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"Heaven take it away! Hippopotami should not have human hands and carry torches... men should not have the heads of crocodiles..."
—H.P. Lovecraft and Harry Houdini's Under the Pyramids.
A Petting Zoo Person is a type of character who is so anthropomorphized that they resemble an animal's head and tail placed on an otherwise human body frame. This is a higher degree of anthropomorphism than the Funny Animal (who retain the general shape and proportions of the animal), but a step below those that are a Little Bit Beastly (whose only animal features are their ears and tail, possibly claws); in Japan, this level of anthropomorphism is referred to as "kemono" (which is shortened term of kemono-obito or beast-man, and is also what Japanese furries call themselves).
Petting Zoo People typically feature the following:
- They possess the animal's full head and face, and (where applicable) the animal's tail.
- Where Little Bit Beastly folks have human skin, Petting Zoo People possess fur-, feather-, or scale-covered bodies. Sometimes they have a mix of skin accented with heavy concentrations of fur (et al), a built in Pretty in Mink as it were.
- They may feature animal-like claws or pads on their hands, or may stand on digitigrade feet resembling the animal's hind legs.
- Their body frame can be measured by human proportions, e.g: six to eight "heads" tall, legs comprising half their body height, etc.
- They may possess humanlike breasts, which Funny Animals typically lack.
- They display all the mannerisms of a human individual, such as speaking human language (unless they're The Speechless) and wearing clothes on their body. The type of clothes varies with each setting; Petting Zoo People in 'modern' or science fiction settings will wear modern-day attire, while individuals in fantasy or "native" settings might wear only a loincloth and jewelry, or even forego clothing entirely. Petting Zoo People are much more likely to be Fully Dressed Cartoon Animals.
- They will likely wear some form of footwear (unless they're Barefoot Cartoon Animals), which is not very common for Funny Animals, particularly the clothing-adverse type. Footwear is less likely if they have digitigrade feet.
- A female will typically have humanlike, styleable hair on her head, while a male's head simply has the same pelt as he has on the rest of his body.
- Though males with similarly humanlike hair is not uncommon. Sometimes this is also inverted with Petting Zoo People lions and those based off of lions, where the males are known for their manes.
- While a Beast Man may have Animal Eyes, they will usually have human eyes (with perhaps a wider variety than Common Eye Colors).
- While Funny Animals and Civilized Animals are sometimes or often treated like "normal" animals in their world, Petting Zoo People are almost never treated like normal animals in their world.
In-universe, Petting Zoo People are generally a distinct species from both humans and animals (as opposed to a Half-Human Hybrid), assuming the subject is actually brought up rather than simply glossed over, and may inhabit a World of Funny Animals.
There are two variants of PZP beside the standard variant, "Borderline Petting Zoo People", and "Borderline Little Bit Beastly".
- Borderline PZP have a body that does not look simply like an animal-accented human body, nor does it keep the basic shape of the animal entirely like a Funny Animal. They look partly humanoid and partly like their species, often they have either humanoid legs and non-humanoid torso, humanoid torso and non-humaniod legs, or look semi-humanoid all over. Many top heavy bipedal animal characters are of the humanoid torso and non-humaniod legs variety. Females are depicted with human-like breasts fairly often.
- Borderline LBB have a animal-accented human face and body frame with the animal's ears, nose, tail (where applicable), markings, and sometimes fur, feathers, or scales. They have a mostly or nearly human-shaped head and little or no semblance of their species' muzzle. If they are a bird, they have the beak or bill respective to their species that is small regardless of their species on an otherwise human-shaped head. These are not to be confused with a Beast Man, which although he/she looks like this variant, he/she is a human with several animalistic physical and even behavorial traits.
One proliferous source of Petting Zoo People in artwork (possibly even the Trope Codifier) is the Furry Fandom; sometimes characters who are Funny Animals in their Canon will be made Petting Zoo People in fanart. Petting Zoo People are also commonly referred to as "Furries". Fans of these are also commonly known as "Furries".
A midpoint between the Funny Animal and Little Bit Beastly on the Sliding Scale of Anthropomorphism. Supertrope of Intelligent Gerbil. See also Humanoid Female Animal, where different genders of the same species possess differing levels of anthropomorphism. See also the subtrope Barefoot Cartoon Animal, for when characters with this design are overwhelmingly drawn barefoot, despite being normally clothed otherwise.
Common SubTropes include:
Anime & Manga
- Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann has a whole race of them, the Beastmen.
- In Mahou Sensei Negima, the Magical World seems mostly composed by Kemonomimis, but there are quite a few of Petting Zoo People too. Most "Bear Mama", the bear woman who took care of some of the characters for a while.
- Tony Tony Chopper from One Piece fits this trope while in his hybrid form. However, his normal form is a Funny Animal (he is a reindeer) while his human form is a Beast Man.
- Foxy also had three rat Petting Zoo People in his crew who helped him prepare for the grand match of Davy Back Fight.
- In Bleach, Sajin Komamura appears to be this.
- Fukuro in Fairy Tail.
- Also Yomazu and Kawazu.
- Chicken George from Fourteen is a chicken variety of this.
- They are a common sight in the Dragon Ball series, even moreso in the earlier arcs. Major characters that fit this trope included Puar, Oolong, and Korin. Other examples of this trope are Captain Yellow (a tiger), a high-ranking officer of the Red Ribbon Army and King Furry (a dog), the King of Earth.
- At least three of Doraemon's Non-Serial Movie have settings around the anthropomorphic animal's societies. One having mixed up species, one having birds, and one having dogs and cats. They act and speak so similarly to the Earthlings that the heros are always able to disguise themselves simply with animal outfits and use the language translation gum.
- When Kurt Connors from the Spider Man comics becomes the Lizard he falls under this trope.
- Sally Acorn, Lupe, and Bunnie Rabbot from the Sonic the Hedgehog comics started off as Funny Animals in the SatAM cartoon and early issues, but eventually became this trope due to Steven Butler. This has been toned down in more recent issues, with the artists proportioning the cast more according to the games series' Funny Animals designs.
- Arguably the design shift was codified with Patrick Spaziante's work, who did art for the comic rather early in its run (his earliest art for Issue 25 already uses a rather humanoid Sally for example); however, the designs only became consistent around the time artists such as Butler and Jay Axer began doing pencils for the series. This is true for Sally Acorn at least. Bunnie's more humanoid redesign was due to a canonical upgrade for her robotic limbs while Lupe was noticably more humanoid than the others, even in the cartoon.
- Maus, a story about the Holocaust, with different species standing in for different nationalities/races.
- The cast of Usagi Yojimbo, with two exceptions, both villainous.
- Blacksad is one of the currently most famous examples in the European comic book world, starring mostly animals of all kinds with very human-like bodies, ranging from straight-up PZP to Borderline Little Bit Beastly.
- De Cape et de Crocs: The main leads are an anthropomorphic fox and wolf. They also are noblemen; and both have human Love Interests. Their sidekick is a rabbit (and former Guard of the Cardinal!)
- The dognoses of Carl Barks's Disney Ducks Comic Universe comics, the Mickey Mouse Comic Universe comics, DuckTales, Goof Troop, A Goofy Movie and An Extremely Goofy Movie look like people, except with dog noses and muzzles, and (usually) dog ears. The Beagle Boys are an example.
- Many of them are even more humanoid than Goofy or Max, who are also supposed to be dognoses.
- A lot of dognoses have a coloring that indicates a lack of fur and some of them (like Roxanne from A Goofy Movie) even border on Little Bit Beastly.
- But the Beagle Boys in Mickey, Donald, Goofy: The Three Musketeers, unlike in Carl Barks' and Don Rosa's comics and in Duck Tales, are grey, which is color that makes them look like they have fur.
- Almost everyone except for the titular protagonist in Jack Kirby's '70s comic, Kamandi: Last Boy on Earth.
- Katarina Kodorofsky the Russian spy cat and Mickey's ally from the Mickey Mouse Comic Universe.
- The X-Men's Beast has a secondary mutation that has him turn into this.
- Rosinha Rocha from the Ze Carioca comics is a borderline Little Bit Beastly.
- The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, as mentioned below.
- Cerebus the Aardvark is a humanoid aardvark.
- Most of the supporting cast of Sonic the Comic gradually turned into this. At first they were just animals standing on two legs, usually keeping their animalistic proportions (so, for instance, pig Porker Lewis had a large belly, and rabbit Johnny Lightfoot had notably longer hind legs), but after Robotnik took over Mobius most characters started wearing clothes and assumed more humanoid proportions. Porker's the most obvious example, as his pig trotters were replaced with five-fingered hands (presumably due to his status as the team's tech expert).
- French beverage maker Orangina has a cast of characters in their commercials which are CGI animal people.
- American beverage enhancer Mio appears to be following suit.
- Chuck E Cheese, the giant mouse mascot of a chain of kids' restaurants called Chuck E. Cheese's Pizza.
- In the 1980s, Midland Bank, a British listening bank, has an anthropomorphic version of their golden griffin mascot in some of their animated commercials.
- The majority of the cast of the Hungarian animated series Kerem a Kovetkezot.
- The mice, cats, rats and bats in Cat City.
- Disney characters Maid Marian, Gadget Hackwrench, and Rebecca Cunningham are borderline Petting Zoo People in their Canon, but are usually full-on Petting Zoo People in fanart. This is because furries need something that caters to their personal tastes.
- Babs Bunny, Fifi La Fume, Rhubella Rat, and Shirly The Loon from Tiny Toon Adventures are Funny Animals, but are often drawn as Petting Zoo People in fanart. Like said example above, this is because furries need something that appeals and interests them.
- Fanart of Cleo from Heathcliff and The Catillac Cats usually shows her with Wrong-Type-of-Mammal Mammaries, which she does not have in the show's Canon.
- Most Sonic the Hedgehog characters are actually Funny Animals, but most of them are usually drawn as Petting Zoo People in fanart, especially the female characters.
- Sawyer from Cats Don't Dance is a Funny Animal on the verge of looking like a borderline PZP in the movie, but is a Petting Zoo Person in most fanart.
- Penelope Pussycat from Looney Tunes is a Civilized Animal in the Canon, but she is often drawn as a Petting Zoo Person in fanart.
- Kitty Mouse from The Great Mouse Detective is an example, though a lot of the other mice are Borderline PZP.
- Barf from Spaceballs is a Mog: half man, half dog.
- All the animals in Fantastic Mr. Fox except the dogs, chickens, and wolf are either PZP or borderline PZP.
- Dr. Delbert Doppler, Captain Amelia, and their children from Treasure Planet.
- Planet of the Apes.
- The statue of West Eastman High School's mascot (a bald eagle) from Alvinandthe Chipmunks: The Squeakquel has a muscular human frame.
- The rats in Flushed Away.
- Beans and Angelique the vixen in Rango are PZP.
- A lot of female penguins in The Pebble and the Penguin, including Marina, and the Top-Heavy Guy villain, Drake are Borderline PZP.
- Stuart Little has a humanoid body in the three movies and TV show he has starred in and even in the original book.
- In Robert E. Howard's Conan the Barbarian story "The Tower of the Elephant", a prisoner in the tower has the head of an elephant and the body of a man.
- In Robert E. Howard's Kull story "The Shadow Kingdom" the Snakemen have human bodies and reptilian heads.
- In C. J. Cherryh's Chanur Saga the viewpoint characters are all Hani, a species which are basically anthropomorphic lions. The Hani's society is based on Earth lions, with clans of adult females which are each theoretically ruled by an adult male, but in reality the male is merely a pampered figurehead who rubber-stamps the decisions made by the females.
- This is a popular design for androids in Rick Griffin's Argo.
- Arol in the norwegian fantasy series Phenomena, who is an icebear commonly called "winter bear" in-story, but sometimes typoed(?) as icebear. He and his tribe wears clothes and armors and talks like everyone else and walks on two a lot. Though he runs on four.
- Some of the kemos in the web-novel Domina fall into this. Most, however, only have a few bits here and there.
Mythology and Religion
- Some of the Egyptian gods.
- Thornton the polar bear from Sherman's Lagoon.
- Dungeons and Dragons
- Aarakocra — bird people.
- Abeils — bee people.
- Asabis — lizard people.
- Bullywugs — frog people.
- Catfolk — cat people
- Crabmen — crab people.
- Desmodus — bat people.
- Dragonborn — dragon people.
- Equicephs — horse people.
- Firenewts — lizard people again.
- Formians — ant people.
- Giff — hippopotamus people.
- Gnolls — hyena people.
- Goatfolk (Ibixians) — goat people.
- Gripplis — frog people again, but this time tree frog.
- Hadozees — ape people.
- Hurgeons — hedgehog people.
- Kercpa — squirrel people.
- Kenku — another bird people, with looks of a hawk and attitude of a magpie.
- Lizardfolk — lizard people again.
- Locathah — fish people.
- Loxos — elephant people.
- Minotaurs — bull people.
- Nycters — bat people again.
- Psurlons — earthworm people.
- Pterafolk — pteranodon people.
- Rakshasas — tiger people.
- Sahuagin — shark people.
- Saurials — dinosaur people.
- Sivs — frog people again.
- Tabaxis — leopard people.
- Thri-kreen — praying mantis people.
- Urskans — bear people.
- Wemics — lion people.
- Yak Folk — yak people.
- ...and Mystara has an extra collection of its own on top of all this.
- The Gajuma in Tales of Rebirth. They consist mostly of various anthropomorphic mammals, with a few avians, as well.
- Freya Crescent from Final Fantasy IX is Burmecian, which is a race of anthropomorphic rats. Also, a good percentage of the NPC population is made up of anthropomorphic hippos and whatnot.
- Characters in Star Fox. All of them.
- Female animal characters in the Sly Cooper games.
- Sly Cooper, a male animal character, is a Borderline PZP.
- The Rawulf race of the later Wizardry games are described as descended from dogs. Their statline emphasizes vitality and piety, making them excellent priests and especially valkyries for the females.
- The Rabbits and Pigs from SWINE.
- The Argonians from The Elder Scrolls CRPGs are anthropomorphic lizards, yet the females have mammaries and the males have bulging loincloths. Morrowind dropped this, however, with the females in that game having no mammaries and the males having no visible... equipment. Oblivion picked it back up though, to the point where the two beast races have human-like bodies, but are covered in fur/scales and have a tail.
- Felica from Darkstalkers is a borderline case between this trope and Little Bit Beastly.
- The majority of female characters in Crash Bandicoot, though Tawna and the Crash Team Racing trophy girls are standout examples. Coco Bandicoot and Pasadena Opossum border as such Depending on the Artist.
- One of the most immediately apparent distinguishing characteristics of the Breath of Fire series.
- They and one or two Little Bit Beastly characters comprise a decreasingly large portion of the playable characters as the series goes on, culminating in the most recent game lacking playable PZP s entirely.
- Some Pokémon, such as Lucario, resemble animals with human bodies.
- Unwritten Legends, like most MUDS has a couple of races that qualify. Namely, cat and dog people.
- In Inherit the Earth, the entire cast is like this, due to humans being extinct.
- Avernum has the Slithzerikai and Nephilim / Nepharim, which are lizard and cat people respectively.
- Solatorobo is populated by Caninu and Felineko.
- CHEVALIER The animal characters in this romantic fantasy adventure are a prime example. Here.
- The cast of The Cyantian Chronicles are mostly human-animal hybrids created by an ancient alien race, largely divided into digitigrade Ricael (wolves, foxes, coyotes, jackals...), and plantigrade Talin (rabbits, mice, sheep, mounties aka felines...). But there's also quite a few aliens of this form and some new hybrids (most notably fruit-scented skunks and psychic raccoons) created by the fox.
- Lackadaisy takes place in an American 1920's where all humans are cats. Other animals such as dogs and pigs exist as we know them; so even though the reader perceives the characters as cats, they are truly and essentially human.
- The heroine of the webcomic Freefall is a genetically engineered wolflike humanoid who carries with her a ton of instincts, most of which she can control by concentrating. Her running commentary of how she fits into human society is one of the highlights of the series.
- Just to give you a taste: Florence had to practice ventriloquism to be able to talk right, because she can't use her lips to say P, M, or B. She has to hold herself back from chasing small moving things (she has at least once leapt from a moving vehicle when someone threw a ball). She can hear sounds in a range humans can't, so some places that are quiet to humans are very loud to her, and she had to learn not to shout over sounds nobody but she hears.
- And she really must remember not to bare her fangs when imitating a human smile. Although, her horrific grin allows her to get her own way a lot.
- She also can't see all colours, so she carries a device that names objects' colours for her, in case it's important (probably good, considering that her occupation is nuclear engineer). She mentions once having dyed her fur blue because her friends said she looked good in blue — the result didn't exactly work out.
- In Two Kinds, the Wolf-tribe of Keidrans are the most militaristic beastmen faction. One of their princes was supposed to marry a high-ranking politician from the Tiger tribe to legally join forces and take revenge on humanity. There are also dog-keidrans and fox-keidrans.
- Kira and Toby from Chivalry And Knavery.
- Every character in Closed Gate.
- There are Tiger People visible in the background of several Exiern strips, probably due to its Fantasy Kitchen Sink premise.
- In Everyday Heroes, Uma Quipleure and her father resemble cows. Pity the poor guy who accidentally called Uma a stupid cow (which would be like calling a human girl a "big ape"). Uma can also make good use of Hammerspace.
- In El Goonish Shive, the Shape Shifter Default Forms of Guineas and Hedge fall under this as do some Seyunolu's (Chimera's) seen in Ellen's Second Life.
- The Ambis in Jix bear a slight resemblance to foxes. This was later explained by the fact that a different race of aliens abducted a group of proto-Ambis and planted them on Earth as an experiment and they evolved into foxes. Humans frequently mistake Ambis for "oddly colored dogs".
- Zodiac applies this trope to the Superhero genre.
- All the people in Nexus Gate are Petting Zoo People of some sort. Most species of animal can be found though a few, such as various fish, are restricted by the game's rules.
- Every character in Trinton Chronicles are animals evolved partly to human-form.
- Everyone from Tasakeru is this.
- Orions Arm has Splices and Rianths, who are Petting Zoo People created out of humans and animals via Lego Genetics. The difference between a Splice and a Rianth is based on their clade's origins (Rianths are usually descended from humans who made themselves more bestial, while splices tend to be descendants of genetically modified slaves), and is pretty muddled in general.
- Minerva Mink and Werewolf form Wilford B. Wolf from Animaniacs.
- Julie Bruin, Margot Mallard, Binky Bunny, and Bimbette the skunk from Tiny Toon Adventures.
- Arnold the Pit Bull is a borderline PZP.
- The cast of Moi Renart, with furries who have almost photo-realistic bodies in modern-day Paris.
- Mousey Galore from Pinky and The Brain.
- Lola Bunny, Melissa Duck, and Hatta Mari (a pigeon from "Plane Daffy") from Looney Tunes.
- The majority of humanlike animal characters in Arthur are Petting Zoo People but some of them are an edge case of Little Bit Beastly.
- For example, Buster Baxter is a Petting Zoo Person because his head looks reasonably rabbitlike, but his mother and father border on Little Bit Beastly because their heads look basically like human heads with rabbit ears and noses on them.
- Cleo from Heathcliff and The Catillac Cats, although falling most into Humanoid Female Animal territory.
- Kitty Katswell from Tuff Puppy is a straight example of PZP and Dudley Puppy is a borderline example.
- The main cast of Loonatics Unleashed.
- The main cast of Road Rovers are normal dogs who get turned into Petting Zoo People by a mysterious scientist known as "The Master".
- The Swat Kats cast, though some of the characters are Borderline Little Bit Beastly.
- Goofy, Max, Gyro Gearloose, and Launchpad McQuack are different from Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck, fitting Borderline PZP or PZP more than they do Funny Animal. While they do have obviously dishuman features they are still far more humanoid than most of Disney's creations in the animal zoo world they live in.
- But Goofy's prototype, Dippy Dawg, was halfdressed and more or less a Funny Animal.
- In a similar vein to the above, the three Nephews and Daisy were shifted into a borderline PZP style during Quack Pack. Donald, however, retained his standard design (although his body stands up a little straighter than normal, but not by enough to change where he falls).
- Ren's parents from Ren & Stimpy Adult Party Cartoon.
- The mice in the more recent CG Angelina Ballerina OVA are either Petting Zoo People or Borderline PZP, unlike the mice in the original version of the series.
- Mirage from the Aladdin series. In the words of The Nostalgia Chick, "Why does she have a cat head... who cares?"
- Many of the female cats in Tom and Jerry including Toodles Galore are either PZP or borderline PZP.
- Mordecai on Regular Show is basically a naked humanoid blue jay, somewhere between a Funny Animal and a Borderline PZP. His crush, Margaret (a cardinal), is even closer to this trope, as is Rigby's older brother Don (despite also being nude). Mordecai's somewhat humanoid design contrasts quite a lot with Rigby's raccoon appearance, which isn't humanized that much.
- Fox from Skunk Fu! is a Borderline PZP.
- The entire cast of Animalympics.
- In the second cartoon series, but not in the two live-action movies, Alvin and The Chipmunks are either Borderline Petting Zoo People or straight-up Petting Zoo People and the Chipettes are Borderline Little Bit Beastly.
- Lieutenant M'Ress in Star Trek: The Animated Series.
- Terry Toons' Mighty Mouse is an example of Top-Heavy Guy as well as this trope.
- In Thundercats 2011 the main cast of Thundercats are Beast Folk Cats, but other Animals, like Dogs Lizards and Fishmen are designed as this type.
- A painting of King Julien that Maurice was painting in one episode of The Penguins of Madagascar depicts him with this appearance.