The aim of this paper is twofold: first, we intend to contribute to the debate on the identification of the features to which syntactic locality expressed in terms of the featural Relativized Minimality/ fRM principle appears to be sensitive (Rizzi 2004; Friedmann, Belletti & Rizzi 2009); second, we aim at providing a better characterization of the distributional and interpretive properties of the process of a-marking in the Topic position of the Italian left periphery identified by syntactic cartography, in relation to (in)animacy (Belletti & Manetti 2019).To these ends, we examined the role of animacy in a production experiment eliciting left dislocated topics with 5-year-old Italian-speaking children. To the extent that a-marking is related to a kind of affectedness of object topics (Belletti 2018a), we examined whether an inanimate left dislocated object could constitute a felicitous a-Topic. Furthermore, the question is directly addressed whether complexity effects in fRM configurations can be modulated in the animacy mismatch condition, with an inanimate left dislocated object and an intervening (animate) lexical subject in ClLDs. Our results show that, in the tested animacy mismatch condition, children seldom a-marked the pre-posed object. Instead, they appeared to creatively explore other solutions to overcome the production of the hard intervention structure, mainly using null subjects. As children are not ready to compute the intervention configuration with a lexical preverbal subject, but could not naturally adjust it through a-marking of the inanimate topic, they ended up opting for different types of productions in which intervention was eliminated. If the animacy feature seems to be implicated in the process of a-marking to some extent, it is not a feature to which the fRM principle is sensitive in building the object A’-dependency in ClLD: we conclude, in line with previous work, that animacy is not among the features implicated in triggering syntactic movement (in Italian).