In a franchise that contains lots of (if not defined by) high-octane thrills and violence, some iterations are noticeably tamer than the original.
This can be done for pragmatic reasons, seeing some of the action in the original bogs down the story and distracts the viewers from more important things that are happening.
While not always the case, this can be the result of a Genre Shift, as some genres are more predisposed to action and violence than others. If one were to adapt an Action Horror, Shonen or Superhero story into something Lighter and Softer, like a High School AU or a Slice of Life Drama or an Ecchi-Comedy with Magic Realism elements, then it's less likely bodies will start dropping.
Sub-Trope of Adaptation Deviation. Compare Lighter and Softer, Bowdlerise and Macekre for attempts to make works more family-friendly, which may include toning down the action such as fighting and violence. Contrast Actionized Adaptation, where the adaptation is more action-packed than the source material. Unrelated to Adaptational Wimp.
- Ghost in the Shell (1995) is an Adaptation Distillation that focuses on the Puppet Master storyline from the original manga. The Puppet Master storyline is indeed a large part of the manga's storyline, but it's only one part of a greater series of mostly actionized events that focus on Section 9 being a counter-terrorism unit. The 1995 adaptation places a much heavier focus on philosophy of humans and technology but sets up the action scenes to really deliver when they happen.
- Grimms Notes The Animation, despite adapting a game with a big focus on battles, action, and making your Heroes stronger, has a really bad habit of pulling Battle Discretion Shots for its combat scenes, to move the plot forward and add a bunch of "comedy" scenes. The party is ready to kick a group of Villains' asses? Cut to commercial! And, on return, the party has already taken them all out. This also resulted in a few enemy characters being Adapted Out, since most of them were irrelevant to the story. Even the fights against the Chaos Tellers only last for a couple of minutes.
- The original .hack R1 Games are heavily combat-dominated Eastern RPGs, but their animated adaptation/prequel .hack//SIGN is largely a talkie show, with only a handful of combat scenes scattered across 26 episodes, while the remaining runtime consists of dialogue, navel-gazing, and awesome music.
- The .hack//G.U. games are just as heavily combat-oriented as their predecessors, but the prequel anime .hack//Roots has very few action scenes, with the characters mostly discussing what they want to become for themselves as hints of a greater mystery leading up to the games starts to unfold. It serves more as a set-up for Haseo to set himself down his path as the Player Killer-Killer that he's become infamous for being at the start of the first game.
- While Season II of the Rosario + Vampire manga escalates the plot from a quirky Harem comedy with monsters to an action-packed Shonen drama with global stakes, the anime adaptation is Lighter and Softer, placing more emphasis on Fanservice and a more episodic format. This can be justified since Season II of the anime was released before the shift occurred in the manga.
- The anime adaptation of Violet Evergarden is significantly less violent than its source story, and makes present-day Violet much more morally opposed to violence as opposed to her light novel self, who avoids killing mostly because her boss asked her not to but is still willing to deal potentially fatal violence in defense of self and others (such as shooting a terrorist in both legs and throwing him off a moving train). Tellingly, the anime Violet never uses a gun again after the war ends and she is discharged from the army, but the LN Violet does use guns on several occasions, conceal carries a pistol along with knives and stilettos almost everywhere she goes, and uses her salary to buy new weapons when they strike her interest. The anime also avoids the subject of what the army made her do to prove herself as a living weapon violently slaughtering multiple criminal prisoners in a sadistic type of Gladiator Games which the LN showed in all its bloody detail.
- While The Dragon and the Butterfly Saga has its fair share of action scenes (The Vikings vs The Madrigals, the Dragon Raids on Berk, the Screaming Death in the Encanto, etc), many of the more action-packed elements that carry over from the How to Train Your Dragon franchise are downplayed in favor of Slice of Life elements from Encanto.
- Ghostbusters has quite a few action scenes, but the fanfic Embarrassment is just a slice-of-life story about Egon and his Original Character love interest having Weight Woe.
- The X-Files has a lot of action generally, but the fanfic I Dreamt About You Last Night is just Mulder coddling a sick Scully.
- The 1976 adaptation of Carrie. In the original book, Carrie burns down not only her senior prom, but most of her hometown. The film, however, was made in a time before CGI on a budget of just $1.8 million, which is still worth less than $10 million even when adjusted for inflation. As a result, the production kept only the destruction at the prom, Carrie killing Billy and Chris in a car explosion, and the finale where she burns down her house, and even that last one had to be scaled back when an effects shot malfunctioned and they didn't have the money to redo it. The 2013 version made each of those scenes more bombastic, including having Carrie cave in a street and blow up a gas station as collateral damage when she kills Billy and Chris, but kept Carrie's rampage limited to just them. The 2002 made-for-TV version was the only one that filmed the destruction of the town, and that one was hobbled by low-budget CGI.
- One of the criticisms of 2015's Fantastic Four was that it was lacking in action or super heroics, due in large part to the film's poor pacing — in an hour and a half of runtime (not counting the credits), the main characters don't get their superpowers until an hour into the film, and the film's only major action sequence begins around the 80-minute mark.
- The 2014 iteration of Godzilla focuses on the human characters a lot more than the monster fights. This has been a very common criticism of this adaptation series as a whole, although this one is particularly guilty of it.
- The Hunger Games: While still a pretty violent affair, being a story about teenagers killing each other as competition, much of the violence is less rendered than what the book entails. Things written on paper tend to get very graphic, describing things like bones cracking or bodies splitting open in gruesome places. The movie is able to get away more with a Gory Discretion Shot here and there to keep things PG-13. And blood in general is kept less prevalent despite lethal wounds being dealt at many points.
- Jurassic Park is one of those rare adaptations where the source novel actually has more action than the movie. While there is still plenty of danger and peril in the film, the human characters usually survive dinosaur encounters with a combination of quick thinking and some incredibly lucky breaks, whereas in the novel several characters proactively fight back against the dinos and even manage to kill a few.
- Zig-zagged with Guest from the Future in relation to the book on which it is based. The 21st-century sequence, which corresponds to the book's first part, is an Actionized Adaptation. However, the 20th-century sequence, compared to the book's second part, is this trope. Though all the chase scenes from the novel are retained, all the fights (Alice and Yulia vs. the pirates at the hospital, the gym teacher vs. the pirates at school, the children vs. Rat in the final showdown) are gone. Even the long and dramatic volleyball match with the 7A class is cut and replaced with long jumps that involve no competition with another class and last a couple of minutes.
- Coming Out of Their Shells seems to be trying to push a pacifistic narrative. While other versions of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were taught ninjitsu by Splinter and pushed to exercise stealth and anonymity, here it's the exact opposite; Splinter teaches them The Power of Rock and how they should reach out and touch hearts, which makes them the least ninja-like iteration of the turtles yet (and that's saying something). There is only one fight scene and its mostly the Turtles throwing around foot-based puns when Shredder's minions show up.
- Gettin' Down in Your Town ramps it up and never actually features the Turtles fighting. The only fight is between Casey and Shredder, and on top being rather dodgy, it only goes for a minute or two.
- The Cuphead Show! has much less of a focus on combat and violence than the game it's based on, a frantic run-and-gun platformer. The titular duo of Cuphead and Mugman don't show any prowess for combat or firing cartoon bullets from their fingers, and even the game's bosses that appear pose a very downplayed physical threat.
- Zigzagged with Transformers: Rescue Bots. While Transformers as a whole is a war-based series, Rescue Bots is about a team of young, well, Rescue Bots learning to be effective search-and-rescue operatives while working with human allies. Notably, Rescue Bots takes place in the same continuity and concurrently with the much darker Transformers: Prime, with Optimus Prime being a major supporting character. However, no mention is made of the Decepticons or the larger world-threatening conflict throughout the series' run (other than a vague reference to "those who would do us harm" in one episode) and the closest there is to a Big Bad is amoral Mad Scientist Thaddeus Morocco.