Talking animals in animation

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The Overlord

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Aug 5, 2002
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How do you feel about talking animals in animation? Do you think talking animals can work in a serious dramatic cartoon or work best in comedic cartoons or ones aimed at kids?

There are a lot of cartoons aimed at little kids featuring talking animals, like Paw Patrol. But there are several animated works, ranging from PG to R that feature animated talking animals and are serious.

Zootopia features an allegory about racism that features a city of talking animals. Redwall was a cartoon series that was based on books that were about mice who lived in a medieval Abby and had to protect it from invaders and that took far more risks than most kids cartoons, a key character dying in the series finale is particularly effective.

Then there is the PG-13 to R rated stuff featuring talking animals, Watership Down is a tale of survival, finding a home and fighting fascism, with rabbits trying to kill each other. The British film Plague Dogs deals with animal experimentation by the government and the government trying to track down dogs that have escaped. The German film Felidae also deals with animal experimentation, with talking cats being targeted by a serial killer who is obsessed with genetics. Bojack Horseman is a comedy/drama that features a talking horse in a story about fame and depression.

Maus will likely never get an animated adaption, but that is a story set during the Holocaust, with mice as Jews and cats as Nazis and that story worked very well.
 

Dr.Pepper

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Sep 10, 2006
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Yes they can work in serious films, as the examples you gave demonstrate. Bambi would be another example. It’s not graphic or edgy, but it’s a mostly serious story.
 

Red Arrow

ça va nog wel
Oct 22, 2012
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I'm repeating myself, but Alfred Jodocus Kwak is about nazism and apartheid in South-Africa. I don't think this cartoon would have worked with humans.

Another serious cartoons with animals is ThunderCats, although they are highly anthromomorphic. Maybe TMNT too, they can be serious sometimes.
 

TheMisterManGuy

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Oct 23, 2014
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You can make a serious or semi-serious tone work with an anthropomorphic cast. It's been done before. I think the problem is a lot of producers and writers seeing talking animals as little more than things to distract the kids with, like Jingly Keys. So many modern anthro films are little more than cheaply made comedies with bare-minimum writing and effort, but it keeps your 7 year old quiet for an hour, so that's good.
 

zoombie

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Jan 23, 2007
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I always found it weird you have these shows in which universes mixed humans and anthropomorphic animals, especially when the population in favor of one. Shows like Duckman or Quack Pack, in which it is mostly humans with few anthropomorphic animals, and no one questions it, in fact these human like animals get into romantic relationships with human girls, and that is not a big deal.
 

TheJLeeTeam

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Sep 9, 2018
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I have a fondness for cartoons about anthropomorphic animals since when I was a kid I used to watch Winnie the Pooh, Looney Tunes, and SpongeBob. Some of them are very adorable and pleasing, Harvey Beaks especially. Then there is Regular Show where some of the main cast are animals, and Mao Mao who is an awesome samurai cat!
 
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Red Arrow

ça va nog wel
Oct 22, 2012
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Oh yes, I totally forgot about Panda. I am still surprised about Quack Pack though. What were they thinking?!
 

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