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Adults Are More Anthropomorphic

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In fiction, often, adult Funny Animals will be shown looking considerably more anthropomorphic than child ones. Their own offspring might even look like Nearly Normal Animals. Once they grow up, they suddenly start looking more humanoid than they did as children.

Sometimes this trope shows within one character, sometimes it shows between the parent(s) and child or children or between the aunt or uncle and nieces or nephews, and sometimes it shows between a younger or baby character and an unrelated older or adult character of the same species.

This could be a way of invoking a Furry Reminder but can create Furry Confusion instead. Many times this is a way of emulating human children, who lack several sexual characteristics until puberty and are born with no ability to walk or talk. The idea, then, is that these animal characters will eventually grow into an anthropomorphic form as they mature.

Compare Humanoid Female Animal, a similar distinction based on gender rather than age, and Bishōnen Line, when becoming more humanoid in shape is tied to Power Levels rather than age. See also Humanlike Animal Aging, Anthropomorphic Shift, Appropriate Animal Attire, and Metamorphosis. Can result in Furry Confusion.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • In Bagi, the Monster of Mighty Nature, the eponymous Bagi started out as a little kitten whose only unusual features are humanlike eyes (well, that, and the pinkish fur, which is pointed out only once). She starts displaying anthropomorphic behavior when she watches an exercise show and starts imitating the dancers. By the time she reaches adulthood, she has become a Funny Animal and can speak the human language, but is still capable of animal-like movement and agility (such as when she and Ryosuke avoid the security systems of the laboratory complex she was born in). Towards the end of the movie, Ryosuke's mother does something to Bagi that causes her to lose her humanity and regress to a feral state.

    Comic Books 
  • In Avengers Academy, Tigra is mostly human-looking, but when her son William was a baby, he looked more like a tiger cub than a human baby.

    Fan Works 
  • Flame's Shade depicts this behavior-wise with Faunus cubs. While adult Faunus can mostly behave like humans, very young Faunus have no such restraints on their instincts. Ace is a particularly feral cat Faunus infant who plays like a cat, bites, snarls, and generally acts like a kitten.

    Film — Animation 
  • Baby Po from Kung Fu Panda 2 resembles a Nearly Normal Animal, unlike his Funny Animal adult form.
  • Disney's Pinocchio has two cat characters. One is a bipedal mute Funny Animal adult cat named Gideon and the other is a quadrupedal kitten named Figaro who, aside from crossing his arms the way a human would and sleeping in a bed human-style, behaves like a normal kitten.

    Film — Live Action 

  • Redwall: Babies are all tiny fluffballs with minor differences to tell species apart, but once they're adults, they're of different sizes and look more like their real-life counterparts (well, except the clothes, weapons, and opposable thumbs).
  • Star Wars Legends: In The Crystal Star, Codru-Ji children are dog-like creatures called wyrwulves. Then they go through a chrysalis stage and emerge as Humanoid Aliens.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Doctor Who: In "Gridlock", we meet an interspecies couple — human female and catman male. They recently had a litter of children who all look like normal kittens (because they were all played by kittens).

    Video Games 
  • Spyro the Dragon: In the classic games all the younger dragons (Spyro, Ember, Flame, hatchlings, etc) are quadrupeds, while the elder dragons and other adults are bipedal and/or wear pieces of clothing. The remastered versions of these games contribute to this trope since, as part of the elder dragons receiving updates to their designs along with some new attire, the ones that were quadruped before now have a bipedal body. This is averted in the franchise's various spinoffs, where adult dragons are all depicted as staying quadrupedal.
  • Pokémon: A Pokémon's evolutionary state doesn't signify age (for example, a Flareon could have been born yesterday while a Pikachu could be decades old), but some Pokémon start as a Ridiculously Cute Critter, but become anthropomorphic once they evolved. The list includes (but is not limited to):
    • Blaziken are anthropomorphic chickens who evolve from the chick-like Torchic.
    • Nidoqueen and Nidoking are large, bipedal monsters who start as rabbit-esque quadrupeds named Nidoran.
    • Braixen and Delphox are evolutions of small fox kit looking Pokemon named Fennekin. It turns bipedal and gains the ability to use its front paws as hands.
    • Dragonite, unlike Dratini and Dragonair, is one of the most striking examples: a bipedal dragon evolves from limbless serpentine creatures.
    • Beldum, which looks like a dumbbell, plays with this trope. By merging itself with another Beldum, it creates a Metang. According to the Pokedex, in order to create a Metagross, which looks like your typical Humongous Mecha, you've got to use four of these fellas. The intermediary form, Metang, looks like a mecha without legs.
    • Ghastly is essentially a ghastly ball of smoke. Haunter and Gengar, its evolution, develop first arms and then legs.
    • Litten starts out as a Cute Kitten, but evolves into Incineroar, an anthropomorphic Heel wrestling tiger.
    • Meowth's evolved form inverts this, Meowth can walk on either two or four legs, but it evolves into Persian, which always walks on all fours like a real cat.
  • Inklings from Splatoon are born normal-looking squids and grow steadily more anthropomorphic over time until around the age of 14, at which point they become fully humanoid with the ability to shift back to squid form at will. The Octolings of their sister race, the Octarians, are presumably the same way.
  • In Temtem, Pycko (a gecko), Crystle (a tortoise), and Skail (a rodent/weasel thing) are all quadrupedal, but their respective final evolutions — Drakash, Tortenite, and Skunch — are bipedal.
  • The blue bunny children in Epic Mickey appear less anthropomorphic than their Funny Animal dad, Oswald.
  • In Mega Man Zero Cyber-elves at first look like small critters. As you grow them by feeding them E-crystals, they become more humanoid (sans the Animal types).
  • In BlazBlue this happens with the Kaka Clan. As toddlers, or "kittens", they look more like little kittens in cute hooded coats who can walk on their hind legs. As they get older, they become more humanoid-looking, though they still have their tails.
  • In Undertale you can find an anthropomorphic rabbit walking a normal rabbit on a leash in Snowdin. In the Playable Epilogue, she reveals the leashed rabbit is her little brother.

  • In Freefall, Florence began as a normal-looking wolf pup before growing into the Funny Animal wolf she is now as an adult.
  • In Sonichu, the adult sonichus are anthropomorphic ripoffs of Sonic the Hedgehog, but their young forms are teddy bear-like monstrosities with Pokémon Speak called rosies (if female) and sonees (if male).
  • Per Word of God, in TwoKinds, Keidrans start their lives as completely non-humanoid kittens or puppies, spending the first two years of their lives as something that looks an awful lot like an ordinary cat, dog or fox, and then they develop the ability to walk upright and start using their forepaws as hands at the age of three.

    Web Original 
  • In a Monster High webisode, it's shown in a flashback that Toralei (a werecat girl) was basically a cat with human hair when she was younger, rather than the anthro catgirl she is now.

    Western Animation 
  • The Amazing World of Gumball:
  • In Alfred J. Kwak Dolf goes from a Funny Animal with almost human-like anatomy but with no clothes (as a child), to a still unclothed and anthropomorphic but decidedly more crow-like appearance with visible tail and wings -that are always clearly wings while everybody else's wings turn into hands when convenient- and ability to fly when many other bird characters can't or won't (as a teen), back to Funny Animal / Fully-Dressed Cartoon Animal (as an adult). When it comes to other characters, the trope is played with, like Pikkie, who retains his very magpie-like anatomy his whole life.
  • Unsurprisingly used in Amphibia. While frog kids around the age of ten are about as anthropomorphic as the adults, the much younger frog kids are tadpoles, depicted as balls with faces and a tail and eventually legs.
  • Played straight and zigzagged with Slappy Squirrel in Animaniacs. Slappy as a youngster is a Funny Animal with the basic body shape of a squirrel, but as a young adult, she has a sexier, more human-like body shape. However, when she gets old, she reverts to a more squirrelly body shape with bent legs.
  • Tiny Toon Adventures: Baby Plucky’s The Faceless parents are fully dressed and wear shoes and are far more anthropomorphic than he is.
  • In Bluey, which takes place in a world populated by anthropomorphic dogs, Bluey's one-year-old cousin Socks behaves like a puppy rather than a human baby; she moves on all fours, barks, and has a habit of biting people or random objects. Older puppies, including Socks' sister Muffin, mostly act like human children aside from wagging their tails when they're happy or excited. Both noticeably mature in this spectrum over time.
  • Inverted with the Tyrannosaurus Rex and Daspletosaurus from Dinosaur Train. Adult ones stand more like their real counterparts, but juvenile ones stand more upright and have plantigrade feet. The Troodons show an inversion to a lesser degree and unlike the two aforementioned species, The juvenile ones are as digitigrade as the adult ones.
  • Inverted in Gigantosaurus. The four main heroes are bipedal (despite Rocky, a Parasaurolophus, being the only one who should be able to walk on two legs) and have prehensile hands, while the adults of their respective species are quadrupedal and look more realistic.
  • A flashback during the Heathcliff and the Catillac Cats episode "Debutante Ball" shows Cleo and her friend Muffy as non-anthro kittens... with Cleo still sporting her full head of blond hair.
  • Little Bear is a Funny Animal like his parents but lacks clothes and occasionally displays more animalistic behaviors, like when he drank from a river like a normal bear in The Movie.
  • The mother of Rudolph is anthropomorphic in the Fleischer short Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1948). Her son Rudolph looks like a normal deer.
  • Looney Tunes:
    • The young rabbit in the cartoon "Rabbit's Kin" appears less anthropomorphic than Bugs Bunny, with a traditional rabbit-like stance in contrast to Bugs' thin, straight legs.
    • Downplayed, or even averted, with Bugs' nephew Clyde (who appeared in a couple of cartoons, notably "Yankee Doodle Bugs"): he looks like Bugs, but shorter and chubbier.
    • Baby Lola Bunny in Baby Looney Tunes is a Funny Animal like the rest of the animal characters, but adult Lola in every other incarnation is much more humanoid with a buxom figure.
  • In Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. a duckling lookalike of Donald, Donald Jr., has wings instead of human-like hands. This makes him appear less anthropomorphic than Donald, who is a Funny Animal. Donald Jr. having regular wings is notable because other ducklings like Donald's nephews, Huey, Dewey, and Louie, have arms for wings just like the adult ducks: Donald, Scrooge McDuck, Daisy, and Ludwig Von Drake.
  • T.U.F.F. Puppy: Baby and kid Kitty Katswelllike most of the other cast is a Funny Animal, but teen and adult Kitty has more humanoid features.
  • The Raccoons has two sheepdog characters. One is a bipedal adult named Schaeffer and the other is a puppy named Broo who behaves like a normal dog.
  • The Spicy Latina butterfly in the Pluto the Pup cartoon Springtime for Pluto looks basically like a human with wings and antennae, but when she was a caterpillar, she looked like the typical cartoon caterpillar, segmented and with two antennae, four arms, and four legs.
  • Tom and Jerry:
    • The adult bulldog Spike is bipedal, talks and often does human things, while his son Tyke is quadrupedal, communicates solely through barks, growls and whines and acts mostly more like a real-life puppy.
    • The young kitten in "The Unshrinkable Jerry Mouse" is a quadrupedal Nearly Normal Animal who behaves like a normal kitten whereas Tom is a bipedal Civilized Animal or Funny Animal adult cat.
  • The Tom and Jerry Show (2014): The yellow-orange female kitten, Button appears to be a Nearly Normal Animal or a Partially Civilized Animal whereas the adult cats (like Tom, Butch, and Toodles) are either Civilized Animal or Funny Animal in anthropomorphism level.
  • As a young cub, Grizzly from We Bare Bears seemed like a normal cub in the wild and made actual bear noises. As an older cub and as an adult he is a Civilized Animal who lives amongst humans, occasionally wears clothes, and generally behaves in an anthropomorphic manner.