatures, aliens, etc. (Example: Adventure Time).
  • Humans are very common, and may be the dominant species, but only a few appear in the story, which is dominated by animal or fantasy characters (Example: Finding Nemo, Bambi).
  • Humans are everywhere, but mostly you might just see their feet or vehicles from the point of view of an animal character. There are only a few human characters that have a speaking role (Example: Oliver & Company).

Compare Token Human, in which there's only one human present in the story, and Xeno Fiction. See also Humans Are Cthulhu, where humans are not treated as characters, but as a terrifying outside force, and Sliding Scale of Animal Cast, in which Level 2 refers to Living Prop humans, Level 3 refers to very few humans added to the animal cast, and Level 4 refers to a human protagonist in an animal cast. Compare and contrast Absent Aliens, in which the aliens are this trope for humans. See also Humans Through Alien Eyes.

Not to be confused with Beast Fable, Humanity's Wake and World of Funny Animals for when there are no humans at all.

Contrast Human-Focused Adaptation.


Examples:

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    Anime and Manga 
  • The Pokémon short film Pikachu's Vacation, which was played before Pokémon: The First Movie and is on that movie's DVD, only has the trainers at the very beginning and end.
  • There's one episode of Excel Saga that parodied Disney's World of Funny Animals in which Menchi escapes from Excel and joins a group of talking stray dogs, being animals the only focus on the episode.

    Comic Strips 
  • The only human characters in U.S. Acres are a farmer and his daughter who appeared right after Orson fell out of the truck and took him to the farm. They only appeared for four strips, were only seen waist-down or in silhouette, and never appeared again.
  • Stephen Pastis's Author Avatar is the only human main character in Pearls Before Swine. However, one-shot human characters appear quite often.

    Film - Animated 
  • Usually seen in Disney Animated Canon as well in some Pixar movies, in which if well the movie stated a World of Funny Animals, the humans are still present but don't appear on focus. Some examples:
    • In Bambi, humans don't appear often but play an important role (prominently Bambi's mother get killed by a human deer hunter).
    • The Good Dinosaur takes place on an Earth that missed the KT-Extinction event and thus, Dinosaurs evolved into sentient life, on the level with late 19-20th century humans by the time of the story proper. While a humans do exist, they are more feral and are treated like pests by the Dinosaurs. The whole thing sets up an unusual A Boy and His X where the Boy is in fact a Dinosaur and the X is a human boy.
    • Oliver & Company: The Disney interpretation of Oliver Twist but with cats and dogs in which the focus is on the street animals only in a human world. Only a handful of human characters play important roles in the story.
    • Toy Story series only focus on the sentient toys, having few references on humans, mostly Woody's owner Andy, because of toys' Point of View of the story.
    • Finding Nemo is about a clownfish looking for his lost child under the sea as well in the human world. A similar case with its sequel.
    • There is one significant human child in Monsters, Inc., namely Boo. We never learn her real name; Boo is a moniker bestowed on her by Jimmy Sullivan, who thought she was cute. Thing is, Boo forms a huge part of the plot, which is how to return her to her bedroom in secret, without the monsters' contagion team finding out. Boo is too prominent to be an incidental character.
    • In the prequel of above, Monsters University, there's hardly any human characters in it. Mike and Jimmy are at college, and have yet to use the closet portals into the human world. The only thing human-ish in their universe is the practice dummy. Then again, humans are acknowledged to exist, it's just that only a few make an appearance.
    • The Jungle Book: Mowgli and the nameless girl he goes with at the end are the only human characters. The live-action version takes it further, with Mowgli as the only human character (both in story and on screen), while other humans are only seen as shadows.
  • Much of the drama in Once Upon a Forest centers on three young Barefoot Cartoon Animals on a hazardous mission to retrieve medicinal herbs. There are incidental humans, but none are named, and none get more than a minute or two of screen time.
  • Humans in the An American Tail movies basically act as moving scenery, making little to no direct interaction with the mouse characters that make up the main cast.

    Literature 
  • Richard Adams' book Watership Down has its focus mainly on a troop of rabbits that journey far afield seeking a new home. There are several humans in the story, but few are named, and they tend to be more plot devices than characters. Much of the drama centers on the hazards rabbits face traveling overland, and the dystopian warrens they encounter in their travels, such as Efrafa.
  • Warrior Cats focuses on Clans of feral cats. They almost never see humans or their vehicles unless patrolling the borders of/leaving their territory, and they mainly appear as hazards to be avoided. Only in the graphic novels do any of them get speaking roles, but even then they're minor, and it's because the reader is seeing a bit wider view than the main character's viewpoint, unlike in the actual books.
  • In Survivor Dogs, all humans have evacuated the area due to an earthquake and were forced to leave their dogs. The dogs must survive on their own in the wilderness. The only humans depicted are either dead or ominous people who test radioactive substances on the dogs.
  • Firstborn is from the POV of a magpie living amongst wolves. Humans are shown but very few talk and Maggie doesn't even know their names.
  • In Varjak Paw, humans are referenced but they don't appear outside of the gentleman. The characters are all cats.
  • In Bambi, the only humans shown are the hunters, a boy in the sequel, and the person that reared Gobo after he was injured as a fawn.
  • Wings of Fire: Humans are referred to as "scavengers" (due to knights scavenging off of dragons treasures) and they are an endangered species that only pop up a few times. The dragons see them as dumb, weak prey animals and they're given quite a few Family Unfriendly Deaths.

    Video Games 
  • Mega Man:
    • In Mega Man, aside from the two doctors who built the series' robots, humans are almost never seen. Since Mega Man's duty is to stop the latest attack from Wily's robots, it makes sense. Wily and Light aside, the only other humans who've made physical appearances in the Classic series come from Mega Man 4 with Dr. Cossack and his daughter Kalinka.
    • In the Sequel Series Mega Man X, Dr. Cain is the only human seen onscreen. Compared with the Classic games however, humans are frequently referenced and implied to be dying out due to the numerous rebellions by Sigma and Reploids (advanced robots capable of free thought) going Maverick (Reploids gone insane due to an error in their programming or simply declared as threats to society). Ironic in that it's the Maverick Hunter's prime mission to protect what remains of the human population and X and Zero fight for this goal, but their society is never seen.
    • Mega Man Zero: Ciel is a prominent character, arguably co-protagonist with Zero himself, humans still aren't shown despite the resistance fighting against Fantastic Racism by the city of Neo-Arcadia for Reploid equality. The third game introduces Big Bad Dr. Wile, a Omnicidal Maniac bent on destroying humans and Reploids alike. It's not until the fourth and final installment that said city is shown to be the last human settlement on Earth. Unsurprisingly, the humans just want to be left alone.
  • In the Sonic the Hedgehog series, aside from Doctor Eggman himself who is a villainous version of the Token Human, the classic titles featured no humans whatsoever, to the point where it was unclear for a while if the cast inhabited our world at all. Starting with Sonic Adventure, characters were explicitly shown to live around cities with plenty of walking, talking human beings, but even then very few contribute in any meaningful way. Maria and Gerald Robotnick are vital to the plot as characters, but only show up in flashbacks, Princess Elise and Professor Pickles only make appearances in their own games and never again, and otherwise interaction between the Funny Animal cast and humans is strictly limited to incidental NPC dialogue in the handful of games that offer hub worlds. Shadow the Hedgehog broke away from the trend with the President, his assistant, and several GUN members having more than a few speaking lines, as well as the aforementioned princess and a few others in Sonic the Hedgehog (2006).
  • Onmyoji: It is known that humans and Youkai coexist in the same society, but there are exactly four named humans in this game.
  • Copy Kitty: Zoincailla is a solar system with plenty of life-bearing worlds with native intelligent species of cats, energy beings, insects, Magitek cybernetic Constructs, creatures made of goo, and so on, but doesn't feature any humans.

    Web Original 
  • Technically, The World of Vicki Fox is Lions and Tigers and Humans... Oh, My!, but it's a very mild case. Humans exist in Vicki's world, but they don't show up often and have almost no bearing on the plot, leading to this trope. On the Sliding Scale of Animal Cast, the strip is a Level 3.
  • The Chilean YouTube Edutainment Show Mi Perro Chocolonote  is basically a Farm of Funny Animals which few presence of humans there. In the first version, there's the little girl with her family (father, mother and a little baby, the former even appearing in one song), but in the 2015 version, there's only Lila as the only human present (assumed it's the same girl from previous version, even when the design is completely different) and friend of the other animals. And in one song, there's Martin, another child as Lila, that only appears in that song.

    Western Animation 

    Multiple Media 
  • Star Wars usually has at least one human protagonist, but a few exceptions have appeared:
    • Starfighter: Crossbones was originally supposed to have only alien characters; two humans ultimately made it in as minor characters.
    • "Lair of Grievous", an episode of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, focuses on Kit Fisto, his former apprentice Nahdar Vebb and (obviously) Grievous, who belong to three distinct alien species. Dooku, a human, is a minor character.
  • My Little Pony: Humans are minimal in G1. They appear in books, comics, and animated adaptations but are rarely given characteristic and are mostly Audience Surrogates. By the G2 reboot, humans were removed from the franchise. It stayed this way until G4's High School A.U. My Little Pony: Equestria Girls.
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