In the fictional Mala Mala Village, Savages are ruthless, mindless canines that attack the village at least once a week. Protecting the village are the Big Cats: Eddie Bryant the lion, Nira Chayna the cheetah, and Zahira Janoah the spotted hyena apprentice. There should be a leopard, but the previous one disappeared the day the Big Cats were formed. Mo Muhammad sets up a Leopard tournament for a new leopard recruit, when in reality, she's trying to save her scrawny son, Mali Muhammad, from his execution for being the weakest in the reserve and failing graduation 3 times. The outsidest of outsiders, Mali needs all the help he can get if he wants to be in shape, and thanks to Mo, a Big Cat.
There are two sequels following this: Big Cats 2 and Big Cats 3.
The Big Cats
- Mali Muhammad: 15 - 16 years old. A leopard. The Stealth factor of the team.
- Nira Chayna: 15 - 16 years old. A cheetah. The Speed factor of the team.
- Eddie Bryant: 15 - 16 years old. A lion. The Strength factor of the team.
- Zahira Janoah: 16-17 years old. A spotted hyena. The Stamina factor of the team.
- Zahira is the only canine in the Mala Mala Village, and has to deal with the prejudice that comes with it. She is The Cynic, The Ditz, and is forced to fight alongside the Big Cats. Despite this, she is a Sour Supporter, works best in a team, and secretly really cares about her friends, willing to do anything for them.
- Mo Muhammad: 38 - 39 years old. A leopardess.
- Mo is the ex- Sassy Secretary and new leader of the Mala Mala Village, as well as the widow of Monty. Ever since she lost her oldest son in a genocide, she became highly protective of Mali, and indirectly became the cause of his lack of skill. She has a Guilt Complex and thinks anything that goes wrong is her fault, but is A Mother to Her Men, a powerful leader, and an inspiring mother
- Monty Muhaamad: 45 years old. A leopard. He has an Artificial Limb replacing his left arm.
- Monty is the Number Two to Jamal, as well as Mo's husband.
- Fuchsia Muhammad: 10 - 11 years old. A leopardess.
- Fuchsia is the daughter of Mo and Monty as well as the Annoying Younger Sibling of Mali. She holds the title of the village's strongest cub, gifted in self-defense and hunting.. She is often boastful and ignorant of others feelings, but still genuinely cares for her friends and family.
- Lizzie Sauda: 10 - 11 years old. A black panther.
- Lizzie is Fuchsia's best friend, and like her, is similarly gifted in hunting and fighting. Unlike Fuchsia. Lizzie is surprisingly clever for her age, but is unfortunately overshadowed and Always Second Best to Fuchsia in everything she does.
The tropes for Big Cats are:
- Adult Fear: This is why Mo is so overprotective, and why Monty is so hard on him: they don't want Mali to face execution. You can see it when both parents jump into a forest fire to save Mali.
- Badass Family: The Muhammad Family is as badass as you can get.
- Battle Couple: Mo and Monty Muhammad
- Blessed with Suck: Sometimes being the strongest cub your age can cost you a lot, like friends. Fuchsia knew this, but her pride kept her from breaking down.
- Disney Death: When Mali falls into the forest fire with Jamal, Mo and Monty jump in to rescue him. Played straight for Mali and Mo, but averted for Jamal and Monty.
- Fantastic Racism: The majority of felines are incredibly racist towards canines. Despite this, Zahira continues to defend them, even though she herself is a canine.
- In Big Cats III, it's revealed most canines are similarly racist towards felines.
- Feuding Families: In Big Cats 3, The Mala Mala Village felines and the Caninian (Savage) canines are this.
- Five-Man Band:
- Forbidden Friendship: In Big Cats 3, Mali befriends a Caninian named Ashanti Kirabo. The problem is, Caninians are known as the Savages to the Mala Mala Reserve, and are mortal enemies.
- Four-Temperament Ensemble: Mali (Phlegmatic), Nira (Sanguine), Eddie (Melancholic) , Zahira (Choleric)
- Four-Philosophy Ensemble: Mali (Apathetic), Nira (Optimist), Eddie (Realist), Zahira (Cynic)
- Gender-Equal Ensemble: Two boys (Mali and Eddie) and two girls (Nira and Zahira)
- Guilt Complex: Both Mo and her son, Nyack, suffer from this trope. They blame themselves for a lot of deaths and mishaps. Nyack even believes he is unworthy of forgiveness.
- Like Brother and Sister: Eddie Bryant and Nira Chayna
- No Hugging, No Kissing: None of the films have any form of romantic love of any kind anywhere on screen, due to both the role of nearly all female characters as love interests and my hatred of all romantic love in fiction. All male and female pairings remain as Platonic Life-Partners. Even Mo and Monty never kiss or touch each other on screen.
- Despite their closeness, Nira and Mali are each other's Not-Love-Interests, as they have no romantic feelings for each other, and are perfectly happy being platonic.
- The Only One Allowed to Defeat You / It's Personal: Scratch's reason for trying to murder Mali- she wanted to kill Jamal herself.
- Power Trio
- Slapstick Knows No Gender: All female characters fall victim to Amusing Injuries. Zahira is the main Butt-Monkey.
- Smash Sisters: Fuchsia and Lizzie, the strongest cubs in their village.