Dick King-Smith (1922 – 2011) was a prolific English author of children's books, mostly about animals. His single most famous book is The Sheep-Pig, which was the basis of the film Babe.
He also wrote a sequel to The Sheep-Pig, Ace, which was not the basis of the sequel to Babe.
Another of his books was the basis of the film The Water Horse. Harry's Mad was the basis for a live action TV series, as was The Queen's Nose (one of his few books not about animals) and The Foxbusters had an Animated Adaptation.
His works provide examples of:
- Animal Jingoism: Principally between sheep and sheepdogs in The Sheep-Pig.
- Animal Talk: In many Dick King-Smith books, animals of different species can speak to each other (but usually not to humans). The Sheep-Pig is an obvious example. The Foxbusters, in which hens, foxes and rodents each speak distinct languages, is an exception.
- Cute but Cacophonic: The Guard Dog
- Early Installment Weirdness: As mentioned above, in The Fox Busters different animals speak different languages, while in his other books they can all communicate with each other.
- Elmer Fudd Syndrome: Fweddy from Harry's Mad.
- Have a Gay Old Time: It's certainly not his fault, but nowadays his name looks like a parody of a forum troll's handle.
- Heroic Albino: In The School Mouse
- The Highwayman: The Toby Man.
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: In Ace the titular pig and his owner go on "That's The Way It Goes, with Hester Jantzen", a parody of the real-life programme That's Life hosted by Esther Rantzen.
- Polly Wants a Microphone: Madison the African Grey Parrot in Harry's Mad.
- Recycled in Space: The Fox Busters is The Dam Busters but with animals.
- Tall, Dark and Handsome: In Smasher, the eponymous puppy asks whether his father was like this. His mother says yes, and that Smasher is going to be just like him. However Smasher is actually really ugly and described as looking like the offspring of the Hound of the Baskervilles.
- Theme Naming: Madison the parrot from Harry's Mad was so called because he was his original (American) owner's fourth parrot. "Washington died in his sleep, Adams caught pneumonia and Jefferson tangled with the cat."
- The Tooth Hurts: This plays a part in The Stray, since the main character has a fear of dentists but starts developing tooth pains partway through the book.
- Xenofiction: Sometimes his work falls into this, but it depends very much on the individual setting.
- Your Tomcat Is Pregnant: Fweddy the parrot in Harry's Mad.
- And Tom (later renamed Tomboy) the cat from the Sophie series.
- Ugly Cute: Smasher is described as being incredibly ugly but the fact that the farmer finds him cute is the reason that he manages to avoid being sold and punished several times.