So how bout them Animal Morphers?


#1

I got around to watching the other days Hot Mic and animorphs came up. I have to say one of my favorite things is watching people have their first experience of what is behind the covers an animorph book. Those books go some places while at the same time being just as silly as you would think from the covers. Also as someone who re-read them in the year of our lord 2016 those books feel 90’s liberal as fuck sometimes in some very awkward ways.

So has anyone here been as insane as me and re-read this children’s books about war and the ethics of Instant Maple and Ginger oatmeal? Also who is the best character and why is it Tobias?


#2

I’ve almost gone back to reread them so many times, but there are just so many books there. So many fond memories of those books that are innately tied to the nostalgia of old Scholastic book sales and my elementary school library and those wacky covers, but I’d love to see if they stand up for me now.

I do in fact distinctly remember Tobias being the best character though. As to why, it definitely had something to do with my kid self thinking that being a hawk all the time wouldn’t be all that bad, but I’m sure there are other reasons as well.


#3

kid me: tobias is pronounced “TOH-be-ass”. you cannot change my mind


#4

Yeah it sounds like alot but the thing is they are all quick reads and all the mainline books are around 30k words. Also there is a lot you can just skim because these books were turned out once a month that opening explanation sure does kill a thousand words with very little effort. I say give it a try for three books and see how long it actually takes you. Then again I am person who has spend the last two years trying to read all of the x-men comics including stuff like Excalibur so I might not be the best person to ask on things like this. Though if you want you can always listen to Morph Club as they podcast on each book and the hosts are the best.


#5

kid me fully agrees with kid you


#6

My one Animorphs memory is that the librarian at my elementary school said I couldn’t take one out because it was “above my reading level” and then made me try and read the book aloud in front of the entire class to prove I could handle it or something. It was excruciatingly embarrassing, so I was stuttering and couldn’t read properly and then I didn’t get the book.

Now that I think about it that has nothing to do with Animorphs.


#7

this is the most antithetical librarian behavior ive ever fucking heard


#8

The worst part is that I spent a lot of time reading and could read pretty well, but was way too shy to ever read aloud. It was just cruel, honestly.


#9

Yo, what is up with school librarians putting these restrictions on kids?? I just remembered I had to strike a deal with my librarian by reading a bunch of books about some dog so that I could be allowed to read Goosebumps and Animorphs since I wasn’t in grade 3 yet. I also had to get a permission slip for Goosebumps because they were afraid they were too scary, when Animorphs definitely messed with me more.

I remember reading them in bed and then being pretty frightened about a Yeerk (Yeerx? it’s been 20 years) crawling into my ear while falling asleep.


#10

inb4someoneplugspoparena’sanimorphsretrospective(imeangranteditsoldbutitsstillastrongcrashcourseandwildlyimprovesinlaterinstallments)

I think the most interesting thing to me were the ghost writing years, where characterization kinda went all over the place. Also that Tobias committed literal genocide of both two alien races and the dinosaurs in a dumb event book and nobody ever brings up it despite the book being referenced during a Cassie story and thus being canon.


#11

Also, some site feedback. I’m watching the Hot Mic Mornings episode right now and I do not appreciate Austin disrespecting my cousin’s work as the singing voice of Donkey Kong in the Canadian cartoon.


#12

Elementary reading comprehension was such crap. In my case, in grade 5, we had a large box filled with short stories, color-coded based on difficulty. I never had any trouble reading any of them, but because advancement was based on testing, my adhd riddled ass never got very far. It was outrageous in retrospect.

It really makes me appreciate the fact that my high school librarian would order basically any book we asked for, including Slaughterhouse Five, Clockwork Orange and Starship Troopers. Like, the most adult stuff that wasn’t just erotica


#13

Guy was a bird and he was sad about.

Also, that spin off book about the two gods of the universe.


#14

Oh wow just had a major flashback to that spin off and I seem to recall planets being knocked about like billiard balls and people living at the bottom of black holes for all eternity??? Did that really happen or are my middle school recollections super off? Wild stuff.


#15

Kinda. The black hole stuff deals with the Elemist, aka Q but boring. His Animorphs Chronicles book ended up being pretty weak because it both explains too much and undercuts what actually makes him and that evil god interesting. Basically, he was a weird bug alien millions of years ago and then he played games with some brain alien and started playing cosmic chess with that evil god guy and then he fell into a black hole and was god now or something whatever.

It’s kinda crazy how lame the more out there stuff in the series is because it distracts from kids suffering from PTSD, literal horrific torture, and the ethical complexity of understanding more about alien cultures.


#16

I have been re-reading some Animorphs recently, while listening along to Morph Club cast. Animorphs was my favourite book series growing up, and as a 26 year-old now, it absolutely holds up on re-reads, in my opinion. It’s “long”, as in there are a lot of books in the series, but each one takes an hour or less, depending on how fast you read. There’s also a bunch of filler in the middle that were written by the ghost-writers, but some of them are more light-hearted adventures that break up some of the other horrific events in the books.


#17

No, the entire second half or last third of the series was almost entirely ghost written, including super important books. The Chronicles series is the only real exception. What saves a lot of it is that a good few of the ghost writers were actually fairly talented and followed mandates better. They even came up with some cool ideas, like that girl who tortured Tobais.


#18

I only read the first… I’m gonna say ‘few’ because I honestly have no idea how many. They were my brother’s, not mine.
I have two distinct memories:

  1. they transform into ants one time, and do not cope well at all with Having Ant Minds
  2. one of the boys transforms back into human form in front of one of the other boys before they’ve learned to transform clothes (tho I’m pretty sure I hadn’t figured out I was gay yet…)

If I owned them I’d probably reread them but, I do not, so that makes it just slightly more effort than I can be bothered with. Ah well.


#19

I think I aged out of Animorphs after the first year or so, but I do remember one of the chief appeals was that they’d say “sucks” and “crap” and “hell” and reference Buffy and Nine Inch Nails and stuff.


#20

Fun Animorphs Fact: If memory serves, Applegate said in some interview once that she came up with the term “Nothlit” by trying to think of something cool sounding, not having any ideas, then looking out her apartment window and seeing the Hilton hotel across the street.

Why I remember that and not things like birthdays, I don’t know.