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Adaptation Species Change / Western Animation

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  • Arthur:
    • Originally, in the Arthur books, the Tibbles and their grandmother were humans. In the animated series they are bears.
    • Applies to Arthur's second grade teacher Mr. Marco. In the books, he was a moose; in the cartoon, he's an aardvark.
  • In Marvel Comics, Iron Man villain the Ghost is a human in a high-tech stealth suit. The Avengers, Assemble! version starts out as this, before turning out to be an Inhuman and gaining innate phasing abilities through terragenesis.
  • Bunnicula:
    • Potentially. In the Bunnicula books it is suggested that Chester is an Unreliable Narrator and Bunnicula is a normal rabbit. The cartoon makes it clear that he is a vampire.
    • Chester's breed was changed. In the books he is a tabby but in the cartoon he is a Siamese cat.
  • Curbside curiously changed Terrytoons characters Heckle and Jeckle from magpies to crows, though they don't look too different from their usual depictions.
  • DC Animated Universe:
    • The Imperium, the alien invaders from the first three episodes of Justice League, are heavily based on the White Martians from the comics. Instead of being actually from Mars, they're a species of unknown origin who invaded Mars and wiped out all but one of the natives inhabitants years ago.
    • In Justice League Unlimited, Brimstone is a nuclear-powered robot built by the military of a fictional Asian country instead of an artificial being created by Darkseid.
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    • Superman: The Animated Series changed Brainiac into a Kryptonian AI, instead of the Coluan he is in the comics.
  • G.I. Joe:
    • While originally seemingly human, G.I. Joe: The Movie retconned Cobra Commander into a snake person from the ancient civilization of Cobra-La. Fans and Larry Hama, who helped create the characters for the comics and cartoon (even writing the original version of the former) hated the Cobra-La origin and every other iteration has kept the Commander human.
    • Serpentor is still genetically-engineered by Dr. Mindbender in G.I. Joe: Renegades—only this version is a giant snake, not a man.
  • In Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H., Sauron is an intelligent pterosaur from the Savage Land (and he's seen in the prehistoric era in "Days of Future Smash"). In the comics he was a human called Karl Lykos who was bitten by a Savage Land pterosaur, and mutated into intelligent-pterosaur form.
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  • Iron Man changed Firepower from a man in a Mini-Mecha to a robot.
  • Iron Man: Armored Adventures made several of Iron Man’s human enemies from the comics like Sunturion, Grey Gargoyle, Melter, Dreadknight and Firebrand into ancient creations of the original Mandarin.
  • In Loonatics Unleashed, even though the main characters are all Funny Animals of the same species as their ancestors, there are characters based on (and sharing the surnames of) Pepe Le Pew and Foghorn Leghorn who are human.
  • There's a Looney Tunes short where Goldilocks is a mouse and the Three Bears are replaced with the Three Cats (Sylvester and his family).
  • My Little Pony:
    • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
      • In G1, Scorpan was a human turned into a monster by Tirek. The G4 Scorpan is a natural-born Gargoyle.
      • In G1, Somnambula was a human witch. In G4, she is a pegasus.
      • Numerous pony characters from previous gens have their types changed. For example, Rainbow Dash was an Earth Pony in G3 but is a pegasus in G4.
    • My Little Pony Tales featured the first canon appearance of Winged Unicorns in the franchise. The episode "Up, Up and Away" features the Glow 'n Show Ponies as having both horns and wings, despite the fact they were all either pegasus and unicorns in the toyline.
  • The Oddball Couple, a Saturday Morning Cartoon with a cat & dog living together a la The Odd Couple.
  • The remake to Peace on Earth changes the squirrels into mice.
  • Phineas and Ferb: Star Wars changes Vanessa into a Twi'lek (or maybe half-Twi'lek, if you assume that "Darthenshmirtz" is still her father).
  • She-Ra: Princess of Power has Catra as a human woman who can transform into a feline beast using a magical mask. The 2018 reboot She-Ra and the Princesses of Power has her as a Cat Girl with regular does of Furry Reminder.
  • Spider-Man: The Animated Series sees Madame Webb, a mutant in the comics, reimagined as a cosmic entity like the Beyonder.
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars: In Legends, the old Star Wars Expanded Universe, Asajj Ventress was Rattataki and Darth Maul was a pure Zabrak. In this show, they were both retconned into Dathomirians. This is downplayed in Maul's case, as the Dathomirians are a Zabrak subspecies (Zabrak-human hybrids in pre-Legends supplementary material), with the males looking more like their Zabrak ancestors, and a lot of characters unfamiliar with Dathomirians assume Maul to be an Iridonian Zabrak as a result.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
    • The Shredder/Oroku Saki was changed to an Utrom, whose real name was Ch'rell, disguising himself as a human in the 2003 series. Although it was eventually revealed that Oroku Saki was once a real human being who lived during the time of ancient Japan, and became the original Tengu Shredder. Ch'rell simply based his human identity on the original Saki.
    • Splinter was originally the pet rat of his human owner Hamato Yoshi prior to his mutation. In the 1987 and 2012 cartoon, he was made into a Composite Character where he formerly was Hamato Yoshi himself, before being mutated into a rat.
    • Also in the 2012 cartoon, April O'Neill, previously a 100% pure-blooded human in most other TMNT works, is now made half-human, half-Kraang due to being experimented on by them when she was still in her mother's womb. Meanwhile, Irma and Agent Bishop, who were humans in the previous TMNT cartoons they appeared in, respectively get changed to a Kraang in disguise and an Utrom.
    • In Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the titular four are specific species, and each one's is different. Leonardo is a red-eared slider, Raphael a snapping turtle, Donatello a soft-shelled turtle, and Michaelangelo a box turtle. This becomes more complicated when it turns out all the mutants (though made in the same way) are artificial youkai, and the turtles were created using regular turtles and human DNA.
  • One of the few things we know about the never fully released Toon Makers Sailor Moon is that Luna from Sailor Moon would have gone from being a black short-haired cat to a white longhaired one.
  • The Trash Pack Mondo TV Cartoon plays for an...interesting version of this idea. As the core chunk of Trashies are Animate Inanimate Objects anyways, Putrid Sardine, originally a can of sardines in the toyline, is instead adapted into a juice box in the cartoon. He still keeps his oozy green juice and dent-formed unibrown, however.
  • In Voltron, Allura and Coran are Arusians. In Voltron: Legendary Defender, they're the last of the Alteans. Note that "Altean" was what their species was called in GoLion, and Legendary Defender uses the name "Arusian" for a non-humanoid race. Additionally, Keith, who was fully human in the original, is now a human/galra hybrid.
  • X-Men:
    • X-Men makes a few characters who weren't mutants in the comics into mutants, such as the Purple Man. An inverse example is Silver Samurai, who is a mutant in the comics, but was depicted as a human with a teleportation device in the show.
    • X-Men: Evolution split the difference in relation to the Juggernaut. Instead of a full-blooded mutant (seen in X-Men: The Last Stand) or a man given powers by a magical relic (X-Men comics), Juggernaut was described as having a dormant mutant gene that he "awakened with mysticism".
    • Likewise, Wolverine and the X-Men makes Nitro into a mutant. In the comics, he was a normal human who was given superpowers by the Kree. Sauron also makes a cameo appearance in an M.R.D. holding cell in one episode, indicating that he too is a mutant in this continuity.
  • Young Justice:


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