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Pantomime Animal

A non-talking animal played by a human actor wearing an animal suit. Larger quadrupeds such as horses may require two actors. Though pantomime animals don't talk (at least, they're not supposed to talk), they may make appropriate animal noises on cue and often can dance as well. Avoids all the hassle of working with real live animals. Children or dwarf adults, on the other hand, may be needed to play smaller creatures.

See also People in Rubber Suits. A human form of this would be Totem Pole Trench.


Examples:

Film

Live-Action TV
  • Parodied with the pantomime horses in Monty Python's Flying Circus. To say nothing of the pantomime Princess Margaret.
  • Dobbin the Pantomime Horse in 1980s BBC kids' show Rentaghost.
  • The Wolf mascot from A.N.T. Farm.
  • In a Dave Allen at Large sketch, a German POW camp guard searches the cargo and even the straw in an outgoing wagon thoroughly, to make sure there are no prisoners hiding inside. Not finding anyone, the guard waves the wagon through the gate, failing to notice that it's being pulled by a pantomime horse.
  • Buttercup the QI cow made an appearance at the beginning of the "Groovy" episode to help demonstrate the first question.
    Stephen: Never ever in the history of show business has the phrase "Don't milk it, Luv," been more appropriate.
  • Secretariat on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson.
  • Sesame Street has Barkley the dog.
  • In the Doctor Who serial "Warriors of the Deep", the Myrka, a genetically engineered sea monster, is played by two guysnote  in a costume approximating to a green pantomime horse. It... doesn't really work.
  • Dad's Army: In "Operation Kilt", the platoon attempts to use a pantomime cow to sneak up on a highland regiment during a training exercise. Things do not according to plan when a bull takes an interest.

Music Videos
  • The music video for Sorry for Party Rocking by LMFAO features a pantomime zebra performing the Running Man.

Theatre

Theme Parks
  • The Disney cast members in character costumes who roam the park aren't supposed to speak, so they pantomime everything they want to communicate. Note that this doesn't include "face characters", like Alice or Snow White, who aren't wearing anything over their heads. Or the newest model of Mickey, who has some elaborate mechanisms that allow him to speak.
  • Patty Maloney and Pat Cooper once performed at state fairs costumed as Rocky and Bullwinkle, respectively.

Web Comics

Web Original
  • SCP-1545, Larry the Loving Llama. Once people get inside the costume, they adopt the personality of Larry, and the person in the back starts dancing with the intention of entertaining people, never stopping until the people inside die or are forcefully removed.

Pale Females, Dark MalesAnimal Anthropomorphism TropesPartially Civilized Animal

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