Typical Cartoon Animal Colors

Many cartoon animals have coloration that's consistent across works, even by different animators, but which is not typical of them in Real Life. This has the effect of making identifying the animal as belonging to to a particular species easier for the audience, for instance if a farmyard bird with webbed feet is white or grey, it's a goose; but if it's yellow, it's a duck.

This trope also can also be the result of The Coconut Effect in action where realistic markings or colorings seem off to the viewer, but more often it's a case of Color-Coded for Your Convenience.

See Analysis.Typical Cartoon Animal Colors for more information. Compare and contrast Amazing Technicolor Wildlife, where animals are colored freely. White Bunny is a subtrope. Stock Object Colors is a Super Trope.

Examples:

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    General examples 
Film
  • Sebastian from The Little Mermaid is the type of bright red crab that is standard to cartoons.

Literature
  • The picture book Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? features a brown bear, a red bird, a yellow duck, a green frog, a white dog, a black sheep, and a goldfish.

Web Comics

Western Animation
  • Jungle Junction features a red crab (Taxicrab), a green toad (Toadhog), a pink pig (Zooter), and a green crocodile (Crocker).
  • Tweety from Looney Tunes is yellow like a typical cartoon canary.
  • WordWorld has a brown dog, a yellow duck, a pink pig, a green frog, a white sheep, and a brown bear.

    Examples specific to certain works 
Film
  • All the mice in Disney's Cinderella are either tan or light-brown furred all over and have brick red noses, pink ears, and black, threadlike tails.
  • All the weasels in Disney adaptation of The Wind in the Willows and Disney's The Prince and the Pauper are brown furred with tan colored muzzles, either with or without tan colored chins. Some of them have tan fur on the undersides of their necks, some of them don't.
  • The rats in Ratatouille all have pink noses, ears, tails, and paws, bluish, grayish, grayish green, brownish, or reddish brown fur, and lighter colored bellies.
  • The weasels in Who Framed Roger Rabbit have more variation in fur color, but they all have base colored fur (usually brown) with lighter colored muzzles with lighter colored chins (except Smartass, whose chin is left the base color of his fur), undersides of necks, chests, bellies, and soles of feet.
  • Frank in The Rescuers Down Under is green, unlike real frilled lizards which are brown.
  • All the elephants in Tarzan are red.
  • All the pigs in Home on the Range are pink with black ears and darker pink backs.

Literature
  • Geronimo Stilton: Most of the mice are grey, light grey, reddish brown, brown, light brown, or orange with white foot soles, muzzles, front sides of their necks, chests, and bellies. Some of them have human-style head hair.

Western Animation
  • Most rabbits in Looney Tunes and Tiny Toon Adventures have base color (be it grey, cream, blue, pink, e.t.c.) fur with white cheeks and muzzle, front sides of their necks, chests, bellies, undersides of their tails, and slipper-like hindfoot markings.
    • Also, most skunks have base color (often black) fur with a white facial "mask", front sides of their necks, chest, and belly as well as the characteristic white stripe on their back and tail (with or without a base colored stripe in the middle).
    • The mice in the Speedy Gonzales cartoons are all tan or light brown with black noses, black, tan, or light brown, threadlike tails, and black head hair. Some of them have light tan faces.
  • Most of the ducks in the Classic Disney Shorts, Disney Ducks Comic Universe, DuckTales (1987), and Darkwing Duck are all-white feathered with yellow-orange bills and feet. Two notable exceptionsto the all-white duck rule is Gosalyn, who is light-yellow feathered all over and Fenton Crackshell-Cabrera, who has light brown feathers all over.
  • Classic Disney Shorts, Mickey Mouse Comic Universe, and House of Mouse
  • Top Cat is yellow with a white muzzle and Benny the Ball is blue with a peach colored facial "mask", but most cats in Top Cat have unpatterned (that is, not tabby), base color (except black) fur with peach colored muzzles and nearly all of them have black noses.
  • Squirrels in Animaniacs are usually base colored (except black) with white or lighter colored white cheeks and muzzle, front sides of their necks, chest, belly, and undersides of their tails. Some of them have white or lighter colored areas around their eyes as well.
  • Most mice in Pinky and the Brain are all-white furred with red noses and pink feet and tails.
  • Salty and all the other seals in the Classic Disney Shorts are all-black with a flesh colored facial "mask" marking (like Mickey Mouse).
  • Platypodes in Phineas and Ferb are generally all teal-furred with orange bills, feet, and tail, not just Perry.
  • The ponies (earth pony, unicorn, and pegesi) in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic are Amazing Technicolor Wildlife with any one color for the base color, any (usually) one color for the mane and tail, and cutie marks that they earn. Oddly enough, the two donkeys (and one mule) we see are both brown with black manes and lack cutie marks.

    Exceptions, subversions, and aversions 
Comics
  • The horses in Lucky Luke series are of a wider variety than usual, and almost all colourations seen correspond to real colours. Jolly Jumper (white with yellow legs and mane) would be perlino, and the occasional black, white-maned individuals silver dapple blacks for instance.
  • Tekno from Sonic the Comic is a canary but she's not yellow. She's green, which is an actual canary color (though it looks more like yellow-green in real life).

Film
  • Averted with the chimps in Space Chimps because they have black fur like Real Life chimps.
  • Subverted with the geese, pigs, and rabbits in Kung Fu Panda in that they come in at least a few colors other than white, or pink in the pigs' case.
  • The lobster in the song "Under the Sea" from The Little Mermaid is colored blue.
    • Blue lobsters exist, though they're a darker blue than that cartoon lobster. It's a rare mutation.
  • The crows in Fritz the Cat have black beaks and legs.
  • Almost averted in The Lion King with the cubs. Early concept art shows them with rosettes but in the final product they lack them
  • Most of the pigs in the animated adaptation of Animal Farm are pink, but Napoleon is black with a lighter "saddle". In the book, he's a Berkshire (which are usually black with pink facial markings) and specifically stated to be the only pig of that breed on the farm.
  • Pua the pig Moana is white with grey spots.

Video Games

Western Animation
  • Hanna-Barbera's character Huckleberry Hound is blue. According to Joe Barbera, the idea originated from an old folk song, "Ol' Blue, you good dog, you."
  • Another Hanna-Barbera character The Great Grape Ape is purple instead of brown like many cartoon gorillas.
  • The Tiny Toon Adventures canary, Sweetie, subverts this by being pink feathered all over.
    • Which was also Tweetie's color in very early cartoons.
  • The goose in one episode of Super Why! is gray feathered all over instead of having the all-white plumage that most cartoon geese have.
  • In Staflik a Spagetka, there's a crow with a yellow beak, but this is subverted in that the crow is blue instead of black.
  • Partially averted with the two crows, Jose and Miguel, from the two Looney Tunes cartoons, "The Crows From Tacos" and "Crows' Feat" have black feet and yellow beaks.
  • Magpies, save for the yellow billed magpie, usually have black beaks. Heckle and Jeckle have yellow beaks.
  • Santa's Little Helper from The Simpsons is a light brown rather than grey that's usually given to Greyhounds. In Real Life brown Greyhounds are exceedingly rare and almost always have white on them, though other non-grey Greyhound colors are quite common.
  • Kion from The Lion Guard has rosettes, which lion cubs in fiction usually lack. He's the only cub in the franchise to have these thus far.
  • Boss Beaver from Timon & Pumbaa has yellow teeth like a real-life beaver.
  • PAW Patrol has the standard-colored pups.

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