Animals Not to Scale

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This trope is about animals that are either unusually large or unusually small for their species. This is especially true of Funny Animals, which tend to be within normal human size ranges. Thus a small animal (say, a mouse) will be about as tall as a very short person or an average housecat, which is gargantuan compared to the actual species, while a big one(say, a bear) would be as tall as a normal person.

This is a common Artistic License for various reasons, and can be easily ignored when either only a single individual is out of scale from its Real Life counterpart, or when all animals are consistently larger or smaller than Real Life. This trope focuses primarily on animals who are not merely depicted on a different scale from Real Life, but on different scales from each other.

There are two variants:

  • Variant 1: Unusually Large
  • Variant 2: Unusually Small

The examples can range anywhere on the Sliding Scale of Anthropomorphism from Nearly-Normal Animal to Petting Zoo People.

Subtropes include Rodents of Unusual Size (rats, mice, and other rodents), Giant Spider (spiders), Giant Enemy Crab (crabs), Big Creepy-Crawlies (insects and other arthropods), Canis Major (dogs), and Mega Neko (cats); can overlaps with Kaiju (giant Japanese monsters).

Can also be related to Furry Confusion. See also Your Size May Vary.


Examples of Animals Not to Scale include:

Variant 1: Unusually Large Examples[edit | hide | hide all]

Anime and Manga[edit | hide]

  • In-universe variant: The Pokedex lists Charizard's average height as 5'7", a typical height for a human. In the Pokémon anime, they are portrayed as being at least twice that size.
    • Another example is Nidoking and Nidoqueen, who are depicted in the anime to be the size of an SUV, but the stats and size comparison from the games show them to be roughly the height of an 8-year-old child.

Film[edit | hide]

  • Who Framed Roger Rabbit?: Roger Rabbit looks a little large for a rabbit, and the weasels look awfully large for weasels.
  • The weasels in The Wind in the Willows segment of Disney's The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad are awfully large for weasels too.
  • The villain of Disney's Dinosaur is a Carnotaurus that's three times the size of the film's hero, Aladar (an Iguanodon). In real life, Carnotaurus wassmallerthan Iguanodon.
  • Similarly, Rudy, the Big Bad of Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs is portrayed in the film as a Baryonyx that's twice the size of a Tyrannosaurus Rex! In real life, the only dinosaur that is actually that size is a Spinosaurus, a close relative. However, the T. rex sized Suchomimus may be a species of Baryonyx, which may lend some credibility to Rudy's size.
    • Ice Age fans however often seem to forget the fact that the dinosaurs encountered by the main characters are living millions of years after the Cretaceous and have obviously become larger than their ancestors, as Mamma Dino is (according to the creators of the film) twice as big as an actual T-Rex. Most other animals in the film are similarly scaled up, including Buck who is a weasel but close to human size if compared to the other characters.
  • Another dinosaur-related example: the Velociraptors from Jurassic Park and its sequels were famously oversized, owing to Rule of Cool and taxonomic confusion. Combine all three and we've got ourselves a classroom full of crying paleontologists.
  • Both Chanticleer the rooster and the evil Duke of Owls from Rock-a-Doodle are the same height as a human.
  • Some of the anthopomorphic characters at the Disney Theme Parks that were originally small are now the same height as a human. For example, in the film Cinderella, all of the rodent characters are proportionally correct in size, but at the theme parks, they're all the same height as Cinderella!
  • Drake, the main villain of The Pebble and the Penguin, for some reason, unlike all of the other Adelie penguins in the film, is actually the same height as a human. Also, the leopard seal that constantly pursued both Hubie and Rocko throught the entire film is actually the same size as a submarine!
    • And the entire Adelie and Rockhopper penguins as a whole, who for some reason all have their approximate sizes reversed! (in real life, Rockhopper penguins were larger than Adelie penguins, something that was actually corrected in the later film Happy Feet.)
  • Both Foulfellow (a fox) and Gideon (a cat) from Pinocchio are apparantly the same height as a human (more so Foulfellow than Gideon). This is most notable when they are talking to the Coachman.
  • Becomes extremely noticable during the Elephant Graveyard scene from The Lion King where all of the elephant skeletons that make up the savanna's resident elephant graveyard are the same size as those of whales! (all of the living elephants, however, are correctly proportioned)
  • Mighty Joe Young, the Disney one, which had a giant gorilla, supposedly from a genetic mutation.

Live Action TV[edit | hide]

  • Oddly, the Teletubbies managed a live action example (sort of), populating the set with an unusually large variety of rabbit to make the costumed characters (adult actors) look child-sized.

Newspaper Comics[edit | hide]

  • In Dilbert, when Ratbert was introduced he was more or less normal-sized for a rat. At least Scott Adams could explain a size increase by saying that Ratbert was still living at the science lab for a while and was experimenting with a growth formula.

Sequential Art[edit | hide]

Video Games[edit | hide]

  • Sonic the Hedgehog and Tails, a fox, are about the same size, which is unrealistic by itself. Both can be estimated to be about three feet tall at most.
  • In-universe example: to make the fighters roughly equal, various characters are sized up in the Super Smash Bros. games, including Pikachu and Captain Olimar.
  • Most Pokémon based on small animals are enormous compared to whatever creature they're based on. Just for a small flavour, there's Raticate the forty-pound rat, and Pikachu the foot-tall mouse.
    • Averted with Scolipede. It's eight feet long, which would sound really ridiculous for a centipede or millipede, if not for the fact that in real life there was something bigger than it.
  • Jurassic Park Warpath may also have type 2, but the only one that stands out atm is the raptors. They're Megaraptors, not Utah- or Velociraptors, (back when Megaraptors were thought to be raptors), but at 20 to 25 ft long, they were still nowhere near T-Rex size, or the other large theropods.
  • The giant octopus in Ecco the Dolphin. There are huge giant squids, and the largest North Pacific Giant Octopus are perhaps 14 or 15 ft long, but this one was at least twice the size of Ecco, a bottlenose dolphin, which grows to about 12 ft long.
    • The original Ecco also had gigantic seahorses and trilobites in the distant past.
  • Animal Kaiser has fish/insects/birds/bats/snakes which are at least the size of large cats.

Web Animation[edit | hide]

  • Lampshaded a few times with Kevin in Kevin and Kell—for a rabbit, he's built more like a small heavyweight wrestler.

Web Comics[edit | hide]

  • Gored By Them Things (a 2004 parody of Lord of the Rings reenacted with Beanie Babies) had a sequel in the works at one point that featured a scene with Spilnko the Unjustifiably Massive Bear. While none of the animals were really to scale, Spilnko's very name strained the fourth wall to lampshade how much he towered over everyone else.

Western Animation[edit | hide]

  • In Rocko's Modern Life Rocko the wallaby seems to be about 3 feet or so tall, making him one of only two realistically sized animals on the show (Rocko's pet dog, Spunky being the other one). Heffer the steer and Dr. Hutchison the cat (presumably of the house variety) look normal human size, about 5 and a half to six feet, Filburt the turtle is in-between, while the Bigheads who are cane toads are maybe 6 and a half feet tall, with their heads counting for at least half of that, their adult son Ralph who does not have a large head, and has about the same body height is a little taller than Rocko, not counting his hair.
  • Depending on the Artist, Bugs Bunny stands somewhere between three (slightly large for a rabbit) and five feet tall (petite for a human woman). Either way, much larger than your average rabbit.
  • Daffy Duck is unusually large for a duck.
  • Regular Show: Mordecai is a six-foot tall blue jay, and his Love Interest Margaret is a cardinal about the same size. Rigby is only slightly larger than a real racoon, but his younger brother Don is as tall as a man.
  • Whenever you see a Bully Bulldog on a cartoon, he is usually about twice the size of an actual bulldog.
    • Domestic dogs have the greatest variation in average size range of any domestic animal, but each breed has its own size range.
  • Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse the housecat sized mice and Mortimer Mouse the human sized mouse in contrast to Donald Duck and Daisy Duck the normal sized ducks, Chip and Dale the normal sized chipmunks, and Pluto, Mickey's "normal" sized dog.
  • Frog and Ant from Word World are unusually large for their respective species.
  • The main cast in the Catillac Cats segments of Heathcliff and The Catillac Cats are all cats, but there are some vast differences in height among them: Riff-Raff is about the size that a cat walking upright would be, Cleo is about twice as tall, and the rest are human-sized. Heathcliff himself is also regular cat-sized, and while this is consistent with the characters in his segments, this trope comes into play when he crosses over with The Catillac Cats, as has happened several times in the series.
  • Kaeloo the frog is about a head taller than Stumpy the squirrel and slightly taller than Mr. Cat. Quack-Quack, who is a duckling, is in in turn half a head taller than Kaeloo. In the Making Of video, it's shown that Mr. Cat and Stumpy are actually reasonably sized for a domestic cat and a squirrel. To make things weirder, Kaeloo is often described as being little.

Variant 2: Unusually Small Examples[edit | hide]

Anime and Manga[edit | hide]

  • In Fullmetal Alchemist, May has a very small panda named Xiao Mei; often times she is mistaken for a cat by other characters in the series.
    • Sort of justified in that she was supposedly stunted as a cub due to an unnamed illness.

Commercials[edit | hide]

  • A recent Direc TV commercial for some reason showed a giraffe that's the same size as a chihuahua! (the giraffe was running on a treadmill watching a nature documentary film about (normal-sized) giraffes)

Film[edit | hide]

  • In real life, skunks, raccoons, and oppossums are about the size of a housecat, but RJ the raccoon, Heather and Ozzie the oppossums, and Stella the skunk from Over the Hedge are way smaller than Tiger the cat.
  • In Rango, Rattle-snake Jake and the metal-beaked hawk is able to tower over the other townsfolk, yet in Real Life half of them would have equal, or even greater, size to them (such as the fox and the grisled bobcat). For example, the Gila Monster (one of Tortoise John's lackeys who initiated the shootout with Rango before the untimely arrival of the hawk) would have been more than a match for Rattle-snake Jake and the bird due to its equal size and poisonous bite.
    • The realism of Jake's size is a bit hard to pin down. While Gila monsters (Bad Bill) get to be about 2 feet long, western diamondback rattlesnakes usually get to about 4 feet, and 5 feet, while not common, is not unheard of. The largest confirmed size was 7 feet, so depending on where Jake falls in that size range, he could justifiably tower over the townsfolk of Dirt. The hawk, however, should have only been one or two inches taller than Bad Bill.
    • While the townsfolk are equal to Rango's size, the spiritual armadillo he encounters on the road towers over him as an armadillo would in Real Life.
  • Gloria (the hippo) from Madagascar looks more similar in size to Alex (the lion) than a real life hippo would.
  • In Once Upon a Forest, the badgers are about the same size as the mice.

Puppet Shows[edit | hide]

Western Animation[edit | hide]

  • Clarabelle Cow and Horace Horsecollar from the Classic Disney Shorts are human sized.
    • There really are miniature cattle and horses, but normal sized cattle and horses are about half a ton.
  • The penguins, King Julien the ring tailed lemur, Maurice the aye-aye, and Marlene the otter from The Penguins of Madagascar fit this trope, but Mort the mouse lemur is average sized for his species.
  • Pearl and all the other whale characters in SpongeBob SquarePants. If the others are implied to be about six inches high, that makes the whales no larger than half a yard (or 18 inches).
    • One episode was actually about SpongeBob and Patrick trying to protect an egg inside Mrs. Puff's classroom. The egg can easily fit in their hands, but at the end of the episode, the egg finally hatches... ...into a live action baby chick!
  • Yogi Bear is small for a bear, being about the same size as Ranger Smith.
    • This was fixed a bit in the movie, making him small for a bear, but at least a half a foot taller than some of the humans.
  • Tyrone the moose and Tasha the hippo from The Backyardigans.
  • Nick Jr.'s mascot Moose A. Moose is only twice as tall as Ze the bird.
  • Bullwinkle J. Moose from Rocky and Bullwinkle is as tall as an average man.
  • Bubbie from The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack is often drawn relatively small (at least from the outside) considering she is a fricking whale and the main characters live inside her. Making her a combination of this and Bigger on the Inside.
  • All of the marine animals from Fish Hooks given the fact that they all live in a pet store aquarium...
  • Lulu from Ni Hao, Kai-Lan is awfully small for a rhino, being about the same size as Tolee the koala and Rintoo the tiger cub.
  • The Disney animated short Goliath II, which is about a baby elephant that's the size of his father's (a normal-sized elephant) toenails.

Examples That Show Both Variants[edit | hide]

Film[edit | hide]

  • The rhino guards from Robin Hood are for some reason, the same size as the film's Big Bad, Prince John (a lion) and his Dragon, the Sheriff of Nottingham (a wolf).
    • Also, Robin Hood and Maid Marian are unusually large for foxes, given the fact that the former is almost the same size as Little John (a bear), and that the latter is the same height as a human whenever she is dancing.
  • In Fantastic Mr. Fox, while the foxes are decently proportioned to the humans, there's a bear who is the same size as they are—and a rat who is taller than Mr. Fox.
  • Rango is especially guilty of this. While animals like Rattlesnake Jake, the metal-beaked hawk, and the wise armadillo are of proper size, the citizens who populate the town of Dirt (more specifically a gila monster, fox, turkey vulture, bobcat, and an ancient Corrupt Hick tortoise) are the size of Rango, the former pet chameleon.

Literature[edit | hide]

  • In The Magician's Nephew the talking Beasts of Narnia are differentiated from their non-talking beast cousins by having the small Beasts (like hedgehogs) becoming larger and the large Beasts (like elephants) becoming smaller if they are able to talk.
  • Word of God says that the sizes of characters (as well as objects) in the Redwall series depend on the reader's imagination. This could very well be an example for both forms of this trope.
  • The first two books of Dinoverse have a Tyrannosaurus, an Ankylosaur, a Leptoceratops, and a Quetzalcoatlus. There is an index at the back which shows each species besides a human, for scale; put them together and they would be about like this. But while they do have distinct size differences in the book, there are occasional illustrations in which the size differences are not nearly as pronounced.
  • The Whos from Horton Hears a Who! all live on a dust speck, and the Grinch owns a pet dog named Max. And they all live on the same speck (in the live-action Grinch movie starring Jim Carrey, the Whos all live on a snowflake).

Video Games[edit | hide]

  • Most Pokémon based on small animals are unusually large; most Pokémon based on large animals are unusually small.
  • The Dino Crisis series have a few cases of this in the first two games. The first game has Therizanosaurus as much smaller than it's real life counterpart that's depicted as a super-sized raptor, which isn't even close to what it looked like in real life (the thing was an herbivore). The sequel has a sorta example with Allosaurus, while about the overall size they were in real life, are depicted as downsized T-rexs, which would make them much heavier than their real life counterparts. The more infamous case was the Gigantosaurus that appears at the end of the game. In real life, it was able the size of T-Rex, though slightly heavier. In this game it dwarfs it.
  • Hatoful Boyfriend has a human character and many pigeons which were affected by a virus that gave them larger brains, which suggests that their bodies are larger as well. One path involves one of them getting killed and cooked up and he's apparently the size of a chicken or turkey. But another path has the human in a three-legged-race with one of the pigeons as a partner - and the pigeon does most of the work.
  • Banjo-Kazooie was seriously weird about this. While Banjo is unusually small for a bear, he'll come across many critters that should be smaller than him (ex. Squirrels, monkeys, turtles), but are at least as large as he is. The humans on the other hand, range from being somewhat larger than him, to being freaking giants.

Web Comics[edit | hide]

  • Kevin and Kell's characters are mostly the same size, be they hedgehogs, lions, or moths.
  • 21st Century Fox is somewhat notable for a furry comic in that the author at least attempts to get the relative sizes of the different characters right.

Western Animation[edit | hide]

  • Beast Wars characters combine all the issues of this trope with common scale problems prevalent in Transformers media, mostly in beast mode. Cheetor and Tigatron, being introduced right next to actual animals of their species, are explicitly according to scale. However, Rattrap is exceptionally large for a rat, Waspinator, Tarantulus et. al. would be horrific in real life, and Megatron as a T-Rex only makes sense if he is intending to be an adolescent T-Rex. For an elder, he'd be pathetically small. The same scale problems can be said for Beast Wars II (anime) and other Transformers series in other media.
    • It is highly likely that the beast modes are deliberately resized to something along the lines of their original Cybertron scale, however. Though, not 100%, since some comics have shown Maximals and Predacons that are about half the size of Autobots and Decepticons.
    • Some episodes lampshade the discrepancy of character size. A season one episode had Rattrap following a life-sized rat, while a season 3 episode showed Tarantulus preparing to eat a meal suitable for him (a deer).
  • The animals in Arthur are all more or less the same size as each other. This includes George (a moose), Sue Ellen (a cat), and Buster Baxter (a rabbit), who are the same size as an aardvark and a bunch of dogs, monkeys, and cats of their same age; and Mr. Ratburn (a rat), who's of a size with the other adults. Then there's the fact that Arthur's (non anthropomorphic) dog Pal is the size of a real dog relative to the anthropomorphized characters.
  • The two mascots of the German Edutainment Show Die Sendung mit der Maus are an orange mouse and a blue elephant. The mouse is twice as big as the elephant. Judging from the third mascot (a duck), as well as most of the objects they interact with, one may assume that the mouse is roughly human-sized, while the elephant has the size of a dog.
  • Camp Lazlo features an elephant character named Raj and a rhinoceros character named Clam, who are both portrayed as being the same height as Lazlo (a monkey), as with Chip and Skip (a pair of dung beetles).
    • In defense of Clam, he is explicitly an albino pygmy rhino, making him smaller than a standard rhinoceros.
    • That doesn't excuse the dung beetles from being the tallest of the campers.
  • Looney Tunes has Foghorn Leghorn, a human-sized rooster, and his archnemesis Henery Hawk, a sparrow-sized hawk.
    • Many birds of prey are smaller than roosters, and "sparrow hawk" is a common name for kestrels and other tiny birds of prey. The smallest bird of prey, the Pygmy Falcon, is not much bigger than a finch. So while a human-sized rooster is an animal of unusual size, a small hawk isn't.