From a comment over at Initiative One (edited slightly to make the link clickable):
I do find I hate halflings the last few years. I think Jackson killed them for me in the LOTR movies. Anyway, I’ve debated between either this look to depict Halflings that developed from a mammal not related to apes-or halflings as a catchall term/race/class for all anthropomorphic animals about three feet e.g. Reepicheep, Puss-in-Boots from Shrek etc.
I don’t think I could pull this off myself, due to my referee style, but I think it’s an interesting idea. Maybe I could do it in a really creepy Germanic fairy tale setting. (Myself, I don’t mind Jackson’s hobbits at all; I just don’t like hobbits in my D&D very much.)
I did this in a game setting recently. Replaced halflings and gnomes with humanoid mice and hedgehogs, respectively. Seemed to work out well. I also did away with half-orcs in that setting and reskinned the race as a race of giant-kin descended from the giants of old.