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Anyone else obsessed with "Animorphs" book series in the 90s?

bixente

Member
Jan 27, 2019
125
I'm sure many of you recall R.L. Stine's Goosebumps series. I remember that was huge here in Australia, and it even took over the schoolyard with kids bringing their respective collections to school etc. Of course it was a positive thing as it got kids into reading. It sure worked for me.

But after Goosebumps was finished, I got into another series by K.A. Applegate, Animorphs. It's about a bunch of teenagers from America who are given alien morphing technology in order to fight the Yeerks - a sentient race of parasitic slugs that crawl inside the host brain and take complete control of their target. And humans are their latest target.

The books were marketed towards kids, and were enjoyed by kids like myself, but Applegate and her husband employed many themes that flew over my head at the time. There was one book (Visser I believe) where she made reference to Scientology. Other books dealt with stuff like PTSD and genocide etc.

So just wondering, any other fans here? The only disappointment I have with Animorphs is that it never got a better tv show. There was a terrible series on Nickelodeon which was hampered by a poor budget. And a Game Boy title that was a cheap Pokemon ripoff. If Animorphs came out now and was a smash hit, what they could come up with with a Netflix show, or a Game on the PS4/Switch etc. would be potentially amazing.

Favourite book in the series was The Andalite Chronicles btw. All the chronicles books were fantastic.
 

Dreyarn

Member
Oct 28, 2017
42
I loved those books when I was a kid, but they never got around to releasing the whole collection here in Spain, so I only know some things that happen later in the story through Wikipedia and similar. Maybe I could read them sometime, but there are so many of them
 

P-MAC

Member
Nov 15, 2017
2,354
I used to love them. Read the bulk of them and all of the spinoffs like Megamorphs. The TV show I thought was semi decent for a while but I always wished more was done with it
 

DrHercouet

Member
May 25, 2018
372
France
YES. OH MY GOD. YES.

The books were so clever. Breaking the "Andalite = good / Yeerks = bad" duality allowed some next level scary things. Also some really really dumb plots, but hey, I love Doctor Who and Kingdom Hearts and Final Fantasy so give me a dumb plot anytime as long as you can make me feel things and take me for a crazy adventure.

Also, Applegate's letter to the fan still shows how well thought the main story was http://www.hiracdelest.com/database/articles/kaa_response-full.htm

This tweet too :

The only disappointment I have with Animorphs is that it never got a better tv show.
We could actually do with a fully-fledged remake. Not just of the TV show but of the books as well. Animorphs was deep into the 90s teenagers life. It said a LOT about what it felt to be 13 in 1998, and as a kid, I was looking at the characters like my older brothers or cousins or something. I don't think children today could identify with them as much as we did. But an Animorphs reboot at a time of online gaming, TikTok, Internet of things, financial crisis, climate crisis and all? Sign me in PLEASE.
 

Masterz1337

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,510
Re read them when I got my first iPad, really fun to read and the last 10 are so dark and interesting. That finale and the shit hitting the fan is just incredibly creative, thought provoking and deep.
 

Doober

The Fallen
Jun 10, 2018
3,593
I remember being really into it as a kid but stopped around the time that Ax became a recurring character. Actually I don't remember there being any books after that, like Applegate went on hiatus or something and by the time she started up again I was too old to care.

Also feels weird that the story apparently swerved into grimdark territory at the end. The story as I recall it certainly didn't shy away from adult issues but I don't recall it telegraphing such a downer ending.
 

Forkball

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,379
I was way into this series as a kid. I’m surprised it hasn’t been rebooted in any way. The lore with all the different alien species and how they interacted was actually quite interesting. Visser Three still has me shook.
 
OP
OP
bixente

bixente

Member
Jan 27, 2019
125
Visser Three or Esplin is a very interesting character in the chronicles line of books. In the main series though he's too much of a pantomime villain IMO.
 

Banzai

The Fallen
Oct 28, 2017
1,411
Man I loved those. Marco was my favorite, genuinely made me laugh a bunch of times.
Rachel's ending was sort of iffy but loved the rest.
 
Oct 27, 2017
1,051
The Animorphs books were great. This was my favourite series for quite a big chunk of my childhood, and is probably where my love of sci-fi comes from, now that I think about it.
 

CatDoggo

Member
Oct 25, 2017
726
I'm actually reading them for the first time right now. I actually took some time over the last few years to slowly collect all of the books through several different thrift stores. As cheesy as they are, I adore those odd morphing covers LOL. It helps that they are dirt cheap, minus a few of the later books that are apparently kinda rare. I was able to get most for a dollar or less, but for one of the last books in the series I ended up having to pay around 15 dollars for a copy off Ebay. Tracking down the entire series was really fun though.

I kinda hate that I missed out on it growing up because I was already a huge bookworm back then and the darker themes it has for a 'kids' story is really up my ally and would have been even more so for 8 year old me. I remember being intrigued by the covers back then, but in a world where Pokemon and other monster based shows were taking off, kid me thought that turning into regular old animals was a boring premise. How wrong I was. LOL
 

Rand a. Thor

Member
Oct 31, 2017
9,749
Greece
Never read the books despite knowing of em as a kid. Do remember hating the creepy as hell half human/half animal transformers they came up with during the Beast War era when they first came out, as a kid I wanted more robot animals than those abominations.
 

DJKirsch

Member
Oct 27, 2017
34
Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania
Animorphs has a very special place in my heart. I loved to read as a kid, but this series took it to the next level! Every month there’d be a new book, in my mind a HUGE event, and every month I would beg my grandmother to take me to the Waldenbooks in our local mall to pick it up.

I read every single book in the series, and I fell in love with the characters and the stories. I grew up as the characters in the book did, the story also growing, becoming more serious and less shy about the realities of war. I particularly remember the Auxilimorphs, and their tragic ending. I must have reread that passage a bunch of times. It was so sad, yet the way it’s written, in a fog-of-war scenario, it’s almost glossed over. K.A. Applegate (or whoever wrote that particular book) really struck me with the horror and cavalier way war cuts through people.

Of course, it’s hard to mention Animorphs without the Chronicles books, all of which were fascinating and amazing in their own right. The Hork-Bajir Chronicles and The Andalite Chronicles were always my favorites!

Damn, I should reread the whole series again soon. Goofy, fun, sad, poignant, thrilling and depressing all in equal measure.
 
Oct 25, 2017
2,115
New York City
I never really liked the alien lore stuff (e.g. the Chronicles books) but I really loved following the main series, and the adventures of the six kids as they explore around.

The ending was disappointing to me, not because of how the story played out with the deaths, break-ups, etc., but because the series was moving away from the "slice of life" feeling that I loved, and moving way more into the science fiction and "war" angle that I wasn't as big of a fan of. When the books moved into the 40s I started enjoying them less and less. By the 50s, while it was cool that everything was finally out in the open, I felt like the series had long removed itself from what I loved about the original books -- just some kids hanging out at malls and stuff while causing havoc in zoos and whatnot, all in secret.

Favorite books are from roughly 16-30. I'm particularly fond of 28 (Ax - cow book).

The David arc was cool, though I kinda ruined it for myself as a kid by reading 22 (the last David book) first. Actually I think that was my first Animorphs book! I started off with 1, 2, 3, and 22 way back when.
 

PogChamp

The Fallen
Oct 27, 2017
6,479
This series was amazing and my first real science fiction. I had nightmares about Yeerk invasions. Sadly I was forced to stop reading them when my dad noticed me reading the Hork-Bajir Chronicles and took it away from me because of the cover. Then I also couldn't finish the series at school because the teacher had decided they were below our reading level. Great series that filled me with cosmic wonder though.
 

Coleslaw

Member
Nov 3, 2018
344
Can anyone link to a good summary of the over-arching plot? Wikipedia is unfortunately lacking in this regard.

I read all of these when I was a kid but I forget a lot and would love to read a good summary of the battle against the Yeerts
 

mtlspider

Member
Oct 26, 2017
120
I do recall the full series being available online with the author's full blessing.

Haven't read them personally but good to know that I can take a crack at them whenever I feel like it.
 

Lost Lemurian

Member
Nov 30, 2019
199
Man, I loved this series, especially the Chronicles side stories. This thread makes me want to re-read all of it.

Thinking back, those Chronicles books in particular had a *shitload* of brutal violence in them. I bet it's the old "aliens don't count as people" rule that censors employ, which is why characters could be graphically dismembered or eaten alive or whatnot.
 
Oct 25, 2017
12,679
It’s such a wild series in hindsight. Like those books got dark as fuck and some of the more sci-fi aspects got real out there.

One really nice thing is K. A. Applegate actually comes across as a really cool person on Twitter. J. K. Rowling she is not
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,145
I never got the chance to read many of the books as a kid, but I loved the few I had. Finishing the series as an adult, it holds up amazingly well. I would love it to get a TV series or Netflix show.
 
Oct 25, 2017
12,679
I remember being really into it as a kid but stopped around the time that Ax became a recurring character. Actually I don't remember there being any books after that, like Applegate went on hiatus or something and by the time she started up again I was too old to care.

Also feels weird that the story apparently swerved into grimdark territory at the end. The story as I recall it certainly didn't shy away from adult issues but I don't recall it telegraphing such a downer ending.
It was always kind of there. The first book ends with everyone they tried to save being killed except for one person and Tobias getting stuck as a bird
 

Osahi

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,403
Yes! I loved them. Only 12 of them were translated to Dutch though when I started reading them, and I remember thinking the 12th would be the finale. I can still feel the disapointment when that ended up not being the case. I think they ended up with 14 parts translated, but never the whole series.

Now I only remember the one character who stayed an animal too long and was a hawk or something for ever, and the morphing animation when you flipped the pages real fast.
 
Oct 27, 2017
16,127
Animorphs was my favorite series and I always was an evangelist, even when Harry Potter was popular. I watched the Nick show, was a member of the fan club, and played some of the games

I've been saying for a while it needs a Netflix/HBO series, age the characters from middle school to high schoolers, and finally give it the SFX budget it needs. It would be soo damn good

I'm also convinced no one at Scholastic ever read the books or looked past the covers, because these were literally in my elementary school book sales and they were dark as fuck
 

mute

Member
Oct 25, 2017
7,034
We had this silly thing in school where we had to read books and take a test to earn points, different books worth different points, and meet a quota at the end of the semester. That consumed all my reading time pretty much so if it wasn't in our library/worth a decent amount of points per page then I wasn't reading it. The toys did get my attention though, being a transformers fan, but compared to beast wars they were a bit silly looking.