Follow TV Tropes


Adaptation Personality Change / Western Animation

Go To

  • Notably, almost every new incarnation of the Felix the Cat series completely overhauls his personality.
  • Advertisement:
  • Scarface's mate in The Animals of Farthing Wood is mostly just a background character and isn't necessarily evil but the cartoon expands her role into a proper Femme Fatale. Also Friendly takes on Bold's role as the sneak between Charmer and Ranger, making his name in the cartoon rather ironic.
  • In the comics and other adaptations, Doctor Doom is a boisterous Large Ham. In The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes!, however, Doom still retain his ego and arrogance, he is also a much more stoic person, being rather calm and collected, and never showing any emotion.
  • Back to the Future: Marty McFly. He went from Book Dumb in the films to The Ditz in the series.
  • Daisy Duck is usually the responsible and down-to-earth foil to Donald, but in Mickey MouseWorks and House of Mouse, she became a self-centered kook who obliviously makes things difficult for her friends.
  • Advertisement:
  • In Ben 10 (2016), while Gwen Tennyson is still more mature than her cousin Ben (continuing to serve as the voice of reason), she is far more likely to join in on his more questionable schemes and misadventures, and is generally more friendly and outwardly supportive towards him. This is in stark contrast to the regular Hypocritical Heartwarming at play in the original 2006 series.
  • The Looney Tunes Show:
    • Daffy Duck. In the original shorts - at least, in his most iconic personalities - he was fairly intelligent and clever, but occasionally gullible and was often defeated due to his greed and selfishness. Here, he's a lazy idiot who can't do anything right.
    • Lola Bunny. Her original character in Space Jam is an exaggerated sex symbol whom Bugs is head over heels in love with, and in the show, she's an energetic Cloudcuckoolander who's excruciatingly infatuated by him.
  • Advertisement:
  • For the Nick Jr. (Treehouse TV in Canada) Animated Adaptation of Rosemary Wells's Max and Ruby series. Max's big sister Ruby was more cheerful compared to her personality in the books. Especially in the earlier books such as "Max's Chocolate Chicken" and "Max's Christmas" where she was more of a Deadpan Snarker and more stern. This was also shown in the 90's Animated Adaptation for those two books which were released on VHS. However Ruby did start becoming more cheerful in later entries of the books.
  • Mickey Mouse may be an odd variation in that it was his adaptation interpretations that avoided such a change. While the Mickey of Classic Disney Shorts was slowly tamed into The Everyman, the comics continued to refer to his earlier more adventurous and abrasive persona for a long period of time. Epic Mickey even plays with this, allowing you to choose between evolving Mickey into either his former or latter persona.
  • In the animated CGI Peter Rabbit series. Peter Rabbit and Benjamin Bunny are a lot more tolerable and caring then they were in the original books. Especially Benjamin Bunny, who was a greedy jerk in the book whereas CGI Benjamin is more of a kind-hearted Lovable Coward.
  • Phineas and Ferb: Star Wars has a few. The most obvious is Isabella, who goes from a cheerful cutie to a cynical Han Solo Expy; it's so wrong that fans found it hilarious. Phineas and Ferb themselves are mostly the same (until Ferb is Sithinated), except that they're initially content to stay on Tatooine and not go on any adventures until the plot requires it. Also, instead of Isabella having a crush on the oblivious Phineas, he likes her while she's Tsundere.
  • All the three main characters of The Powerpuff Girls (2016):
    • Blossom. She is still "the smart one" but her Wise Beyond Their Years and Child Prodigy traits are downplayed. She's not nearly The Leader she was before and she doesn't understand certain things, such as her thinking colts are young horses and fillies are "horses with attitude".
    • Buttercup's aggressiveness has been upped. She does a lot of the fighting and is angrier than in original show, to the point where an episode has her sisters essentially staging an intervention to get her to calm down after she goes into a berserk rage where she severely destroys a festival and gives Bubbles a black eye. Even outside of fighting she does things like being the Class Clown when in the original continuity she only did that alongside other kids.
    • Bubbles is Cute But Psycho instead of being cute and sweet. She's incredibly prone to random bouts of anger for comedic reasons.
  • In the Tiny Toon Adventures episode "Buster and Babs Go Hawaiian", Plucky and Hamton apparently swapped personalities: Hamton being a prima donna who's upset over being upstaged by Buster and Babs, and Plucky being a doormat.
  • Scooby-Doo franchise:
    • Scooby.
      • In the live-action movies he is really more of a dumbass.
      • In Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated he is more of a jerk - mostly when competing with Velma in their jealous rivalry for Shaggy's attentions. His feuding with Velma is especially jarring when you remember that in previous incarnations like A Pup Named Scooby-Doo and Scooby-Doo! in Where's My Mummy?, Velma is all but stated to be Scooby's second best friend. He gets better, though.
    • Fred was originally the second smartest in the gang but has Taken a Level in Dumbass ever since Daphne started becoming more competent. Essentially Daphne took a good portion of his leadership skills and intelligence. Some incarnations Flanderize this even more. Mystery Incorporated give back his intelligence but made him completely oblivious to Daphne's affections.
    • In Be Cool, Scooby-Doo!, this happens to Daphne, rendering her a Cloud Cuckoolander compared with previous incarnations, although she remains very competent and courageous.
    • Velma in Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated. She is more cynical, self-centered, vain, and sarcastic, similar to the titular protagonist of Daria. Most of these changes however, are to do with her being written a lot more like an actual teenager would act. She also fights with Scooby a lot for Shaggy's affections.
  • Sonic Sat Am turns Dr. Robotnik from a clownish Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain in the games to a (mostly) deathly serious overlord here.
  • Among the other changes to Hotstreak in Static Shock was a willingness to work with non-white people, including Talon (Latina), Shiv (Asian), Ebon (African-American), and Kangorr (Jamican). In the comics, Hotstreak was a racist bigot.
  • Teen Titans:
    • Teen Titans:
      • Robin is more straight-laced and serious than Dick ever was as Robin.
      • Starfire is more naive, innocent, and insecure, as opposed to the hotheaded and forceful Starfire of the comics.
      • The Cyborg of the cartoon comics more easygoing laidback than his comic counterpart, who's more pensive and concerned about his nature as a cyborg costing him his humanity.
      • Raven was The Stoic in the comics, whereas in the show, while she tries to keep herself from getting too emotional, will express emotion and be sarcastic.
    • All of the Titans on Teen Titans Go! barring Raven have notably had their intelligence taken down a notch from the original Teen Titans. In Cyborg's case, it's to complement Beast Boy already being Book Dumb and to set them up as Those Two Guys.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The characters are reinterpreted in every retelling, especially Michelangelo and Raphael. They typically fit the same archetype, but express it in different ways:
    • All were extremely flanderized in the 1987 series, except for Leonardo who was only mildly flanderized. Donatello went from being intellectual to being a Gadgeteer Genius, Michelangelo went from being mostly laidback to being a Surfer Dude obsessed with pizza, but most egregiously, Raphael went from being dark and violent to being snarky and constantly breaking the fourth wall.
    • Michelangelo: Mirage Comics - laidback, 1987 series - Surfer Dude, First film series - jokester, 2003 series - prankster, 2012 series - Kiddie Kid, 2018 series - artist/acrobat.
    • Raphael: Mirage Comics - violent, 1987 series - wise cracker, First film series - brooding, 2003 series - gruff, 2012 series - Big Brother Bully With A Heart of Gold.
      • Raph is the Wolverine of the TMNT. While he remains the most short-fused and quickest to resort to hitting things, in an adaptation where he's not allowed to actually introduce living enemies' vital organs to his sai onscreen, he becomes a guy whose bark is worse than his bite.
    • Leonardo in the 2018 series, who went from being the serious, level-headed leader of the group, to the laidback wisecracking jokester.
  • The Fimbles in the series the Fimbles are friendly and vegetarian, while in the book that inspired it Lucy Anna and the Finders, they are much more agressive and threaten to eat Lucy Anna multiple times.
  • Many characters of The Railway Series have ended up altered in Thomas the Tank Engine due to Flanderization coming into play during the show's long run. Thomas in particular is a more rude and pretentious character in most of the novels (only warming in the very later books). While early seasons kept to this depiction, he quickly became more altruistic and kind as the show branched away from the novels, as well as becoming something of a Cloud Cuckoo Lander come the CGI transition. Wiser supporting characters such as Edward and Toby also became more flawed and childlike to enable more spotlight episodes, while Henry, Gordon and James underwent a more thorough Divergent Character Evolution. This is put on display in The Adventure Begins, which readapts some of the earliest stories of the books and TV series. Thomas is far more idealistic and innocent than he was in his debut novel. Meanwhile Henry is far more meek and gentle, his hatred of the rain is treated more as phobia (in the books he was merely pompous about getting his paint spoiled).
  • Castlevania does a lot this, somewhat necessary as many of the characters from the games didn't have much personality to begin with:
    • Trevor Belmont while he was a bland hero when he debuted in Castlevania: Curse of Darkness was later characterized in Castlevania: Curse of Darkness as a Hot-Blooded and proud warrior. In the show Trevor is a laid back alcoholic who leans towards being a Knight in Sour Armour who still very much enjoys fighting monsters and shows his gentle side to Sypha his lover, though he still remains very cynical as seen by the end of Season 3.
    • Alucard is a textbook example of The Stoic in the games being quite emotionless in Castlevania: Symphony of the Night albeit with some explicit care for his teammates Trevor, Sypha and Grant and a strong love for his late mother Lisa. In the show Alucard is still hesitant too much emotion but still capable of being surprisingly immature as seen with his rapport with Trevor, including giving him to the finger during their goodbye something game Alucard would never do. Also in games Alucard forms little attachments (as seen with Richter and Maria) while in the show Alucard deeply cares for his friends but couldn't express it.
    • Sypha Belnades like Trevor had little characterization beyond being a Blue Mage who was secretly a girl, though the manual and later games (such as Castlevania: Judgment) would make her out to be a highly pious person who despises those tainted by the darkness and leans towards being a Knight Templar. In the show she's a compassionate person who shows no prejudice despite being ostracized herself as a Speaker.
    • Dracula in games (and most media for that matter) is a Evil Overlord with a few Affably Evil and Pet the Dog moments but is still full of malice for humanity. In the show Dracula is a Anti-Villain whose motivation (his wife being burned at stake by the church) is justified and sympathetic, also unlike the games Dracula notably spares innocent women, children and elderly when he can. In the games Dracula also had no qualms trying to kill his son Alucard while in the show Dracula holds back as not to truly hurt Alucard and eventually has a Heel Realization when he almost kills his son.
    • Carmilla while she was The Vamp was still unquestionably loyal the aforementioned Dracula and would destroy anyone who defied him. In the show she thinks Dracula is crazy old man and only acts like faithful servant so she can stick the knife in at first opportunity making her even more vile than her game counterpart.
    • Hector differs from Curse of Darkness, in the game he was a Defector from Decadence who goes on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge when his former ally Issac kills his wife. In the show Hector is more a morally ambiguously character he burned his abusive family to death as a child and in the present he betrays his Benevolent Boss Dracula after being manipulated by the The Starscream Carmilla and suffers for it greatly.
    • Issac also greatly differs from the game where he was Card-Carrying Villain with no redeeming traits whatsoever, in the show Issac manages to be a Anti-Villain like Dracula whose actions are highly sympathetic and justified most of the time. Also in the game Issac always hated Hector while in the show they were close friends before Issac's betrayal.
    • Saint Germain was a very enigmatic time traveler in Curse of Darkness who was quite the gentleman and gave mysterious warnings to Hector. In the show while Germain is still mysterious, he's far more down to earth and occasionally crass and nor does he impose on heroes' quest like the games, he doesn't even ask for help until the Trevor and Sypha insist on helping him.
  • Time Warp Trio the TV show adaption made Joe, Sam and Fred far less snarky and selfish than they were in the book series. Sam also wasn't so cowardly in the book series and neither was Freddi. Jodie is portrayed as more of a Valley Girl in the Television adaption (though this is toned down a lot in later episodes).
  • The Harry Osborn shown in Ultimate Spider-Man is probably the nicest version of the character in existence - not only is he happy to be working with Spider-Man, but when Spidey reveals his identity to him, he's shown to be even more prouder to be working alongside him. Most other Harrys would have been distrustful and react with disgust.
  • Young Justice made many such changes, some of them highly controversial:
  • When Miles Morales made his debut in the Ultimate Marvel universe, he was reluctant to use his powers, only doing so after the Peter Parker of his universe died. Additionally, he was a Cowardly Lion, getting scared easily. Marvel's Spider-Man sees him jump at the chance to be a superhero and start off pretty cocky. Additionally, even before getting his powers, comics!Miles was introverted, whereas the show's Miles is outgoing.
  • DuckTales (2017) has a bunch of these:
  • Josie and the Pussycats: In the original comics, Alexander Cabot III was egotistical and a jerk, but perfectly willing to take on bad guys. In the show, while he remains egotistical, he's much friendlier, but a coward who almost always panics and runs away or begs for his life when faced with danger. This is because the studio decided to make him an Expy of Shaggy from Scooby-Doo. Also, in the comic books, he was always trying to score with Josie, but in the show he doesn't seem to have any romantic interest in her, or anybody else.
  • Voltron: Legendary Defender switches up some of the main cast's personalities from the original Voltron. Allura is a tougher warrior, Coran is now comic relief as opposed to a serious guardian, and Keith is aloof and troubled as opposed to a friendly leader. This is lampshaded when the original show is used as the In-Universe chronicles of the Paladins' adventures.
    Hunk: They got it so wrong.
  • The Boondocks does this to a few characters:
    • In the comic strip, Huey remains an activist while in the animated series, he claims to have retired.
    • Cindy goes from being Jazmine's friend who is so ignorant about Black racial issues that she doesn't even realize Jazmine is half-Black to a Pretty Fly for a White Guy Distaff Counterpart for Riley as well as his friend and rival, and having no relationship at all with Jazmine.
    • In the comics, Jazmine is shown having issues accepting her mixed-race heritage while none of this shows up in the animated series.
  • The 2018 reboot of She-Ra and the Princesses of Power changes the personalities of several characters who appeared in the original 1980s cartoon.
    • Madam Razz was an inept sorceress in the 1980s cartoon, but is a competent magic user (if a little senile) in the reboot. Unlike her 1980s counterpart, this Razz also has knowledge of major players and events (the First Ones, Mara, the true nature of the She-Ra mantle, portal catastrophes) that the main characters lack.
    • Catra was a vamp in the original cartoon, but isn't shown using feminine wiles in the reboot. Her personality is angrier, edgier, and more vulnerable in the reboot series.
    • Scorpia is warm and nurturing in the reboot, in contrast to the cruel Scorpia of the 1980s cartoon.
    • Hordak was loud, boorish, and quick to punish underlings in the 1980s cartoon. In the reboot, he's articulate, pragmatic, and coldly efficient. He also has hopes, insecurities, and a capacity for romantic love that his 1980s counterpart lacked.
  • On Total DramaRama, a few characters receive significant overhauls in their personalities. To name some of the big ones - Gwen is changed from a Perky Goth to a sociopathic Creepy Child; Cody goes from an Extraverted Nerd to an innocent Cheerful Child; and Beth is now a Jerkass obsessed with bees and nose picking instead of the socially awkward Nice Girl of the original show.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: