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Sliding Scale of Animal Cast
Many works of fiction have animal characters. They could be anywhere on the Sliding Scale of Anthropomorphism, from Nearly Normal Animals to Petting Zoo People. They might be pets and companions to humans, simply coexist with them, be humans turned into animals, or exist in a world where there are no humans at all. This page categorizes the works by the proportion and prominence of animals compared to humans in their cast.

Compare Sliding Scale of Anthropomorphism and Sliding Scale of Animal Communication.

The levels of animal cast are the following.

1. All-Animal Cast With No Humans At All: There are either explicitly no humans in the setting, or their existence is left ambiguous - there is simply no mention of them at all. A common variant is World of Funny Animals, when animals (usually at the on the higher end of the Sliding Scale of Anthropomorphism, at least on the Civilized Animal level) take the roles that are normally taken by humans. Often the setting of a Xeno Fiction or a Beast Fable. Often shows up in an Anthropomorphic Animal Adaptation.

2. Animal Cast With Humans As Living Props: There are humans in the setting, but they are not personified and do not interact with the animals, apart from occasionally threatening them. Often they will be an inconceivable horror in this kind of work. May take place in a Mouse World. Even more common in Xeno Fiction than the previous category.

3. Animal Cast With Humans As Minor Characters: There are human characters (sometimes just one or two, sometimes more) with actual personality and names, who may interact with the animals, but they are mostly secondary characters or Plot Device and the animals are the real protagonists. These may also take place in a Mouse World, and animals can still see humans as horrors. A World of Funny Animals with one or a few Token Humans also belong to this level.

4. Animal Cast With Human Protagonist: The protagonist is a human (often a Token Human, but there may be a few other humans as well, resulting in Lions and Tigers and Humans... Oh, My!), but the majority of the cast are still animals. May be a World of Funny Animals with a Token Human protagonist.

5. Equally Human and Animal Cast: Cast is equally human and animal, and both are equally important and prominent. Protagonist can be either human, animal, or both. Can be a Lions and Tigers and Humans... Oh, My! situation.

6. Human Cast With Animal Protagonist: The inversion of 4; the cast consists mostly of humans, but the main character is an animal. May also overlap with Lions and Tigers and Humans... Oh, My!.

7. Human Cast With Animals In Supporting Roles: The inversion of 3: the main characters are humans, but there are supporting characters with proper personality who are animals. The animal is often a Non-Human Sidekick to the humans.

8. All-Human Cast: All important characters are humans, animals are only Living Props, or are not mentioned / do not exist at all. As this is really common (and thus meaningless and doesn't work as a trope), No Examples, Please.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 
     1. All-Animal Cast, No Humans At All 
World of Funny Animals and Beast Fable examples go to their respective pages

     2. Animal Cast With Humans As Living Props 
  • The book Bambi: A Life in the Woods by Felix Salten, and the more famous Walt Disney film based on it, focuses on the life of a young deer, with various other animals in supporting roles. Humans only appear as un-personified, faceless threat to animals.
  • The book Watership Down by Richard Adams, and the animated film by Nepenthe Productions based on it. A group of rabbits flee their doomed warren, seeking refuge elsewhere. Humans Are Cthulhu in both the book and the film. The book subverts it for a single chapter near the end, which is written from farm girl Lucy's point of view, with the farmer and Doctor Adams also in talking roles), and one of Fiver's visions where he can talk to humans, which put the book closer to Level 3. These scenes do not appear in the film.
  • The U.S. Acres comic strip by Jim Davis, and the segments of Garfield and Friends based on it, have a cast of farm animals. No humans appear, except for one Cross Over with the Garfield segments when Roy talks to Jon Arbuckle on the phone. The farmer is mentioned from time to time but is never seen.
  • Flushed Away stars a pet rat, but his owners don't really appear. The majority of the movie takes place in a Mouse World inhabited by rodents and amphibians.
  • Antz stars ants and other insects. Humans Are Cthulhu is in full action.
  • El Perro Y El Gato is a World of Funny Animals, but the humans shown are Living Props who are usually seen shoulder down. In the few times human heads are seen, they are faceless. Unlike many other examples, the humans don't pose a threat to the animals.
  • An American Tail is a Mouse World with cats and mice. Humans are Living Props shown only below the knee to the feet and don't interact with the animal characters.
  • Similarly, The Great Mouse Detective has animals in a Mouse World and the humans (e.g. the silhouette of Sherlock Holmes) are Living Props who are only shown in a scene early in the movie.
  • The Hungarian animated film Vuk The Little Fox. The protagonist is a fox, and the rest of the cast are various forest or farm animals. Humans Are Cthulhu, their face is never seen and the only actually active one is the antagonist.
  • Humans are a driving force in the plot of Once Upon a Forest, being responsible for the gas leak that destroys the forest, but are regarded as Humans Are Cthulhu by the animals and never fully seen on screen. However some friendly humans appear near the end to clean up after the gas leak, in full Hazmat Suit, showing the animals that humans aren't all bad.
  • Warrior Cats is about Clans of feral cats living in the woods. Humans mostly are viewed as threats, particularly their machines. It is accepted that not all of them are hostile, though - even friendly - though the cats still want nothing to do with them, and house cats ("kittypets") are scorned for their easy life. In some of the graphic novels, notably Sasha's trilogy, there's a few that are named and that speak, though the cats are unable to understand them.

     3. Animal Cast With Humans As Minor Characters 

     4. Animal Cast With Human Protagonist 
  • The Mowgli stories in The Jungle Book (and the Disney film based on them) star a young human who was Raised by Wolves. The majority of the supporting cast are animals, although humans (such as Buldeo and Messua in the book or Shanti in the Disney film) also appear.
  • The Ant Bully has a human boy as the main character, but most supporting characters are insects.
  • The first act of Disney's Tarzan is like this. In the second act, the humans arrive, including Jane and Clayton, pushing the animal characters to the background and the film to Level 7. The midquel, Tarzan 2 is clearly Level 4.
  • My Gym Partners A Monkey stars a human child enrolled in a school of Funny Animals.

     5. Equally Human and Animal Cast 
  • The Rescuers and The Rescuers Down Under: The protagonists (Bernard and Bianca) are animals, but there are equally important human characters, both good (Penny and Cody) and villainous (Madame Medusa and Percival McLeach)
  • Top Cat: Mr. Dibble the human character is as important a character as the cat characters are.
  • Yogi Bear: Ranger Smith the human is just as important as Yogi and Boo Boo the bears.
  • Any Looney Tunes cartoon that features Bugs Bunny and/or Daffy Duck against Elmer Fudd or Yosemite Sam is this.
  • Pinocchio stars a humanoid wooden puppet, but has both animals (Jiminy Cricket, Honest John the fox, Gideon the cat, Monstro the whale) and humans (Gepetto, Stromboli, the Coachman) in its supporting cast.
  • The Chronicles of Narnia: the Lion, the Witch And the Wardrobe has human protagonists and a humanoid witch as the main antagonists, but also has a number of talking animals or animal-like mythical and fairytale creatures in its main cast, most prominently Aslan the lion.
  • In Garfield, the titular cat and his human owner, Jon Arbuckle are equally central characters. The supporting cast has both animals (Odie, Nermal, Arlene) and humans (Lyman, Liz, Jon's family).
  • In Who Framed Roger Rabbit, the two protagonists are Roger, a toon rabbit and Eddie, a non-toon human. The rest of the cast includes both non-toon humans and toon humans and animals.
  • The Wind in the Willows and its adaptations, including the Disney adaptation that is part of The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad, has Mr. Toad as the main protagonist, with both humans and animals as supporting characters.
  • Chis Sweet Home has the titular kitten character as a protagonist. Supporting characters include both humans (Yohei and his parents) and animals (Cocchi, Blackie, and Alice, the cats and David the dog).
  • The main cast of Regular Show is made up of Funny Animals and anthropomorphized objects. Background characters are mainly human.

     6. Human Cast with Animal Protagonist 
  • Ratatouille has Remy the rat as protagonist and a few rats as supporting characters, but the deuteragonist Linguini is a human, along with the rest of the cast.
  • King Kong has mostly human cast, but the main character is a giant, monstrous gorilla.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles has the titular turtles and Master Splinter, a rat among its main characters, but the majority of the cast are humans.
  • Pinky and the Brain stars two mice who try to Take Over the World. This world is mostly inhabited by humans.
  • Wishbone runs on the idea that the titular dog plays the protagonist of classic literary works, while every other character is played by humans.
  • In Hong Kong Phooey, the title character is an anthropomorphic dog and his sidekick Spot is a cat, but everyone else is a human.
  • The Emperor's New Groove stars Kuzco the llama, although he's actually a human who fell victim of Baleful Polymorph. The rest of the cast are humans, except for Bucky the squirrel.
    • The sequel and TV series would be at a Level 7 because it features a human cast and Bucky the Squirrel is a supporting or minor character with a proper personality rather than a Living Prop.
  • Oggy and the Cockroaches. Oggy, his parents, Jack, Bob, Olivia and the three cockroaches are the only anthopomorfic animals, while everyone else is a human being.
  • Calvin and Hobbes. Hobbes is a toy tiger who may or may not be really alive. Calvin and all other characters are human.
  • Rocky and Bullwinkle are a squirrel and a moose, respectively, living among humans. The Peabody's Improbable History segments from the same show star Mr. Peabody, a dog, as the only animal character.
  • Freefall is about the adventures of Florence Ambrose, a genetically-engineered talking wolf, Sam, her squidlike alien spaceship captain, and a whole host of humans and Ridiculously Human Robots.
  • In The Houndcats, the titular heroes are the only funny animals in an otherwise all-human world. Nobody ever mentions this.

     7. Human Cast With Animals In Supporting Roles 
  • Much of the Disney Animated Canon has human protagonists with an animal Non-Human Sidekick or two.
    • Cinderella has Gus and Jacques the mice and Lucifer the cat and in its supporting cast.
    • The Little Mermaid stars humans and humanoid merfolk, but also has Flounder the fish, Sebastian the crab, Scuttle the gull and Max the dog, as well as Flotsam and Jetsam the eels.
    • Aladdin has Abu the monkey, Raja the tiger and Iago the parrot.
    • Pocahontas has Percy the pug, Meeko the raccoon and Flit the hummingbird.
    • Tangled has Maximus the horse and Pascal the chameleon.
  • Scooby-Doo has the titular dog and his nephew Scrappy-Doo the Team Pet of an otherwise human gang.
  • George of the Jungle has a human protagonist and many human supporting characters, but also Ape the ape, Shep the elephant and Tookie Tookie bird.
  • The Wizard of Oz stars Dorothy, a human, and has mostly humanoid beings in its supporting cast, but has the Cowardly Lion, Toto the dog, and the flying monkeys as supporting characters.
  • Family Guy has a mostly human cast, but there's also Brian the dog. In some episodes he is the central character (with or without Stewie Griffin); these episodes are closer to Level 6.
  • Dragon Ball has mostly humans or humanoid aliens, but also Oolong the anthropomorphic pig.
  • Peanuts has mainly human cast, but also Snoopy the dog.
    • Similar to the Family Guy example, some Peanuts movies and specials have Snoopy be the central character, making them more of a Level 6. When Snoopy is the central character rather than Charlie Brown or (sometimes) other human characters, he has Woodstock the bird as a sidekick.
  • Brickleberry has Malloy the bear in an otherwise human cast. Sometimes, Malloy is a central character, making those a Level 6 instead.
  • The Cleveland Show has next door neigbors Timbear Sanitiago, a half dressed bear, and his wife Arianna & son Raymond. It rarely comes up outside of the Theme Song that he's a bear but still, he is a bear in a world mostly without Funny Animals.
    Cleveland: AHHH! A BEAR!
    Tim: AHHH! A BLACK MAN! AHHH you see? Don't feel so good, does it? It's very reductive.

8. All-Human Cast: No Examples, Please
Significant Double CastingCharacters and CastingSmall Role, Big Impact
Sliding Scale of Alternate History PlausibilitySorting Algorithm of TropesSliding Scale of Animal Communication
Small Taxonomy PoolsAnimal TropesSliding Scale of Animal Communication

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