I've seen many people suggest this isn't a trope. There are two examples this trope calls to mind, neither one is animated.
First, the Seinfeld episode "The Wizard" in which Elaine suspects her boyfriend is black. He has marginally darker skin than "white" but much fairer skin than "black." He Ambiguously Brown
, not too light, not too dark. But Seinfeld (as usual) is only lampshading and deconstructing a trope that appears elsewhere.
Consider the "party" scene underground in the Matrix sequels. We're so far in the future that there aren't "Australians" and "Africans"; everyone is from one place: Zion.
The genetics of skin coloring currently theorizes that fairer skin was developed at northern lattitutdes due to limited sun exposure, so why are people so dark in the underground/overcast world of the Matrix?
Simple: The Waichowskis wanted to demonstrate how multiethnic the celebratory HUMANITY of the future would be, complete with tribal music. The people aren't African or African-American or Mexican; they're Ambiguously Brown
. Contrast these mostly-dark-skinned humans against the Merovingian and the Albinos
(villains all), and even the ethnic makeup in the Merovingian's restaurant.
The latter example is debatable because it interprets the work, but Seinfeld offers the trope codifier of Ambiguously Brown
to this troper, lampshading an existing trend in visual media: The brown character whose race you cannot tell.
edited 4th Dec '12 1:24:19 PM by Lomerell