I remember reading these stories when I was a really young child. In fact, what drew me away from them was Harry Potter. I read Sorcerer’s Stone when it first came out. I was 11. So I ended up growing up with Harry Potter, reading each book as it was released.
And, sadly, I sort of forgot about Animorphs. Occasionally I would stumble on them, but it wouldn’t stick, until much later (or rather recently, depending on your perspective), when I started thinking about the books again. I re-read the first two, and was like…
Holy shit… I expected this to let me down, but it didn’t!
And then… I sort of forgot about them again…
Until a few days ago. I was on a friend’s Facebook wall, reading through a thread, when some comments went off topic to talk about Animorphs. I was excited, of course, but before I commented, I saw a comment saying something that made me way more excited than it should have…
THERE’S AN ANIMORPHS PODCAST!!!!!!!
OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG!!!!!!!!!!
I don’t know why I’m so excited about this, as I really fell off Animorphs a long time ago, but that hit my nostalgia right in the feels, and I’m now binging the podcast (there’s currently 32 episodes… they release every other Tuesday, and the most recent episode was released this past Tuesday, March 28th, so the next one will probably be up on April 11th).
For readers who fall on either side of the 90s nostalgia trench, Animorphs was a sci-fi fantasy series (with frequent elements of war story, space opera and body horror) written for a middle-grade audience, about five teenage kids who happen across a dying alien one night and wind up as Earth’s last hope against a body-snatching invader known as the Yeerks. Their only weapon is an alien technology that allows them to morph into other creatures for two hours at a time, hence the title.
Coming out at a blazing pace of one book a month (for a total of 51 in the main series, plus the “megamorphs,” various spinoff novels, and even a choose-your-own-adventure), the series eventually started employing ghost writers and flagged in quality toward the back end. But there’s no denying that what’s good is damn good, with endearing characters and a willingness to portray extremely intense scenes and deal with emotionally fraught topics.
Morph Club is the ideal nostalgia show: its hosts are familiar with the source material and love it dearly, bringing an enervating tone to the discussion; they let themselves be surprised by what’s aged well or what has new depth as an older reader, but aren’t blind or dismissive of what no longer or never worked. In so doing, they offer both a window into what it was like when these books were at the height of their popularity (and I cannot wait for them to cover the questionable-quality TV series) while also offering a way in for unfamiliar listeners
Here’s a link to the podcast’s Twitter. It’s called Morph Club, but you can also find it in your pod-catching apps under Morphclub and Animorphs (which is how I found it through Doggcatcher). I’m going to have to start reading the books again…
And I would totally love an Animorphs revival! Could you imagine a modern-day live-action Netflix adaption?!? I know there was TV series already, which I believe is already on Netflix, but I remember not being too excited by it. And regardless, I would love to see the series updated for the modern age. Animorphs in the 21st century, with modern internet, smart phones, tablets, YouTube, etc. It could either be really good or really bad… I hope it’d be really good.
But I would definitely watch it regardless.
Are you reading this, Netflix? Get on that.