Synopsis of Saturday Morning Show
Animorphs came to this world from the mind of author K.A. Applegate, who began her wildly popular series of Animorphs books in the mid-90’s. The series soon became a franchise, complete with ghostwriters and spinoffs, so publisher Scholastic decided to take the concept to television.
The half-hour, live-action Animorphs series followed the same basic story as the books. A spaceship crash landed on earth in the middle of a construction site. When teens Jake, Cassie, Marco, Rachel, and Tobias went to check it out, they came across an Andalite alien named Elfangor. The Andalite told the teens about a race of green, sluglike invaders called the Yeerks, who were using mind control to enslave the earth’s population. To help them fight off this threat, Elfangor gave the teens the Andalite ability to change into any type of animal, becoming Animorphs. The only catch was that they first had to touch that animal in order to absorb its DNA.
The Yeerks discovered the ship and killed Elfangor, but not before the Andalite left Tobias with a mysterious silver disk. The group returned to their school, trying to keep their identities secret, but there was something unsettling about a new club called “The Sharing.” As it turned out, “The Sharing” was really a trick to get the humans down to the Yeerk Pool, where human Controllers could be recharged and Yeerks could feed on Kadronna rays from their native sun. Even more disturbing, the teens discovered that many people they knew had become Controllers, including Principal Chapman and Jake’s brother Tom. As the series went on, the Animorphs continued the fight against the Yeerks, who were led by Visser Three and the supremely evil Visser One. The teens were also visited by Elfangor’s brother, Ax, who ended up joining forces with the Animorphs.
Jake was the Animorphs’ reluctant leader. Cassie, who grew up on a farm and had veterinarians for parents, was the most natural morpher. Marco was the group joker, while Rachel was a gymnast and shopaholic. Tobias was a sort of outsider, and he was always uneasy about the fact that Elfangor knew his name before Tobias told him.
Animorphs had plenty of action and danger, but the show served an educational purpose as well. When the teens morphed into animals, they literally became those animals, in body and in personality. That way, the kids at home could learn all about different animal species and their natural instincts. The audience didn’t seem to mind all the extra learning, as Animorphs became a television hit, still airing new episodes into the 00’s.
Release History9/4/98 - ? Nickelodeon
TV Sub Categorieslive-action
Television CastJake Shawn Ashmore
Cassie Nadia-Leigh Nascimento
Marco Boris Cabrera
Rachel Brooke Nevin
Tobias Christopher Ralph
Ax Paulo Costanzo
Visser Three/Victor Trent Eugene Lipinski
Principal Chapman Ricard Sali
Tom Joshua Pearce