Animal is a wild and primitive humanoid Muppet who loves to play drums. He serves as the drummer for the Muppets' resident rock and roll band Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem. He is probably the most popular member of that band.
A crazed percussionist, Animal has three styles of music -- loud, louder, and deafening. He speaks in a guttural shout, often repeating a few simple phrases, such as "BEAT DRUMS! BEAT DRUMS!" or "WO-MAN!"or "DRUM DRUM!". In relatively calmer moods, he is capable of more coherent conversation, but these instances are infrequent.
Animal first appeared in the 1975 pilot, The Muppet Show: Sex and Violence, chained up in a basement cell when he wasn't onstage performing with the Electric Mayhem. He later became a main character on The Muppet Show and his unrestrained style has made him popular with young people for decades.
Frank Oz says that he had his character down to five words: Sex, sleep, food, drums and pain. Occasionally, two of those essentials, food and drums, are interchangeable. In The Muppet Movie, Dr. Teeth had to remind Animal to beat, not eat, his drums. In The Muppet Show episode 110, when asked by Kermit the Frog if he preferred drumming to food, Animal replied that drums are food.
Animal's wild attitude can be compared to Cookie Monster. In A Muppet Family Christmas, after observing Cookie Monster eating all of Janice's cookies in his signature manner, Animal comments, "That my kind of fella!"
Animal's family life is generally non-existent, and outside of the band, the Muppet Show troupe and women in general, he has no other relationships. A significant exception is depicted in the book The Case of the Missing Mother, which reveals the existence of Animal's mother, LaVerne. LaVerne is also a drummer and it's implied that percussion skills are a family trait.
It is a popular legend that Animal was inspired by Keith Moon, the wild drummer of the Who. Mick Fleetwood of Fleetwood Mac is also sometimes cited as the inspiration for Animal. However, there is no evidence in the original sketches for the character that suggest that he was based on anybody in particular.
Three of the other members of the Electric Mayhem were created by Muppet designer Michael K. Frith and the sketches reproduced in the 1981 book Of Muppets and Men show that they were based on famous musicians. Dr. Teeth is a cross between Dr. John and Elton John; Sgt. Floyd Pepper is based on the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper album, and the original concept for Janice was a skinny, long-haired male character based on Mick Jagger. Animal, on the other hand, was designed by Jim Henson and the rough sketch (also seen in Of Muppets and Men) doesn't appear to be related to any real musician.
However, it's not surprising that Animal is often compared with famous drummers -- as Buddy Rich said in his Muppet Show episode, "All drummers are animals." Animal himself considers Rich one of his musical influences, along with Gene Krupa, Keith Moon of The Who and Ginger Baker of Cream and Blind Faith.
Animal makes a cameo in Disney INFINITY. In the 3DS version he will change all the adventure spaces in to Power Adventure.
|This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from the Muppets Wiki. The list of authors can be seen in the page revision history (view authors).. As with Disney Wiki and Disney Fan Fiction, the text of the Muppets Wiki is available under the CC-by-SA Free Documentation License.|