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Nearly Normal Animal

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Maximus says neigh to this.
"He has little human hands... when he needs them."
Simon Tofield on the protagonist of Simon's Cat, "Simon Draws: Simon's Cat"

Ever notice in fictional works aimed at children, animals tend to have much more (or at least a little more) intelligence than they should? Well, in some cases, this can be done without having the creature walk on its hind legs or speak to humans.

Nearly Normal Animals don't talk to humans and are usually quadrupedal if they are that way in real life. They are very much animals, particularly when it comes to instincts, priorities and motivations and they very rarely, if ever, wear clothes. Like many Speech Impaired Animals and Talking Animals, Nearly Normal Animals lack hands and walk on all fours, negating the possibility of performing many human tasks and behaviors.

Nearly Normal Animals come in three types, largely normal, mostly normal, and almost normal.

Largely Normal Animals (LNAs) clearly have thought processes and often human-level intelligence but don't talk freely with humans. These animal characters may talk to each other, either in their own language or in a human language, but either way, humans won't be able to hear them speak a human language. That is, unless they have the ability to hear what animals are saying. Their thought processes and personality are still very much like that of whatever animal they are. Many of them are able to make human-like arm and hand gestures and some can even grasp objects as if they have opposable thumbs. A few LNAs can sometimes act like the more anthropomorphic Civilized Animal or Funny Animal when required by a joke.

Mostly Normal Animals (MNAs) have clear thought processes as well as a few human and/or some or several doglike characteristics (greater frequency of uttering sounds, human-like expressions) that still don't detract from their animality. Unlike LNAs, they don't talk Animal Talk between species, only within their species. Their thought processes and personality are still very much like that of whatever animal they are. These animals usually don't go beyond being able to make human-like hand or arm gestures sometimes. They stay on all four legs if they are four-legged animals.

Almost Normal Animals (ANAs) have very few human and/or a few doglike characteristics (e.g., greater frequency of uttering sounds, human-like expressions) that don't detract from their animality, but they allow an audience not well versed in the way of animal behavior to understand what's going on in the animals' minds. Can be an honest mistake or completely intended. They don't make human-like arm or hand gestures and they stay on all four legs if they're four-legged animals.

This is the low end of the Sliding Scale of Anthropomorphism. The next step up is Speech-Impaired Animal. Below this is truly normal animals, which are not a trope.

This trope is often associated with characters that have Amplified Animal Aptitude; in fact, how “nearly normal” an animal is can be measured by how much “amplified aptitude” it has. LNAs are often but not always Intellectual Animals.


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Largely Normal Animal:

    Anime and Manga 
  • Ein from Cowboy Bebop. He is smart enough to read, play chess, figure out stuff Spike and Jet can't and even hack computers, when he's given an interface he can use. Problem is, he's otherwise a totally normal dog — he just has human-like intelligence — and thus he can't speak, only bark and point out stuff.
  • Rooster Fighter: All animals in the manga have human-like intelligence, but can only talk directly between each other. Elizabeth, a chicken, is even skilled at using the smartphone and at cooking.

    Comic Books 
  • Hot Dog of Archie Comics would act like this in his own title, where he was revealed to have a high-tech super-structure underneath his common dog house. The series didn't last long.
  • Bom-Bom the tawal in The Great Power of Chninkel. Though he can't speak, he picks up language easily and by the end of the book he's able to communicate the story of J'on to his descendants through simple sounds and hand gestures.
  • Snowy in Tintin. He's clever enough to trick human beings, hide when his master's attacked and either sneak in to free him or run off to fetch help as needed, and occasionally understand rather specific instructions. He also has a fondness for booze, and occasionally thinks to himself in intelligible sentences.

    Comic Strips 
  • The four-legged Garfield in the earlier comic strips. While in later comic strips, he's become more of a partially-civilised animal, doing things like walking on two legs, in early strips the only human things he did were think complicated thoughts and eat human foods.
  • The four-legged Snoopy from the earlier Peanuts comic strips. While he's a Civilised Animal for most of the strips, in the early ones, he mainly seemed like a normal dog who was just smart like a human.
  • Rover from Red and Rover is pretty much a normal dog with dog-type priorities and behavior, but he can think like a person, and communicates with Red (a human) in Thought Bubble Speech.
  • Biscuit the dog in Stone Soup. She's usually seen doing Thought Bubble Speech with Max.

    Films — Animation 
  • The dogs and other animals in 101 Dalmatians are either this or Talking Animals. They can communicate between species and are very strategic, and Sgt. Tibbs sometimes does human-like gestures but they're still very much their own species. However, it is not clear whether they can't talk to humans or just choose not to.
  • The wolves and other animals in Alpha and Omega can talk to each other and Kate wears a flower.
  • Abu the monkey from Aladdin straddles the line between this trope and Speech-Impaired Animal. He's mainly a regular monkey, but his babbles sound very much like words at times and he clearly understands human speech.
  • The flamingos and hedgehogs, the broom-headed dog, and the Tulgy Wood critters in Alice in Wonderland. The former two animals mainly act like animals, but they understand their purpose in the game they're playing, and the latter seems like a normal dog but is smart enough to know what to sweep up.
  • The cats, dogs, horse, and geese in The Aristocats are this, though the cats in Scat Cat's gang are Partially Civilized Animals and Roquefort the mouse falls squarely into the Civilized Animal trope. What makes the cats, dogs, horse, and geese qualify is that they are mostly normal animals, but they can talk to other animals, make plans, Duchess seems to have a sense of etiquette, and in one scene, they throw a party.
  • All the dogs from Balto. They talk to each other but humans hear only barking. They also understand that it is their duty to deliver the medicine to sick people, and seem to be aware of the consequences of their potential failure.
  • The animals in Bambi live (and mainly act) like forest animals, but are capable of complex thought, can fall in love, and sometimes do things like point or dance.
  • Bolt: All of the animal characters fit this description, belonging to the "Largely Normal Animal" subtype. They can talk to each other (but not to humans) and can perform a few human-like actions, but for the most part they act like their species normally would.
  • Lucifer the cat, Bruno the dog, and Major the horse in Cinderella. Both seem to have an understanding of human speech, and Lucifer seems to be capable of doing things to spite the humans.
  • DC League of Super-Pets features animals that are able to converse with each other and not humans… with the added twist that they exist in the DC Comics universe and a number of them have powers and belong to famous heroes such as Superman.
  • Dumbo: The circus animals look and behave largely like their real-life counterparts, but they know the routine of setting up and performing a show. The elephants even work as a team to help pitch the main tent without any obvious handling or guidance. Timothy, the Delivery Stork and the gang of crows are closer to Civilized Animal, as they wear clothes, talk fluently, and have a bipedal stance (with Feather Fingers in the case of the latter two).
  • The fish and all other animals in Finding Nemo except the anglerfish. They're sapient and emote like humans, but they live very much like fish and they (with the exception of Dory) are illiterate.
  • The animals in Happy Feet can communicate between species (with the exception of whales) but see humans as "aliens".
  • The animals in all of the Ice Age films are mostly sapient but with animal instincts.
  • The animals in The Jungle Book (1967), though Louie the orangutan and the monkeys are Partially Civilized Animals. They're capable of thinking strategically and throwing parties, but predators still eat other animals, and Shere Kahn has an irrational fear of fire.
  • The dogs and most of the other animals in Lady and the Tramp except the songbirds and pigeons, which are completely normal animals.
  • The animals of the The Lion King live under a monarchy ruled by lions that has organized events and laws and animals are shown to be capable of interacting with each other on a sapient level. But nevertheless, most animals more or less act as the real life counterparts would such as meerkats living in underground tunnels, lions and hyenas hunting other animals, and ungulates grazing on grass. Although the movie does tend to put a more anthropomorphic spin on otherwise natural behaviors such as the trio of hyenas cracking jokes about how they're going to eat Simba, Nala, and Zazu.
  • Sebastian, Flounder, Flotsam, Jetsam, and many of the other marine animals from The Little Mermaid. They're sapient and can do things like shake their heads, dance, and play music.
  • Melman the Giraffe and all of the Fossa in Madagascar. All the other animal characters are shown to be able to move like humans.
  • The non-anthropomorphic animals in Open Season. They can make plans (albeit plans that don't often work), fall in love, and emote like humans, yet they live in the woods and do animal things.
  • Nana the dog, the unnamed crocodile, and other animals from Peter Pan, Fairies, and Jake And The Neverland Pirates. The crocodile for instance can understand English and does things like nod his head and twiddle his fingers.
  • The rats in Ratatouille can speak to each other, and seem to be cleaner than most rats. Remy has also learnt to cook. On the other hand, Remy still bites instinctively when he's hungry, and most of them have the palates of generic rats.
  • The birds and other animals in Rio can talk, but only to each other, and they snark at each other the way a human would and can dance.
  • Spike is usually a completely realistic animal, but in Rugrats Go Wild!, he falls in this level and is shown to speak Animal Talk.
  • Diablo the raven from Sleeping Beauty qualifies. He understands Maleficent's orders and carries them out with great efficiency. While unable to speak, he seems to be able to communicate with Maleficent and the goons in some fashion, as he somehow managed to order the otherwise terribly incompetent mooks into carrying out several organized attacks that would have given Prince Phillip a lot of trouble had the fairies not been there.
    • Phillip's horse Samson also qualifies. He acts and moves like a real horse and can't talk, but appears to understand humans perfectly and is capable of responding to them through body language, such as shaking his head "no" when King Hubert asks him a question or nodding in approval when Phillip gets ready to meet Aurora.
  • Azrael in Smurfs: The Lost Village, who is also clearly smarter than his owner Gargamel.
  • The animals in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs mainly act like normal forest animals, but they seem to be able to understand speech, such as when a bird blushes at Snow White's emotional song. They're also able to clean a house and to alert the dwarfs to danger.
  • Pascal the chameleon and Maximus the horse from Tangled. Both are capable of understanding speech and they make human-like expressions and gestures.
  • Many of the animals in Tarzan, especially the gorillas and elephants. They talk to each other and Tarzan, and Terk the gorilla even knows some letters. She apparently isn't intelligent enough to use the typewriter to communicate with the other humans, though.
  • The Land Before Time: While most of the carnivorous antagonists are completely normal animals, the herbivorous main characters and their families qualify because they feel complex emotions and go through different adventures together, but still act like dinosaurs in the wild with zero access to human technology.
  • The dogs in Up. They mainly behave like dogs but are trained to do pretty sophisticated things like cook, and are once seen playing cards. In addition, their thoughts, which are conveyed through their collars, are pretty sophisticated with the exception of the Running Gag of them randomly thinking, "Squirrel!".

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The dogs, pack rat, and iguana in Beverly Hills Chihuahua can all talk to each other.
  • The animals in Dr. Dolittle can talk to each other and Dr. Dolittle, and occasionally do human things, but are still very much animals.
  • The cats and dogs in Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey and its sequel can talk to each other, but are otherwise normal animals.
  • The animals in Marmaduke are otherwise normal animals that can talk to each to each other and throw parties, unlike in the comic strip which it was based on in which they're completely normal animals.
  • The animals in Racing Stripes can talk to each other, make plans, and fall in love.
  • Most of the dogs in Underdog, except for Underdog himself, the only dog who can talk to humans.

  • Charlotte's Web: The animals mainly behave as their species, but they're capable of cracking jokes and understanding humans. Also, Charlotte the spider is fully literate and Templeton the rat can at least read.
  • In The Golden Hamster Saga, mammals can talk to each other and understand human speech. Freddy also knows how to read and type, but he is the only animal who can do so.
  • Mouse, Harry's pet dog in The Dresden Files, is a foo dog with supernatural ancestors, giving him uncanny senses and instincts. When Harry is turned into a dog at one point, he discovers that Mouse also has human-level intelligence, and can talk in sophisticated ways to other canines.
  • Sam the Cat: Detective: Sam and the other cats are LNAs. They understand everything humans say and refer to humans as their roommates and/or employers. A cat who lives in a police station introduces himself as Officer Gomez, and Sam's friend Butch considers chasing mice at the supermarket to be a job. Some cats hire other cats to do jobs for food. Cats are capable of making phone calls to each other, reading, and typing emails. Shortly before The Big Catnap Sandy and Rosie have a church wedding, with another cat acting as the minister. In The Maltese Kitten, Butch talks about joining the Republican Party.
  • A Sick Day for Amos McGee: The animals have human-level intelligence and understand games like chess and hide-and-seek, and sometimes they sit like humans, but they can't talk (except, possibly, for the owl, who "read a story aloud" but it's unknown if he read it in English or Animal Talk) and they behave more like very smart, docile animals than like humans.
  • The cast of Watership Down, both books, film, and TV series. The rabbits have a language, mythology and organized military groups, and are capable of planning and forming friendships, but otherwise look and behave like real rabbits.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Lassie can not only understand, but also bark in some sort of code that humans understand to mean Timmy in a Well.
  • The titular kangaroo of Skippy the Bush Kangaroo not only shows a remarkable understanding of English, but often imitates human behaviors like playing a piano or the drums.

    Music Videos 
  • In the Preschool Popstars music video for "I Didn't Mean to Burp", a cat is seen sitting on its haunches, but with its front legs in the air and holding a slice of pizza.

    Video Games 
  • Mabari war hounds of the Dragon Age series are said to be smart enough to talk, wise enough not to. They're certainly able to understand what people say and Hawke's mabari was able to learn to play cards. Dwarven enchanter Sandal even seems to have figured out how to speak "mabari speak."
  • The Duck Hunt Dog in Super Smash Bros. for Wii U / 3DS. He seems to be smart enough to use the same items as the rest of the cast can and stands up in his hind legs to use them, but aside from some attacks and taunts, he spends most of the fight in four legs and only does dog sounds, and when not in use, he carries the items in his mouth. It's not clear to what degree he can communicate with his duck partner, but they seem to work in good synchrony.
  • Koromaru from Persona 3. He usually acts like a normal dog, but he's a playable character with the ability to summon a Persona and fights by holding a knife in his mouth. It's clear that he understands a lot of what the humans are saying, and Aigis often "translates" his barking.

  • The wolves of Off-White talk and reason very similarly to how humans would, but in regards of their motivations, instincts and sophistication (or lack thereof) they are still depicted mostly quite close to what one would expect of real wolves.
  • Scurry: None of the mice are clothed, and only Ork has a collar around her neck. Wix picks up a carry satchel from a dead mouse at one point.

    Western Animation 
  • Animaniacs:
    • Buttons the dog. He's mostly normal, and unlike Runt he can't talk, but he has an understanding of when Mindy is in danger and how to save her.
    • Also, Newt as Schnappsi the dog in "Puttin on The Blitz".
    • Sykes the crow, Scout the dog, and Squeakers the rat, Pharfignewton the horse, and Gobbles the turkey fall here too.
  • The monkey in Chuggington
  • Most of the non-anthro animals in Arthur including Pal and Nemo. They can scheme and speak Animal Talk in some episodes, but they never do human-like gestures, mainly think like animals if brainy ones, and don't even understand English.
  • The animals in the Curious George movies and TV series are this, though Curious George is a non-talking Civilized Animal himself.
  • The dragons in Dragons: Riders of Berk act mostly as normal animals and can't talk at all, but their body language and facial expressions clearly show their thoughts and emotions, and they also understand their rider. In some cases, e.g. Barf and Belch, an arguement can be made that they're even smarter than their riders.
    • The same goes, of course, for the dragons in the sequel series Dragons: The Nine Realms. In this show, this is explained by dragons being extremely empathetic creatures which have strong reactions to emotions. As such, unless they are territorial like the Glass Caster or naturally aggressive like the Skrill, they are usually friendly, or at the very least harmless, creatures towards both humans and each other despite not having had contact with humans in over 1,300 years.
      • Big Bad Jörmungandr stands out among the dragons in this show. While appearing more like a vicious animal bound by its natural predatory instincts to hunt and kill any dragon it crosses paths with at first, it has been shown to be able to learn, recognize and avoid traps and even formulate strategies such as when it pulled a Batman Gambit on the riders by attacking the Night Lights as a distraction for its real target, the God's Realm, the so-called "lungs" of the Hidden World were most of the Hidden World's oxygen is produced. Even the riders who already treat dragons as their equals are taken aback by Jörmungandr's cunning.
  • Marc Anthony the dog from Looney Tunes. Also, The Roadrunner, who runs like a normal roadrunner and says nothing but "Beep beep" but is sometimes seen Talking with Signs or doing other human-like things.
  • The Loud House: Most of the animals qualify— they're capable of using logic, and Walt falls in love in one episode. They also sometimes appear holding objects or wearing clothes, but only for the sake of a joke. Their understanding of English is inconsistent— in "No Guts, No Glori" they appear to only understand commands like "sit", yet in the "So Long, Sucker" short, they go into Oh, Crap! mode when Lynn Sr. says he will be getting five more of the vacuum cleaners they hate.
  • The animals in Martha Speaks except Martha, who is a Talking Animal. Namely, they behave like regular animals mostly, but can understand English, conspire together, and sometimes try to do human things like cook (albeit very badly).
  • Opalescence the white Persian cat and the other animals and pets from My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. Opal, for instance, is a mainly normal cat but the timing of her meows suggests Cats Are Snarkers. Owlowicious is mainly a regular owl but he can sort books at the library and works as Twilight's nighttime assistant.
  • Pet Squad: The three main characters can talk to each other and the ducks when not supervised, however use Animal Talk to their owner when he's in the room.

Mostly Normal Animal:

    Films — Animation 
  • Rajah the tiger from Aladdin. He's mostly normal, but he's seen looking offended when Jasmine doesn't count him as a friend and confused when the Sultan says, "Allah forbid you should have any daughters!".
  • Dinah the kitten from Alice in Wonderland is between this and a LNA. Namely, she behaves like a normal cat, but shakes her head no at one point.
  • Sven from Frozen behaves somewhat like a dog and can understand speech, but never really does anything human-like.
  • Fluffy Louise Lopart, Mr. Lopart's cat, and a few of the other animals from Handy Manny.
  • While most of the animals in the Ice Age sequels are Partially Civilized Animals, the dinosaurs and other Mesozoic reptiles that appear are basically this trope. At least this was true until the fifth movie, which introduced talking dinosaurs.
  • Brutus and Nero the crocodiles from The Rescuers can understand commands and act somewhat doglike.
  • The equine cast in Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron have some slightly doglike behavior and expressions. They have human eyebrows and visible, white sclera. The narrator is a horse, and the horses have a sense of humour, can plan ahead, and are implied to have their own language. At least some individuals also have romantic love, although Spirit's home herd seems to follow the normal stallion/harem order.
  • The Super Mario Bros. Movie: Francis, the Golden Retriever who attacks the Mario Bros. during their first plumbing job, has human-like facial expressions and gives a rather human nod to Luigi at the end of the film after the brothers save Brooklyn, but otherwise acts like a normal dog.
  • The cockroach from WALL•E is generally normal, but sometimes expresses affection like a dog might.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The penguins in Mr. Popper's Penguins are mostly normal, but Captain lives up to her name in that she often leads the penguins and conspires with them. Also, they teach themselves how to use the toilet.
  • Azreal in The Smurfs. He bangs his head on a table (in a way that only a human could) in one scene, and aside from that looks like a normal cat (to the point where he looks like motion capture of a real cat in the CGI scenes).

  • In A Dog's Life, the dogs are not depicted as talking, however it's implied that dogs can talk to each other. Squirrel acts like a dog and doesn't completely understand how humans think.
  • A Dog's Purpose: Dogs cannot talk to each other beyond normal dog body language and barking. The protagonist can understand humans to a degree. He understands the words they say but not the meaning of most words, and thus his brain drowns out anything he doesn't get and tries to pick up what he wants to hear (such as his name or the word "biscuit"). The protagonist acts, and is treated like, a completely like a normal dog. He's also shown to be more scent-oriented than visually-oriented.
  • A Dog's Way Home is a Spiritual Successor to A Dog's Purpose and is written by the same author. It follows the same conventions, with dogs being unable to hear each other's thoughts or communicate beyond body language (which creates some confusion between Bella and others) and the protagonist Bella largely being a normal dog with a very inhuman way of thinking.
  • The dogs in Men at Arms can talk to each other and have even formed their own guild, with their leader being a small, mad poodle who preaches that all dogs should behave like wolves and rebel against their masters. They can't communicate with the humans (to the exception of Gaspode, whose ability to speak human is seen as a superpower), and mostly behave like normal dogs otherwise.
  • Played for laugh in the P. G. Wodehouse novel Money for Nothing. John's dog Emily has an internal monologue just like the human characters, exchanges stories with other dogs and "talks" to the humans with a rather elaborate vocabulary, but when the narrative follows the point of view of the human character she behaves like a normal dog and her "speech" is only heard as barking.
  • The cats of Warrior Cats have an elaborate society and culture unlike real feral cat behavior, but almost never communicate with other species (the only times this happens are when one cat speaks Dog to make some dogs go away, when an unusually intelligent rat speaks Cat, and when Midnight the Badger speaks Cat). They remain quadrupedal but vocalize more than real life cats.

    Video Games 
  • Adiboo: Magical Playland: In contrast to Adiboo's pet dog Pup, who has human-like hands and a suction cup-shaped leg, the bees, birds, cat, and fish are almost completely non-anthropomorphic.
  • The horse from Miitopia understands what’s going on around it, follows orders, and may nod its head when asked a question, but otherwise acts like a normal horse.

    Western Animation 
  • Buster, Darby's pet dog, and the squirrels from My Friends Tigger & Pooh. In Buster's case, he's pretty much a normal dog, but occasionally sounds as though he's asking a question or seems like he understands English.
  • Many non-anthropomorphic animals in SpongeBob SquarePants. The nematodes, for example, can talk, but they only say "Hungry!" and "Thirsty!".

Almost Normal Animal:

    Anime and Manga 
  • Hashie the blue shoebill from Classicaloid is a realistic representation of the species, save for his unlikely colour. His stoic behaviour combined with his naturally bizarre appearance and the absurd situations he gets in makes for a rather amusing sight. The only times when he exhibits human-like reactions is for occasional throwaway gags.
  • Erika's dog Zach from Ginga e Kickoff!! is a mean soccer player.

    Films — Animation 
  • Sonya the bear in Madagascar: Europe's Most Wanted, contrasted with the rest of the cast, which is made up of Largely Normal Animals and Civilized Animals. This makes her romance with King Julien all the funnier. She can't communicate with the other animals, and she mainly acts like a normal bear, albeit a circus bear.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The otherwise completely normal moth that Gargamel saw in The Smurfs is able to carry out his order to send a swarm of moths. His order backfires and the moth sent a swarm of flies instead, but still.

  • Semi and Miranda in Dr. Franklin's Island are unusual examples, since they started off human and became a fish and a bird, respectively. But The Mind Is a Plaything of the Body, and they have animal-selves which are intelligent but disinterested in human things, and which threaten to take over.
  • In the book Indian Paint, the horses were almost normal, and completely unable to talk. This is particularly interesting because part of the book was told from the point of view of one of them.
  • The Girl Who Drank the Moon includes an unnamed crow that only makes birdcalls, but that Luna can understand like speech. That particular crow had a magical origin and there is no evidence of it speaking with other crows.
  • Sparhawk's horse Faren in The Elenium is clearly far smarter than a typical horse, able to understand human speech to some extent, and to understand and follow combat tactics. He also imitates Sparhawk's behavior, causing others to believe he's a very bad-tempered horse when he's actually trying to fit in.
  • Bad Mermaids: Old Wonky, an octopus who works as a palace servant, can understand everything mermaids say but can't talk. He can answer yes or no questions by wriggling or rocking. When he tries to say more complicated things, he usually isn't understood, like when he jumps up and down on Liberty Ling's throne to show that she's responsible for fishnapping Arabella Cod.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In Our Miss Brooks Mrs. Davis' cat Minerva and Mr. Boynton's frog McDougall were much smarter than your average cat or frog.

  • Kwang from Dawn of a New Age: Oldport Blues acts like a normal squirrel but is somewhat capable of understanding the world around him, a little moreso than most animals would be. He's helped along by Hyeon's guidance.

    Video Games 
  • Another Sight has Hodge, a rare playable version of this. Various characters remark he 'knows his way around' the strange game world, and he is incredibly helpful to Kit, but he doesn't ever demonstrate anything beyond being a remarkably intelligent cat. Even travelling the dream realm while separated from Kit and jumping through a portal to save her doesn't quite put him as anything beyond this, as that realm is almost certainly a side effect of the Node. Then again, he's implied (and confirmed in the prequel game) to use the portals regularly in order to get around... although whether he makes them or just knows where they are is up in the air.
  • Feed the Cat: The cats mainly behave like real-life cats, but they sit with their back legs out in front of them and their front legs at their sides. They also like having money catapulted into their mouths for reasons unknown.

    Web Original 
  • Serina: During the Ultimocene, a number of creatures become smart enough to develop limited culture and innovative behaviors without becoming smart enough to form true civilization. Sapience, as the narration says, is a spectrum:
    • The one bird that farms a species of snail for food, the farmerjay, does so instinctively, and is described as a clever animal with a strong ability to plan for the future, but isn't self-aware.
    • The porplets and seastrikers are at the very cusp of true sapience as opposed to just being very smart animals, being highly intelligent with rich inner lives. Eventually, the seastrikers become truly sapient beings, the daydreamers, while the porplets' descendants become known as luddies, who typically average the intelligence of a daydreamer child. A few million years later, the luddies also become a sapient species, the greenskeepers.
    • The bluetailed chatteravens are near-sophonts partially descended from a much older sapient species, and have a complex language and the ability to create tools, but apart from a single truly sapient individual they are no more intelligent than a chimp.

    Western Animation 
  • Appa and Momo in Avatar: The Last Airbender albeit fantasy animals, they act like animals. Of them both Appa is more intelligent than Momo as he does understand human language whilst Momo can't understand the meaning of the word water.
  • On Little Princess, Little Princess's cat looks like a cat, pretty much behaves like a cat and can't talk or anything. However, he sometimes reacts as if he understands stuff that the humans are saying or doing, and sometimes puts on accessories, stands on two legs (but not generally for very long), or holds things in his paws.
  • Infinity Train has lots of talking or Civilized Animals, but then there's the deer whom our season two protagonists dub "Alan Dracula." In terms of behavior his only odd trait seems to be how friendly and unafraid he is of other creatures, willingly following MT and Jesse on their journey; however, he also has a random and ever-growing set of superpowers. Given his limited intelligence, however, this makes him as much a hindrance as a help with the Train's various tasks.
  • Greg's Frog in Over the Garden Wall act like a normal frog but seem to be capable of understand him and understand to some extend what's going on. Of course until The Reveal that he's the narrator.
  • The sandpipers and hermit crabs from Piper look, sound and behave mostly like their Real Life counterparts, although their face is slightly more expressive and are apparently capable of between-species communication.
  • Laddie from The Simpsons episode "The Canine Mutiny". Santa's Little Helper and Snowball II are usually just normal animals, but rise to this level occasionally as the Rule of Funny dictates.


Alternative Title(s): Largely Normal Animal, Mostly Normal Animal, Almost Normal Animal


Kala Finds Baby Tarzan

Kala the Gorilla finds baby Tarzan.

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Main / NearlyNormalAnimal

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