Ever notice in fictional works aimed at children, animals tend to have much more (or at least a little more) intelligence than they should?
Nearly Normal Animals don't talk (though Largely Normal Animals can have some sort of Animal Talk) 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 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 clearly have thought processes and often human-level intelligence but don't talk freely with humans. These animal characters may talk to each other, essentially having their own language, but humans won't understand them. That is, unless they can talk to animals or if the language is able to be learned. Their thought processes and personality is 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 examples are bipedal even if their species isn't naturally so, but the majority of them stay on four legs if they are a four-legged animal in Real Life. A few Largely-Normal Animals can sometimes act like the more anthropomorphic Civilized Animal or Funny Animal when required by a joke.
- Mostly-Normal Animals 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. Like Level 3, but unlike Level 1, they don't talk Animal Talk. Their thought processes and personality is 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. This is the level between Largely-Normal Animals and Almost-Normal Animals.
- Almost-Normal Animals 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 merely a result of Did Not Do the Research 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.
Anime and Manga
- 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.
Disney and Pixar
- The animals in Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs
- Figaro and Cleo from Pinocchio
- The animals in Dumbo except Timothy Q. Mouse, the crows, and the stork the Civilized Animals.
- The animals in Bambi
- Lucifer the cat, Bruno the dog, and Major the horse in Cinderella
- The flamingos and hedgehogs, the broom-headed dog, and the Tulgy Wood critters in Alice in Wonderland
- Nana the dog, Tick Tock the crocodile, and other animals from Peter Pan, Fairies, and Jake and the Never Land Pirates
- 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 in Sleeping Beauty are this, especially Diablo the raven.
- The dogs and other animals in One Hundred and One Dalmatians
- The animals in The Jungle Book, though Louie the orangutan and the monkeys are Partially Civilized Animals.
- The cats, dogs, horse, and geese in The Aristocats are this, though the geese and the cats (especially the cats in Scat Cat's gang) are Partially Civilized Animals and Roquefort the mouse falls squarely into the Civilized Animal trope.
- Rufus the cat from The Rescuers
- The animals in The Small One
- The animals in The Fox and the Hound (film).
- The animals in Oliver and Company
- Flounder, Flotsam, Jetsam, and many of the other marine animals The Little Mermaid
- Most of the Australian wildlife from The Rescuers Down Under.
- Abu the monkey from Aladdin straddles the line between this trope and Speech-Impaired Animal.
- The animals in the three Lion King movies are this, though Timon and Rafiki are Civilized Animals.
- Meeko, Flit, and Percy in Pocahontas
- Crikee from Mulan
- Many of the animals in Tarzan, especially the gorillas and elephants.
- The dinosaurs and lemurs from Dinosaur. Yes, even the Carnotaurus.
- Bucky the squirrel from The Emperors New Groove.
- The animals in Brother Bear.
- The animals in Home on the Range except Lucky Jack, who is a Civilized Animal.
- The animals in The Wild
- The animals in Bolt
- Stella the dog and Marcel the cat from The Princess and the Frog
- Pascal the chameleon and Maximus the horse from Tangled
- Mickey Mouse's dog, Pluto the Pup is this, as are many other "non-anthro" animals in the Classic Disney Shorts.
- Though quite a few of them lean toward Partially-Civilized Animal.
- The fish and other animals in Finding Nemo.
- The dogs in Up
Film - Animated
- The dogs, wolves, and other animals in Balto
- The birds and other animals in Rio
- The animals in Happy Feet, though the penguins are Partially Civilized Animals
- The wolves and other animals in Alpha and Omega
- Pooka, Anya's dog in Anastasia.
- The dinosaurs from The Land Before Time.
- The animals in Open Season, though some of them lean a little into Civilized Animal territory.
- Spike is usually a MNA example, but in Rugrats Gone Wild, he falls in this level and is shown to speak Animal Talk.
- Tiger the cat and Nugent the dog from Over the Hedge
- The animals in the first Ice Age film, but not in the sequels.
Film - Live Action
- The dogs, pack rat, and iguana in Beverly Hills Chihuahua
- The cast of Watership Down, both books, film, and TV series.
Live Action TV
- The animals in Krypto the Superdog except Mechanicat, who is a cyborg Funny Animal cat. The animal characters sometimes lean toward the Civilized Animal trope at times.
- The animals in the Curious George movies and TV series are this, though Curious George is a non-talking Civilized Animal himself.
- Most of the non-anthro animals in Arthur including Pal and Nemo.
- The animals in Martha Speaks except Martha, who is a Talking Animal.
- The cats in Sagwa the Chinese Siamese Cat.
- Marc Anthony the dog from Looney Tunes.
- Also, Wile E. and the Roadrunner, though a few cartoons show Wile E. as a Civilized Animal.
- Buttons the dog from Animaniacs
- 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.
- Gary the snail in SpongeBob SquarePants, though in his dream, he's a Funny Animal like SpongeBob.
- Opalescence the white Persian cat and the other animals and pets from My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic
- The monkey in Chuggington
- Azrael from The Smurfs
- Tom and Jerry are usually shown as this, though sometimes they are shown as Civilized Animals.
- All animals in Phineas and Ferb except the agent animals, who are Civilized Animals.
Mostly Normal Animal
Disney and Pixar
- Dinah the kitten from Alice in Wonderland is between this and a LNA.
- Brutus and Nero the crocodiles from The Rescuers
- The grizzly bear from The Fox and the Hound (film)
- Toby and Felicia from The Great Mouse Detective.
- Max the dog from The Little Mermaid
- Rajah the tiger from Aladdin
- Djali the goat and Achilles the horse from The Hunchback of Notre Dame
- Khan the horse from Mulan
- Sabor and some of the other animals in Tarzan
- Fluffy Louise Lopart, Mr. Lopart's cat, and a few of the other animals from Handy Manny
- Pluto, Figaro, Butch, and Salty the seal are usually Largely-Normal Animals, but are this type in Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.
- Bella and Mr. Pettibone are also this level.
- The cockroach from WALL-E.
- Kevin the bird in Up
- Waffles and Chainsaw from Goof Troop
- Goofy's cat, Mr. Pettibone from House of Mouse
- Buster, Darby's pet dog, and the squirrels from My Friends Tigger And Pooh
Film - Animated
- The equine cast in Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron have some slightly doglike behaviour and expressions. They have human eyebrows and visible, white sclera. The narrator is a horse, and the horses have a sense of humour and can plan ahead. At least some individuals also have romantic love, although Spirit's home herd seems to follow the normal stallion/harem order.
- Dragon the cat from The Secret of NIMH, as in the book.
- The hawk from Rango
Film - Live Action
- The penguins in Mr Popper's Penguins
- 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)
- Dragon the cat from Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH.
- Kitty, Eric Cartman's cat from South Park.
- Pussyfoot the kitten from Looney Tunes.
- Spike the dog and Fluffy the cat from Rugrats
- Cow from Word World seems to be this type.
- Many of the animals in The Simpsons.
- Santa's Little Helper the dog and Snowball II the cat from The Simpsons are occasionally this type.
- Many non-anthropomorphic animals in SpongeBob SquarePants.
Almost Normal Animal
Anime and Manga
Disney and Pixar
- The rat from Lady and the Tramp
- Glut the Shark from The Little Mermaid
- Marahute from The Rescuers Down Under
- Philipe the horse, the wolves, and most of the other animals in Beauty and the Beast.
- The coelacanths from Atlantis the Lost Empire.
- The frog and the ducklings from Lilo and Stitch and the chicken from Lilo and Stitch 2: Stitch Has a Glitch
- Many of the animals in the movies and series are at this in fact.
- Many of the animals in Handy Manny
- Scud from Toy Story and Buster from Toy Story 2 and Toy Story 3
- Sven the reindeer from Frozen.
Film - 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 backfired and the moth sent a swarm of flies instead, but still.
- 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.