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A non-talking animal played by a human actor wearing an animal suit. Larger quadrupeds such as horses may require two actors. Though pantomime animals don't talk (at least, they're not supposed to talk), they may make appropriate animal noises on cue and often can dance as well.

Avoids all the hassle of working with real live animals. Children or dwarf adults, on the other hand, may be needed to play smaller creatures.

See also Furry Fandom, People in Rubber Suits.

Examples of Pantomime Animal include:


  • Certain scenes in the swamps during the extended edition of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring had a pantomime Bill the Pony used in long shots, as it would have been too difficult to travel there with a real animal.
  • Shows up at the Mardi Gras party in The Princess and the Frog.
  • The two rebels disguised as a cow in Top Secret, probably the funniest gag in the movie.
  • Pain and Panic briefly dressed up as a female Pegasus near the end of Hercules, with the two forming the individual halves of the Pegasus.
    • Those two do this sort of trick quite often. One time they attempted to do a huge lion, and ended up getting confused on who was doing which half.
  • Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen actually did this with an ice cream truck.
  • One of the costumes worn at the Feast of Fools is a horse with two rear ends.
  • The Pushmi-Pullyu in the 1967 film version of Doctor Dolittle is a surprisingly realistic-looking pantomime animal.

Live Action TV

  • Parodied with the pantomime horses in Monty Python's Flying Circus. To say nothing of the pantomime Princess Margaret.
  • Dobbin the Pantomime Horse in 1980s BBC kids' show Rentaghost.
  • In a Dave Allen at Large sketch, a German POW camp guard searches the cargo and even the straw in an outgoing wagon thoroughly, to make sure there are no prisoners hiding inside. Not finding anyone, the guard waves the wagon through the gate, failing to notice that it's being pulled by a pantomime horse.
  • Buttercup the QI cow made an appearance at the beginning of the "Groovy" episode to help demonstrate the first question.
  • Secretariat on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson.
  • Sesame Street has Barkley the dog.


Theme Parks

  • The Disney cast members in character costumes who roam the park aren't supposed to speak, so they pantomime everything they want to communicate. Note that this doesn't include "face characters", like Alice or Snow White, who aren't wearing anything over their heads. Or the newest model of Mickey, who has some elaborate mechanisms that allow him to speak.
  • Patty Maloney and Pat Cooper once performed at state fairs costumed as Rocky and Bullwinkle, respectively.
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