|Creator:||K. A. Applegate|
|Date(s):||1996 - 2001|
|Country of Origin:||United States|
|External Links:||Official Scholastic site|
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Animorphs is an English language science fiction series of children's literature (or young adult) books written by K. A. Applegate (Katharine Applegate, her husband Michael Grant, and ghostwriters) and published by Scholastic. The books are told in first person, each book narrated by one of the 6 main characters.
The story revolves around five humans, Jake, Marco, Cassie, Rachel, and Tobias, and one alien, Aximili-Esgarrouth-Isthill (nicknamed Ax), who obtain the ability to morph into any animal they touch. Naming themselves "Animorphs" (a portmanteau of "animal morphers") they use their ability to battle the Yeerks, aliens who are secretly invading Earth. Horror, war, dehumanization, sanity, morality, innocence, leadership, freedom, and growing up are core motifs of the series.
Published between June 1996 and May 2001, the series consisted of 54 books and includes ten companion books. Starting with #25: The Extreme, the books were most ghost written. The books were originally marketed to children as young as 6 and many fans bought them at Scholastic book fairs in elementary school (so, at age ten or younger) even though two decades after the first books' publication the books are often described as young adult books. The first 8 books were re-released in 2011–2012, but didn't sell very well.
Though not a major fandom, the books were very popular and still have a fan following and active communities. Many fans read the books as children and then return to the series as adults, at which point they begin wondering how books with so much body horror and trauma got published and marketed to children.
In 1999, Hasbro released Animorph toys as a subsection of their Transformers series. They were badly received by both Animorphs fans (for not being accurate to canon and also for being hideous) and Transformers fans (for not being robots, not being related to Transformers, and being hideous).
FandomFanfiction has been the most common form of fannish activity, but icons were popular on livejournal and there's a good amount of fanart on tumblr. There are also several podcasts. The height of fannish activity was probably around 1999-2002, and it has been getting quieter since. However, many fans in their twenties still remember the books fondly, and will consider writing stories occasionally for Yuletide and similar challenges. Tumblr and reddit have a good deal of headcanons, meta, and other fan activity.
There are 2 ways people reminisce about the Animorph books.And people who read the books: “Animorphs??!?! AHHHHHHHHHHHHH” *incoherent yelling* *something catches fire*
People who never read them: “Haha remember those books that always had thosw crazy covers”
- Eleutherophobia (link) by SoloMoon - post-canon AU where Tom Berenson survives
- Daemorphing (link) by Poetry - Daemon AU
- Tocsin (link) by Beth Epstein - A canon divergent AU where Tom's Yeerk is a member of the Yeerk Peace Movement.
- fanfic page for recs on TV Tropes.
- The Hindsight (link)
- Thought-Speak (link)
- Morph Club (link)
- Fandalite Academy (link)
- Fandalites (link)
- Why were we allowed to read Animorphs as kids, anyway? (link) by SoloMoon
- Unreliable Narration, Propaganda, and Myth in Animorphs by featherquillpen
- Don't Bring a Dracon Beam to a Morphing Fight: The Inevitability of Yeerk Defeat by johndocscorner
Archives & Communities
- Animorphic (archive)
- Shades of Grey (archive)
- Unconventional Animorphs, archive for 'unconventional' het and slash pairings, now defunct.
- Fans of the Animorphs general discussion and fanworks community on Livejournal.
- Fans of the Animorphs on Dreamwidth.
- Animorphs Fanfiction LJ comm.
- Animorphs fic forum
- Anirarepair: Yahoo! Mailing list for discussion and fic about unconventional pairings. No longer working.
- Animorphs community on deviantart that doesn't seem to have any admin activity anymore.
- Animorphs fanfic and crossovers on Fanfiction.net.
- Works on Archive of Our Own.
- Animorphs fan forum.
- Richard's Animorphs Forum.
- Seerowpedia, Animorphs fan wiki on wikia.
- animorphs tag on tumblr
- /r/Animorphs/, the reddit Animorphs community