Need: List of talking animals on TV

Stu Rees emails to ask the following question:

I need help compiling a list of television shows and movies where animals and humans talk to each other without any explanation of how it’s possible (magic, etc.). So far I have:

  • Stuart Little
  • Family Guy
  • Tales of Despereaux
  • Dilbert (tv show)
  • Mr. Ed

I’m also be interested in well known comic strips with the same set up.

Any suggestions?

35 thoughts on “Need: List of talking animals on TV

  1. “Francis the Talking Mule,” “A Boy and his Dog,”

    Comics: Duplex, Brilliant Mind of Edison Lee, Cul de Sac (do people hear Mr. Danvers?)…Lio doesn’t talk, but obviously has good relationships with cephalopods…

  2. Hong Kong Phooey
    Atom Ant
    Yogi Bear
    Grape Ape
    Secret Squirrel
    Migilla Gorilla…heck most of the stuff from 60’s-80’s Hanna Barbera.
    Rocky and Bullwinkle, and a lot of the other Jay Ward stuff.
    Bloom County
    Looney Tunes
    A lot of the Disney Motion Pictures (Aladin, Little Mermaid, etc.)
    With puppets you have the Muppets and Sesame Street, Magic Garden, New Zoo Revue, Great Space Coaster, etc.
    Spongebob Squarepants has Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy (and David Hasselhoff in the movie)
    Bee Movie
    Dora the Explorer
    Go Diego Go

    God. There are just so many.

  3. My favorite is the movie “Go.” When the dude zonked out on Ecstasy has a moment with a cat. The cat mindmelds with the dude and says: “You are going to die.”

    He doesn’t (die).

  4. @Ted. Funny scene, but it is outside of my project because the drugs explain the ability of the animal to talk to the person. What I need is examples of tv shows and movies (and famous comic strips) that don’t ever try to explain why animals can talk to humans.

    I haven’t seen the recent Alvin movies, but I think those qualify. Scooby Doo and Yogi Bear are also great suggestions.

    For the Disney stuff, I’m shaky on which ones have a magic explanation for the animals’ ability to talk. I think some of the movies that have magic elements don’t apply that magic to explaining why the animals (usually a side kick) can talk to people. Is there a Disney movie buff out there who knows?

  5. The Fusco Brothers! The brothers and their wolverine/dog Axel talk and argue all of the time with no explanation or indication that this is at all unusual…

  6. Stu, as far as Disney Features go:

    The Rescuers and The Rescuers Down Under ? the mice talk to children.
    The Jungle Book ? Mowgli can speak to all the animals (and vice versa)
    Tarzan?Tarzan speaks to his gorilla family and they to him.

    I’ll try to think of more!

  7. Does Mary Poppins count as magic?
    George of the Jungle.
    The Narnia films (magic again?)
    Pearls Before Swine

    Apologies for any duplication, I’m not working too hard at it.

  8. Who Framed Roger Rabbit and Bedknobs and Broomsticks.

    In Bedknobs and Broomsticks, a fish talks to Angela Lansbury when he awards her a trophy after she does an underwater song and dance routine with her creepy co-star.

    I’ve never seen Bedknobs and Broomsticks – I know this because that clip is part of a Disney sing-along video my daughter has seen at least 50 times.

    Two years ago, I?d never heard of this movie and now I know all the lyrics to The Beautiful Briny Sea.

  9. “Charlotte’s Web”. Lots of Disney; “Cinderella”; “The Rescuers”; “Pinocchio”; etc. Pretty much every Disney cartoon ever made has some degree of human/animal communication.
    What about animals who don’t actually talk, but clearly show a solid grasp of what people are saying? Such as Disney’s “Aladin” or “Snow White”; the kitten in “Pinocchio”; the croc in “Peter Pan”, etc. The flip-side of that is “101 Dalmations” (the cartoon; don’t know about the live-action remake) where the animals talk to each other and the people talk to each other, and the dogs all know exactly what everyone is saying but the people only really know what the people are saying. Not sure if that counts as what you’re looking for.

  10. ..Tennessee Tuxedo
    yer right,scratch the Pink Panther…
    The dog in the “Jetsons” Rolff
    Brer Rabbit
    Brer Bear
    I wonder if Theodor “Dr.Seuss” Geisel’s animals count
    The cat in the Hat, Yerttle the Turtle, Horton the Elephant
    the Grinch, was the Lorax an animal ?

  11. Just a correction: In the comic strip, Garfield and Jon (and other humans) don’t directly communicate.

    In the direct to DVD movies (Garfield Gets Real, Garfield’s Funfest, Garfield’s Pet Force) they do.

  12. @Scott. The Garfield info is great. Thanks.

    @Josh. Excellent points. You’ve cited two whole new categories. Thanks.

    @Everybody. This information is very helpful on an important project. You’ve confirmed what I knew instinctively, but needed to crowdsource as many examples as possible. I’m still compiling the list, so any other suggestions are quite welcome.

  13. Three comic strips that come to mind are:

    Arctic Circle

    Buckles (In addition to talking to humans, Buckles talks to animals who don’t talk to humans, including birds, squirrels and his flea).


    I was going to include Safe Havens, but there’s a mechanism there.

    Would Cousin Itt of “The Addams Family” count?

    If you count inanimate objects, there’s “My Mother The Car”.

    Doctor Doolittle is kind of the inverse of what you’re looking for.

    I prefer to ignore Mallard Fillmore.

  14. It’s interesting that no ones even mentioned the muppets here, not the product of the creature shop but the muppets: kermit, piggy, fizzle, scooter, electric mayhem, statler, Waldorf & the rest.

    The animals of that batch are specified as animals but also hold jobs, drive cars, etc.

    Also would snoopy count here, it’s specified that the peanuts crew only hear barks but in the comic strips does a lot on his own and a lot more in the animated cartoons

    Fringe thought: duck tales / carl barks – it’s a while world of humanish animals that just are.

    There’s also pete’s dragon, but could also just be dumped into the catch all “disney” can.

  15. @ Woodrow: Re: Horton the elephant; were there actually any humans in those books? (Would we count the Whos on the dust-speck as human …? Gosh, this really brings up all kinds of interesting philosophical questions, doesn’t it?)

  16. @Topher: Ed Power mentioned the Muppets early into the thread.

    But that reminds me: there was that Jim Henson show in the 80s called “The Storyteller”. Traditional folk/fairy tales told using Creature Workshop puppets — there was the odd talking animal there. Plus the framing device for the series was John Hurt sitting by the fireplace telling the stories to his talking dog.

  17. I may have missed it but, did anyone mention “Krazy Kat”?

    For TV there’s “Crusader Rabbit”, “Howdy Doody”, and “Captain Kangaroo”

    If you go to commercials, you have Tony the Tiger and the Trix Rabbit among others.

  18. Two of my favorite currently published daily strips that belong to this category of human-animal conversations are “Pooch Cafe'” and “Cow and Boy”. As Josh pointed out, it is a frequent device in Disneyanna that the animals can talk with one another and that they understand the humans, even though the animals can’t talk to the humans. Most animal-centric cartoons that also feature human characters, such as “Dumbo”, “Lady and the Tramp”, etc., use that device. As for television, remember that the comics book “Sabrina, the Teenage Witch” became a series starring a talking cat. For that matter, most shows featuring magic, such as “Bewitched”, have episodes in which the magical character communicates with animals.

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