Cassie and Rachel are able to break the Kandrona, and escape to Cassie's barn. Marco, very reluctantly, and Jake find a way to escape the Yeerk Mother ship. They hijack a Yeerk blade ship, and with ...
The story is based on Celtic legends. When a tyrant queen from the land of Temra invades the peaceful land of Kells, King Conchobar must rely on an ancient legend which foretells of an ... See full summary »
The Transformers' war continues in an older time, through a new generation. On pliocenic Earth, the heroic Maximals and the evil Predacons battle for survival against each other and against a violent planet.
Ian James Corlett
My name is Elfangor. I am a prince from the Andalite world. I am dying. My ship has crash-landed on a planet called Earth. This is not the first time my hooves have touched the surface of this vast and beautiful world, but it will be the last. The Yeerks have launched their silent attack on Earth. Yeerks are evil parasites who live in the brains of other species. Now their goal is to enslave every human being on this planet. As I looked into five pairs of innocent human eyes, I knew what I had to do. These young people had no knowledge of the invasion, no idea that some of their closest friends and family members were already under Yeerk control. But they would soon bear the responsibility of saving their entire world. I gave them the power to morph, Andalite technology no other species has ever possessed. Now these humans will be able to use the energy and instincts of any living creature to resist the Yeerks. They can become any animal they touch. Many Andalites have called me a ... Written by
Unlike in the book series, where any normal clothing the Animorphs wore during morph was either destroyed or left behind, the TV series showed the Animorphs capable of morphing their clothing whenever they transformed; no explanation was given for this, beyond simple dramatic license. See more »
This is where mom works with all the exotic animals.
Exotic... Like weird chickens and stuff?
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In the strange and foggy No Man's Land of children's literature betwixt
R.L. Stine's Goosebumps series and J.K. Rowling's phenomenal Harry
Potter novels, K.A. Applegate reigned supreme. Pound for pound, I
daresay Animorphs was every bit as intriguing (and probably better
written) than Harry Potter, and leaps and bounds more mature than
Goosebumps; and while the series developed problems after a few years
(an over complicated, meandering mythology, inferior ghostwriting), I
contend that the first spate of books are masterpieces in their own
right, leveling an often profound gaze at the effects of war and
savagery on formerly untroubled minds.
When I, a fresh-faced young lad of 11, first learned that a television
show was in the works to bring my favorite books to life on the small
screen, I was elated. I admit my heart sank a bit when I heard it was
to be produced by Nickelodeon, who by the late '90s had shifted their
focus from the preteen and teen market to a demographic exclusively in
the 8-12 range; but realistically, what other network would air such an
adaptation? The books were too violent and dark to air on a children's
network, but no adult was going to watch a show about high school
students turning into animals and fighting aliens. Perhaps it could
have worked on the WB, following the success of high-school themed
shows like Buffy, but alas, that was not the way things worked out.
Apart from the censorship, the biggest problem a Nickelodeon adaptation
would run into was budgetary. The books played out on a grand scale,
every installation featuring aliens, spaceships, guerrilla warfare,
shapeshifting, and occasionally, entirely different planets. Those
elements were either scaled back or dropped entirely for the television
series. The alien prosthetics were unconvincing, Applegate's concepts
being much more ambitious than the average "wrinkly forehead" aliens
featured on the average Star Trek episode. I remember my disappointment
at the introduction of Elfangor and the Hork Bajir in the pilot
episode. They were underwhelming, to say the least.
When I discovered the show was available on Netflix, I watched it on a
whim, in the background, with all the preconceptions of my high
expectations dissipated in the course of time. The first few episodes
are still pretty abysmal, with lackluster writing and facile direction.
There just wasn't enough money or creative freedom to accomplish what
Applegate did in the books.
As the series progresses, however, it comes into its own, crafting an
identity as its own entity separate from the prose. The characters
become more three-dimensional on their own terms; the acting improves;
the budgetary limitations are circumvented. True, sometimes
(oftentimes) the villains are incredibly stupid and the action
sequences don't hold up all that well; the psychological and physical
effects of a full-fledged war are neutered by the network mandate to
remain "kid-friendly", which means no death or serious trauma can ever
really befall the characters. But the basic human interaction, the
relationships, improve, and the storytelling finds firmer footing. If
you allow yourself to forget the source material, Animorphs stands as a
worthy piece of family entertainment.
It's also fun to see a "before-they-were-famous" Shawn Ashmore and
Paulo Costanzo, who have since achieved mainstream success via the
X-Men franchise and the popular USA comedy/drama "Royal Pains",
respectively. Maybe this is through glasses tinted with hindsight, but
they are easily the strongest members of the cast (and I'm including
the adults in that), with Ashmore growing into his own as conflicted "I
didn't ask for this" leader Jake, and Costanzo stealing the show as
fish-out-of-water alien-posing-as-human Aximili, who turns a simple cab
ride into a comedy of errors.
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