Civilized Animal

    Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
    Not all Civilized Animals are as cute as this...

    Civilized Animals exhibit some form of civilized manner, but otherwise occupy their species's natural role in the ecosystem and (especially) the food chain. They generally display half the mannerisms of a human character and half the mannerisms of an animal character. They may wear clothes (often being accessory wearing, half dressed or even barefoot, but otherwise fully-dressed), or may live in houses, and are frequently depicted as walking on two legs; but their anthropomorphism stops abruptly at this point, as their everyday concerns are for ordinary activities such as acquiring food and avoiding predation by larger animals. Civilized Animals are typical of children's stories, especially those of British literature.

    Like Funny Animals, Civilized Animals usually have a body that is generally shaped like that of their respective species, even though they are typically bipedal. Civilized Animals, like Funny Animals, tend to be bipedal even if their species is not naturally so, and most Civilized Animal birds have Feather Fingers, whether their wings look completely like wings or look like arms. Many Civilized Animals can shift between using two legs and four.

    A related trope is Mouse World.

    Civilized Animals differ from their neighbors on the Sliding Scale of Anthropomorphism as follows:

    • A Funny Animal has most or even all the mannerisms of a human character, and generally if replaced by a human, the plot will be mostly or even nearly identical.
    • A Partially-Civilized Animal exhibits some form of civilized manner, but is more likely to have all the body shape and the majority of the mannerisms of the animal.
    • Talking Animals and Speech-Impaired Animals have all the body shape and mannerisms of the animal; their anthropomorphism is strictly limited to the fact that they talk and in some cases walk on two legs.
    Examples of Civilized Animal include:

    Anime and Manga

    • Pokémon: Meowth of the Team Rocket trio fits this trope.

    Comic Books



    • Early chapters in The Wind in the Willows exemplified this trope, but later parts of the story exhibit an Anthropomorphic Shift towards Funny Animals.
    • The Redwall books.
    • Peter Rabbit is perhaps the most iconic form for some people. Beatrix Potter's other works also exemplify this trope.
    • In the Narnia books, talking animals live in their natural environment in huts with windows and can talk to humans, but they usually don't wear clothes and don't always walk upright (though they sometimes use armor in battle, and in the unreleased first draft Animaland, the did wear clothes and walk upright).
    • Alice in Wonderland: The White Rabbit and March Hare. However, in the Disney adaptation, they are Funny Animals.
    • In The Emerald City of Oz (one of the later Oz books) there were a group of rabbits who had been civilized and live in a town called Bunnybury; their king expresses himself as nostalgic for being a natural rabbit and living in a hole in the ground:

    "I've often thought," said Dorothy, who was busily eating, "that it would be fun to be a rabbit."
    "It is fun--when you're the genuine article," agreed his Majesty. "But look at me now! I live in a marble palace instead of a hole in the ground. I have all I want to eat, without the joy of hunting for it. Every day I must dress in fine clothes and wear that horrible crown till it makes my head ache. Rabbits come to me with all sorts of troubles, when my own troubles are the only ones I care about. When I walk out I can't hop and run; I must strut on my rear legs and wear an ermine robe! And the soldiers salute me and the band plays and the other rabbits laugh and clap their paws and cry out: 'Hail to the King!' Now let me ask you, as a friend and a young lady of good judgment: isn't all this pomp and foolishness enough to make a decent rabbit miserable?"

    Dorothy manages to convince him that he is really better off as a civilized rabbit, however.
    • The ancient Greek Batrachomyomachia makes this trope Older Than Feudalism: it's a mock epic parodying works in the genre like the Iliad, and it does so by replacing the heroic figures with talking mice and frogs. They definitely still behave like animals in some respects, but they wear armor, carry tiny spears, and generally act 'civilized' throughout the 300-line poem.
    • The civilized dinosaurs in Dinotopia, who are either the second or third group. They live in buildings, speake in their own languages, but usually don't wear clothing, although some wear armor or adornment on horns, spikes, plates, ect.

    Newspaper Comics

    • Snoopy from Peanuts can't talk, lives in a doghouse, doesn't wear clothes, and is Charlie Brown's dog, but he does manage to act largely human. Sometimes to the point that some members of the cast forget that he is a dog.
    • Hobbes from Calvin and Hobbes.
    • Verne, Hammy, and RJ from Over the Hedge.

    Video Games

    • Sonic the Hedgehog
      • The small animals who are freed from the badniks.
      • Also, the students in the PC title Sonic's Schoolhouse, who mention that they have realistic animal eating habits, etc in the field trip videos.
    • Puchi from Mr. Driller.
    • The animals in Lugaru and Overgrowth. They're more barbaric than "civilized," though.
    • Many of the animals in American McGee's Alice follow this trope. Others, like the cat and the Mock Turtle, choose to go naked.

    Web Comics

    • In The Intrepid Girlbot, Raccoon #1 has demonstrated some ability to be civilized, but she's still very much prey to her animal nature.
    • CHEVALIER This romantic fantasy adventure webcomic is a great example. Here [dead link]
    • Little Dee: Dee's adopted family.
    • The sentient canid species in Wurr (at least the two to which we've been officially introduced). No clothing beyond the occasional collar, and very canine body language and (for the most part) behavior. However, the hounds seem to at least build shrines to the deceased, while the dogs have tents, jewelry, and currency.

    Web Original

    Western Animation

    • The animal characters from Madagascar and its TV show spin-off, The Penguins of Madagascar may not be able to talk to humans, don't exactly live in houses, and usually don't wear clothes, but they do fit this trope a lot of the time.
    • Many of the Looney Tunes animal characters, including Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Wile E. Coyote, and Sylvester Cat and Tweety Bird.
      • Bugs Bunny belongs in this trope. Although his behavior is entirely human, he still lives in a burrow and has to worry about being hunted or eaten. There was an odd situation in the cartoon "Hare Splitter" where Bugs and his rival live in furnished burrows and wear only their fur, while their contested girlfriend lives in a frame house and is fully dressed.
      • Same with Daffy Duck (although he tends towards Funny Animal in later works), and a lot of other Looney Tunes animal characters.
      • Sylvester's characterization ranged from being a normal cat to being a Funny Animal, but he usually fit either this trope or the Talking Animal trope.
    • Also the same with a lot of the Tiny Toon Adventures animal characters like Buster, Babs, and Plucky.
      • Furrball is usually portrayed as a normal cat who can walk on two legs, but was also sometimes portrayed as a Funny Animal or a Civilized Animal.
    • Animaniacs
      • Slappy and Skippy Squirrel exemplify this trope because they live in a tree and fight predator animals while still walking on two legs, talking, and sometimes wearing clothes.
      • Rita the cat is also a good example of this trope, she walks on two legs, manipulates things in her paws like they were human hands, talks, and wears clothes and accessories (albeit rarely), but is treated like a normal cat for the most part in the episodes she stars in.
      • Even though Minerva Mink is a full-on Petting Zoo Person complete with a human frame, in the two episodes she actually starred in, she lives in a log in a forest and Newt tried to hunt her in one of those two episodes.
        • Minerva's foe, Newt the dog plays this trope much straighter. He is portrayed as having an owner in "Meet Minerva" and "Puttin On The Blitz," but unlike most of the other dogs in the show, he often walks on two legs and manipulates things in his paws like they were human hands.
    • Pinky and The Brain: The titular mice walk on two legs, talk, and sometimes wear clothes, but they usually live in a cage like normal lab mice would. The other mice in the show generally fit this trope, except Mousey Galore the Petting Zoo Person mouse.
    • Some of Tex Avery's MGM characters (Droopy, Screwy Squirrel, etc.).
    • Little Bear.
    • Franklin, both the books and TV series.
    • Winnie the Pooh, as far as you can say for stuffed animals. Except for the Nearly Normal Animals, Buster, Small, and the squirrels from My Friends Tigger and Pooh, some of the characters are Talking Animals and some of them belong in this trope.
    • The eponymous character of Courage the Cowardly Dog. Most of the other animal characters either Funny Animals or are somewhere in between this trope and Funny Animal.
    • Brian Griffin from Family Guy, in earlier seasons. Newer ones make him a Funny Animal with occasional Furry Reminders.
    • The insects and arachnids in Miss Spider's Sunny Patch Friends exemplify this trope, but Felix the Frog is just a Talking Animal.
    • Many of the animals in Chip 'n Dale Rescue Rangers.
    • Father of the Pride
    • Curious George, unlike the other animals.
    • Chip and Dale in the Classic Disney Shorts are Partially Civilized Animals, but otherwise, they fit squarely in this trope.
    • Gromit, of Wallace and Gromit definitely qualifies.
    • A few of the "non-anthro" animals in the Arthur episode, "The Great Lint Rush," especially Toady Wartface, Mr. Toad (No, not that one), and a lizard that showed up.
    • The dinosaurs from Dinosaur Train, especially the Troodons, who are responsible for operating the titular train.
    • The eponymous equines of My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic occupy a weird, nebulous intermediary zone between this and Funny Animal. On the one hand, they live in houses and in a lot of ways their day-to-day lives paint them more as quadrupedal humans than mildly anthropomorphic horses. On the other, the creators researched a lot of horse behavior and incorporated it into the characters' body language, Rarity's song "Art Of The Dress" and the accompanying visuals account for equine physiology in a way that also betrays extensive research, and wherever possible they avoided having the ponies use their hooves for fine manipulation.