A talking animal is a natural shaped animal with human-like attributes, usually intelligence, speech and the ability to express emotions through facial features. They may live in the wild or domesticated settings common to real animals, expressing feelings and opinions in regard to an animal's life. Or they may be fanciful cartoonish critters which are comical and cute.
The best known 'talking animal' stories are Watership Down and Bambi. Many comics, such as Faux Pas, are 'talking animal' comics. Many furries are fans of such talking animal titles as The Lion King and Balto.
In some stories, talking animals coexist with regular animals. Gone Wylde has some scenes where anthropomorphic characters communicate with their wild kin. In one of The Chronicles of Narnia books, the reader finds out that regular animals are used for food much as they are in the real world, but that eating a talking animal is tantamount to cannibalism.
The talking animal originated in folk culture and is considered to be one of the primary elements that defines a fairytale. Though it does not matter whether the talking animal is naturally shaped or human shaped to make this distinction. Neither does it matter in Furry Fandom. Any animal that exhibits any obvious human attributes is referred to by a significant portion of the fandom as "furry." However, not all fans are in agreement on this issue.
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