ByCollin Pulmano, writer at
Animorphs pulled me from the brink of social depression, introduced me to my husband, and overall affected my life in a wide variety of inex

I had a thought, and I felt like sharing it. I realize that I am a bit Animorphs heavy, and for a reason. My life and love is hopelessly tangled with Animorphs, and I don't really care to work through the threads, because I feel they are there for a reason (as the Ellimist would). Instead, I just want to discuss a bit more about Animorphs, specifically, the characters.

Rachel: Fierce and beautiful she is the epitome of an insane goddess. Human to to the core she prides herself on strong, powerful morphs that quite literally rip things apart. Her favorite, the grizzly bear, is also her final morph, and her character is so in line with that rumbling, grumpy, dangerous beast that for most fans (or at least myself) there is no disconnecting the two. However, that doesn't take away from her strong depth of emotion. Though empathy is not necessarily her strong suit, emotion is something that runs parallel with Rachel's story. She sacrifices everything for her friends, is deeply loyal, and is willing to not only make physical sacrifices, but moral ones as well to serve the cause. Some see her as cold, but really she is all that is a raging, consuming fire. Where Cassie is the soul, Rachel is the burning, beating heart of the band of rebels, and without her, they would have failed early and miserably, if they had even started at all.

Jake: The leader. An obvious role-defining term, but in every aspect that is what he was. He made tough calls, kept everything as under control as possible, and worked to ensure that they were a team. The books show his role as so undeniable that they were all in acquiescence of his taking the job before he had even been proven, but prove it he did. Of all the characters he was the most remarkably clear-headed, supporting and comforting even when the worst was occurring. The best example I can think of is in the fifth book, when Marco finds out that his Mom (who he had thought was dead) was actually the host body for Visser One, the yeerk responsible for the invasion of Earth. His words kept Marco from reacting in a way that would kill all of them, and his words, and his guidance, regularly repeated that process time after life-threatening time again. Though the fight became personal after finding his brother was a Controller, that didn't stop him from making the hard decisions for the good of the team, even at the end, when it meant so much loss.

Tobias: The son of Elfangor, a Nothlit that gets to have his morphing power back, and a long-suffering character that serves as both a tragic heart tug and an undeniably skilled warrior. Before he regained his morphing ability, Tobias served as the eyes of the Animorphs, scouting and warning and even tearing up a few well-timed faces. He had to learn early on the devastating risk of the animalistic control of the morphs, and with Rachel's help, managed to stay human, and stayed in the fight. The war against the Yeerks was probably the easiest for him to assume, having come from an unstable home life and then being stuck as a bird, and became even more of a determined decision when he found out that his father was in fact the Andalite that gave him and his friends the morphing power right before being eaten by a monstrously morphed Visser Three. His connection with the story is the strongest, and he serves as the character that connects the readers the most, as well. Tobias breaks your heart and draws you in, and then he shows you how to fight, and how to win.

Cassie: Empathetic and kind, sweet and capable, Cassie saves the Animorphs as long as she can from the scars of war, and even after that heals them up until the very end. She is strong, and perhaps understands what survival means better than any of them. Her normal life experience helps her guide them through controlling the morphs and deciding which ones to choose. Her understanding of true natural weapons helps them in surprising and sometimes hilarious ways (see The Secret) and her value to the team is matched only by her own moral dilemmas. The issue is that Cassie is warrior who would much rather be a pacifist, and when they fight Controllers, she, more than any of them at first, understands that the Hork-Bajir and Taxxons are not monsters, they are slaves, just like the Human controllers. She feels this when she finds a bit of Hork-Bajir in her teeth after a night spent in battle. It was a living, breathing, thinking being, and she ripped it apart, and she has to live with that. In the end the sacrifices were too much for her, but perhaps they had grown too much before, she just couldn't stop fighting until the war was won, which makes her just as courageous as any of them.

Ax: Aximili-Esgarrouth-Isthill is Elfangor's brother, an Andalite that survived the crash of the Dome ship the night that Elfangor himself crashed and gave the Animorphs his gift. The Animorphs rescue him and try to integrate him as best they can into their clan. Highly intelligent, a little pompous, and undeniably loyal, Ax provides most of the comedy relief (as many an alien has done before him) and also much of the friction. There is no doubt that human and andalite ways exist in stark contrast with one another. However, Ax finds himself in close quarters with the Animorphs, most notably with Tobias (who he later finds out is his nephew) and Cassie (who he lives near). Jake, however, is who he listens to, who he swears allegiance to, and who he serves, sometimes to the detriment of the other Animorphs. His lack of a mouth makes his human morph dangerous (and hilarious). His very existence poses a real threat to his safety on a daily basis, but he also becomes a banner. He is the symbol of the resistance, and if it wasn't for his existence, the human secret of the Animorphs would have probably been realized much, much, sooner. He is a sturdy, kind, and no-nonsense alien that becomes one of them. They were always fighting the same war, but after a while, he began fighting it for them, and because of that, they won.

Marco: Reluctant at first, the fight became more important to him arguably than to anyone. He used humor to cover his obvious self-doubt, and made light of even the most dire situations. However, he also saw connections and avenues of strategy that the others couldn't or wouldn't see. He had a hardness to him that grew with every battle, and when a hard decision was to be made, he was often the one laying out the choices. He was mistrustful of outsiders, and his suspicion served as a guard to all of them, helping to keep their secret and guide their safety much longer than any of them could have really hoped or expected. He was constantly at odds with everyone, because he understood what they were doing, and what it meant for them and their families. Protective of his own, he was not often willing to risk his life and his Dad's safety for the cause, but would end up doing it anyway, usually by making a sarcastic comment and tossing off his sacrifice as a self-serving device. He hated to admit when he acted courageous or selfless, but he saved their butts more times than they'd (or at least Rachel) would like to admit, and made himself an invaluable member of the team.

None of them expected to become heroes, and none of them expected to save the Human race, but they did both, and in the process developed into incredibly strong, intelligent, courageous, and self-sacrificing warriors. Why this story has been abandoned for so long I can't imagine other than that the cogs that oil the wheel of money have their eyes elsewhere. Still, Sony, please. Do something with Animorphs. Model it after The 100. It would suit a show just as well as a movie. Give these kids the attention they deserve. And God love ya' for it.


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