According to vocalist David Draiman, "The Animal" is inspired by the movie The Wolfman. It is about somebody who transforms into a werewolf under the light of the full moon, detailing their feelings as the beast within takes over.
A music video for "The Animal" premiered on November 16, 2010, on MTV2. The music video was directed by Charlie Terrell. It was the first music video from the album Asylum to feature all the band members, as "Another Way to Die" did not feature any of them and "Asylum" only featured lead singer David Draiman.