Animorphs is a television series based on the chapter book series of the same name. It was broadcast from September 1998 to March 2000 on Nickelodeon in the United States. It aired a total of 26 episodes.
The story revolves around five humans, Jake, Marco, Cassie, Rachel, and Tobias, and one alien, Aximili-Esgarrouth-Isthill (nicknamed Ax), who obtain the ability to transform into any animal they touch. Naming themselves "Animorphs" (a portmanteau of "animal morphers"), they use their ability to battle a secret alien infiltration of Earth by a parasitic race of aliens resembling large slugs, called Yeerks, that take humans as a host by entering and merging with their brain through the ear canal. The Animorphs fight as a guerilla force against the Yeerks, led by Visser Three.
The Animorphs carefully protect their identities; the Yeerks assume that they're a strike force sent by the Andalites, the alien race that created the transformation technology, and to protect their families from Yeerk reprisals, the Animorphs keep up the facade. Over the run of the series, the pretense becomes harder to maintain; the Yeerks grow more cautious and dedicate more time and resources to capturing the 'Andalite bandits'.
Though the Animorphs can assume the form of any animal they touch, there are several limitations to the ability: they can only stay in animal form for two hours, or they will be unable to return to human form. Also, the process requires some level of concentration to prevent the animal's natural instincts from overwhelming the human intellect.
- Shawn Ashmore as Jake
- Brooke Nevin as Rachel
- Boris Cabrera as Marco
- Nadia Nascimento as Cassie
- Christopher Ralph as Tobias
- Paulo Costanzo as Aximili -Esgarrouth-Isthill
- Eugene Lipinski as Visser Three/Victor Trent
- Dov Tiefenbach as Erek King
- Allegra Fulton as Eva / Visser One
- Joshua Peace as Tom Berenson
- Terra Vanessa Kowalyk as Melissa Chapman
- Richard Sali as Principal Chapman
- Diego Matamoros as Elfangor-Sirinial-Shamtul
- Peter Messaline as the Ellimist
- Frank Pelligrino as Jeremy, Marco's father
- Cassandra Van Wyck as Sara Berenson, Rachel's younger sister
- Jonathan Whittaker as Greg, Jake's father
- Karen Waddell as Nikki, Jake's mother
- Melanie Nicholls-King as Aisha, Cassie's mother
Jake Berenson is the leader of Animorphs, acting with conviction and dedication. He was reluctant to lead the Animorphs initially, but quickly changed his mind when he found out that his older brother Tom has been infested by a Yeerk. He is Rachel's cousin. He has also been best friends with Marco since early childhood, and he is romantically involved with Cassie.
Rachel has the most bloodthirsty nature in the group, earning her the nickname of "Xena, Warrior Princess". She is also good in gymnastics and has an interest in fashion. She is Jake's cousin and is Cassie's best friend, although her warrior nature often conflicts with Cassie's pacifistic mindset. She is romantically involved with Tobias.
Marco is the comic relief character in the series. He was also the one who coined the term "Animorphs". Marco is very pragmatic, often proposing the most direct solution to a given problem. Marco lives with his father, who is depressed over his wife's "death" in a boating accident. At first he doesn't want to fight in fear that his father can't survive without him. He is given a reason to fight after he finds out his mother is still alive and the host body for Visser One, the leader of the invasion of Earth.
Cassie lives on a farm with her parents, who are both veterinarians. She is the most knowledgeable about animals and she is also an environmentalist. She is best friends with Rachel, although their personality and style are polar opposites. Cassie maintains a casual romantic relationship with Jake.
Tobias has low self-esteem and was often bullied in school before becoming an Animorph. His parents were believed to be dead, so his aunt and uncle shared custody. Tobias was trapped in a red-tailed hawk morph in the first book and he stays as a hawk throughout the series, although he eventually regains the ability to morph, including the ability to morph back into his human form. He has a romantic relationship with Rachel. He also develops a close friendship with Ax who turns out to be his uncle meaning that Elfangor was his father.
The other Animorphs almost immediately began to call him Ax, because it is difficult to pronounce his full name. Ax is an Andalite who was thought to be the only survivor of a bloody battle that took place in outer space. He is the younger brother of Prince Elfangor-Sirinial-Shamtul, who gave the Animorphs their morphing ability and died shortly after. He considers Jake his 'prince' (similar to an earth military commander) and he has a strong friendship with Tobias.
He is the leader of the Yeerk forces on Earth and the main antagonist in the series. He inherited the planet from Edriss 562, who was Visser One at the time. Sadistic and cruel, with a penchant for torture, he almost solely inhabits the body of a fully-grown Andalite warrior, Alloran-Semitur-Corrass, and is the only Yeerk to have an Andalite host. He also has the Andalite ability to morph, and is shown throughout the series to have acquired some exceptionally powerful morphs from many different planets.
A seemingly all powerful being who occasionally helps the Animorphs in indirect ways.
Jake's older brother, a Controller. His original Yeerk is actually promoted and meant to receive another host early in the series, but ends up in Jake instead; it subsequently dies, while Tom receives another Yeerk.
He's the vice-principal of the Animorphs' school and a Controller.
Erek King is a member of the Chee, a pacifistic android race created by the Pemalites. After the destruction of the Pemalites at the hands of the Howlers, Erek, along with the rest of the Chee, escaped to Earth, and has lived there for thousands of years, using incredibly advanced holographic technology to pass as human.
Edriss 562/Visser One
She is a Yeerk that controls Marco's mother Eva. For most of the series, her rank is Visser One. She is the subject of the novel Visser, which describes her rise to and dramatic fall from power. She is the highest ranking of all the Yeerks in their military, and is only surpassed in importance by the Council of Thirteen.
- My Name is Jake (Part 1)
- My Name is Jake (Part 2)
- The Underground
- On the Run
- Between Friends
- The Message
- The Escape
- The Capture (Part 1)
- The Capture (Part 2)
- The Alien
- The Reaction
- The Stranger
- The Forgotten
- Not My Problem
- The Leader (Part 1)
- The Leader (Part 2)
- The Release
- Face Off (Part 1)
- Face Off (Part 2)
- Face Off (Part 3)
- My Name is Erek
- The Front
- Changes (Part 1)
- Changes (Part 2)
- Changes (Part 3)
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment (when they were known as Columbia TriStar Home Video) had released twelve episodes in four VHS volumes known as The Invasion Series, collecting episodes from the series. The first 12 episodes are only released on VHS and not re-released on DVD.
- Part 1: The Invasion Begins ("My Name is Jake" parts 1 and 2, and "Underground")
- Part 2: Nowhere to Run ("Between Friends", "The Message" and "The Reaction")
- Part 3: The Enemy Among Us ("The Stranger", "The Leader" parts 1 and 2)
- Part 4: The Legacy Survives ("The Capture" parts 1 and 2, and "Not My Problem")
Seven volumes spanning the first 20 episodes (only the first of which was identical to its U.S. counterpart) were released in Australia. The episodes were placed in chronological order. Each volume had three episodes apart from Volume 7, which had two ("Face Off", parts 1 and 2).
All 26 episodes are currently available on iTunes, Vudu and Amazon Video spread across three volumes.
All 26 episodes are currently available on Netflix.
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