Many of the new designs are literally just that though? Wooloo is literally just a normal sheep, Yamper and Boltund are literally just electric dogs, Corviknight a bird that happens to be made of steel much like Skarmory, Cramorant is a bird that can dive, etc. Gen 6 and 7 had these as well. Yeah, starters are incredibly humanoid and that sucks a lot and I hate it as well, but for the most part, the rest of the dex from various gens still follow the animal + element philosophy. Not saying whether the designs were executed successfully or not, that's another issue, but yeah, it hasn't changed that much sans starters.