For the book series, see Animorphs (book series)
For the TV series, see Animorphs (TV series)
Animorphs BookModels
Team information
Members Jake, Rachel, Tobias, Cassie, Marco, Ax, David (formerly), Auxiliary Animorphs
First appearance The Invasion
Last appearance The Beginning
"Animorph. Animal morpher. A human capable of becoming any animal. It's our one weapon against the Yeerks. Our only power. Without it, we're just five regular kids. But with that power comes certain extra responsibilities."

The Animorphs were a group of five teenage human children, chosen by Elfangor-Sirinial-Shamtul to fight against the Yeerks' invasion of Earth. Later joined by Elfangor's brother Aximili-Esgarrouth-Isthill, the group used the Andalite morphing power given to them by Elfangor to wage a guerilla war against the Yeerks and their leader on Earth, Visser Three. Their actions ultimately ended the Andalite-Yeerk War.


All 6 Animorphs faces only from mm2 inside cover

Cassie, Jake,Ax,Tobias,Rachel, and Marco as seen in the Megamorphs #2 inside covers.

Jake: The leader of the Animorphs, by virtue of being the one that the others relied upon to make plans and give orders. His brother Tom was a Controller, which gave Jake a very personal reason to fight against the Yeerks. Jake came to resent his role as leader, as it forced him to grow up too fast and miss many of the simple joys of childhood.

Marco: Jake's best friend, and the one who named the group "Animorphs". Always able to see the funny side of life, Marco's wisecracking nature was offset by personal pain: his mother, whom he had believed was dead, was actually a Controller - Visser One. Although initially reluctant to fight against what he believed to be "insane" odds, Marco was nonetheless loyal and courageous in battle.

Rachel: Jake's cousin. She was a driven, dedicated warrior. Of all the Animorphs, Rachel was the only one who found the constant battles and death to be exciting, and she often worried that this aspect of her personality was dehumanising her. She had uncommonly beautiful "supermodel" looks. Her growing relationship with Tobias often became strained due to his status as a nothlit.

Cassie: Rachel's best friend, and Jake's girlfriend. Cassie worked at the Wildlife Rehabilitation Clinic, which was owned by her parents, and so had access to a variety of different animals. Cassie often struggled to come to terms with her nature as a non-violent, caring person and her missions as an Animorph, which often included killing sentient creatures.

Tobias: A friend of Jake's. In the Animorphs' first battle, Tobias was trapped in his red-tailed hawk morph. As his human life wasn't a happy one, he initially seemed more comfortable as a hawk, but always felt a sense of inner turmoil between living as a predator and thinking as a human. Later, the Ellimist gave Tobias back his ability to morph, and even his human form, but this was only a morph and he could not stay in it more than two hours at a time.

Aximili-Esgarrouth-Isthill: Elfangor's brother, an Andalite aristh. Nicknamed "Ax" by the other Animorphs, he fought alongside them in the hope of avenging his brother's death. The Animorphs' resident expert on alien biology and technology, Ax was always somewhat aloof and occasionally condescending to his human friends, as he felt torn between his loyalty to his own people and his friendship with the Animorphs. In human morph, Ax enjoyed making human mouth sounds, and eating human food - especially the cinnamon bun.

Auxiliary Animorphs: A group of seventeen disabled kids, who were chosen by the original Animorphs to help them fight. They were chosen because they were disabled, and the Yeerks had no interest in making them hosts. The Escafil device cured three of them: James, who became the leader of the Auxiliary Animorphs, Craig, and Erica. Ray, one of them, was killed by Dracon fire, and almost all of the rest died in The Answer while assisting Sam Doubleday in creating a diversion to disguise the fact that the Animorphs were inside the Pool ship.



"If you wish, I can give you powers that no other human being has ever had... To change your bodies, to become any species, any animal."
Animorphs see ship at construction site book 1 The Invasion Japanese illustration

Five human children watch Elfangor's fighter land.

The five teenagers who would become the Animorphs - Jake, Rachel, Cassie, Marco and Tobias - were walking home from school one night, and decided to take a shortcut through an abandoned construction site. Above them, the fighter of Elfangor-Sirinial-Shamtul, an Andalite Prince, was engaged in battle with Yeerk forces. Elfangor's fighter was shot down, crash-landing in the same construction site.

Drawn in by curiosity, the group investigated the strange spacecraft, and met Elfangor. Knowing that the Yeerks would follow him to the construction site, Elfangor chose to tell the five humans of the terrible threat that the Yeerks posed to Earth, and - breaking the Andalite law of Seerow's Kindness - shared with them the morphing power, explaining its function and telling them that they must use it to defend their world against the Yeerks.

Shortly afterwards, the Yeerk leader known as Visser Three arrived. Hiding from him and his force of human-Controllers, the group watched helplessly as the Visser morphed into a huge, alien beast and devoured Elfangor. They realised then that the threat to Earth was real, and resolved to carry out Elfangor's last wish - to fight the Yeerks using the Andalite morphing power.[1]

Initial skirmishes

"We had all returned to our human forms, but Tobias was still a hawk. Tobias will always be a hawk."

The Animorphs' first act was to launch an attack against the vast Yeerk Pool underneath their city. However, their overconfidence led to a crushing defeat at the hands of Visser Three and his Hork-Bajir-Controllers. Although most of them escaped, Tobias was left inside the Yeerk Pool, becoming trapped in his red-tailed hawk morph - what the Andalites called a nothlit.[1]

Next, the group infiltrated the home of their school's assistant principal, Hedrick Chapman, whom they knew to be a Controller, in order to save his daughter Melissa from infestation.[2] Soon afterwards, they destroyed a Yeerk truck ship that was used to carry water to the Yeerk's Pool ship.[3]

Rescue of Ax

"I will fight for you, Prince Jake, until I can return to my cousins."
4228 A Animorphs Cassie Dolphin Jigsaw Puzzle Catalog image

Cassie (and the other Animorphs) in dolphin morph come across the dome of the GalaxyTree dome ship, with Ax inside.

A few weeks after receiving their powers, Cassie and Tobias started receiving visions of an Andalite calling to them from beneath the ocean. Using dolphin morphs, they investigated, and discovered the crashed dome of an Andalite Dome ship, sunk under the ocean. Inside, they found and rescued Aximili-Esgarrouth-Isthill, an Andalite aristh and Elfangor's brother. Aximili decided to fight alongside the Animorphs until he could return to his own people. To save having to pronounce his full Andalite name, Marco nicknamed him "Ax", and the name stuck.[4]

In an ill-fated attempt to lure the Yeerks into a trap, Marco discovered that his mother - presumed dead - was actually alive, and the host body to Visser One - the overseer of the Yeerk invasion of Earth. Jake was then accidentally infested by the Yeerk that previously resided in his brother's head, Temrash 114. The rest of the team soon discovered this, and confined Jake for three days, starving Temrash of life-sustaining Kandrona rays. Before Temrash died, Jake saw a vision of a horrifying red-eyed creature. This vision would haunt his dreams for a long time to come.[5]

The Animorphs' first major victory against the Yeerks came when they were able to find and destroy the Yeerks' Kandrona, a device which supplied the Yeerks with Kandrona rays. They were assisted by the Ellimist, a being of immense power who could not act directly to help them, only give them the means to help themselves. In this case, he showed them the location of the Kandrona.[6] Its destruction, and further sabotage by the Yeerk traitor Eslin 359, led to the deaths of many Yeerks as they succumbed to Kandrona starvation.[7]

The Chee and the Free Hork-Bajir

"Tobias, you are a beginning. You are a point on which an entire time line may turn."
―The Ellimist[4]

After thwarting a Yeerk attempt to destroy the forest in which Ax was hiding[8], the group discovered that a race of nonviolent androids known as the Chee had infiltrated the Yeerk organization and were willing to work with the Animorphs as allies. Their first mission under this alliance was to retrieve a Pemalite crystal from the Yeerks, which the Chee could use to remove their programmed inhibition against violence. Their Chee contact, Erek King, accomplished this and destroyed a force of Hork-Bajir, but was so repulsed by what he had done that he returned his programming to its original state. From then on, he and the other Chee would supply the Animorphs with information about Yeerk activities.[9]

Later, Tobias came across a Hork-Bajir who had escaped from the Yeerks. With the help of the Ellimist, the Animorphs guided Jara Hamee and his mate Ket Halpak to a hidden valley where they would be protected. As thanks for helping to save the Hork-Bajir species from Yeerk slavery, the Ellimist returned Tobias's morphing power, then took him back in time to acquire his old human body. Tobias could now morph alongside the other Animorphs, but still could not be fully human.[10]

The Leeran Conflict

"Where sky meets sea, Andalite, human, and Leeran are joined as allies. Each with our weaknesses. Each with our strengths."
―Unnamed Leeran[11]

Through the Chee, the Animorphs became aware that the Yeerks were launching an invasion of the planet Leera. Initially, the Animorphs sabotaged an Earth-based Yeerk project led by Edriss 562 that was genetically altering sharks to make them suitable hosts for battle on the aquatic planet of Leera.[12] They became further involved in the conflict on Leera when a bizarre morphing accident transported them to the planet itself. There, they thwarted the efforts of an Andalite traitor and greatly aided the Andalite war effort, destroying a major Yeerk installation before being brought back to Earth.[11]

The group then infiltrated Web Access America, finding that its owner was the host of Esplin 9466 Lesser, the brother of Visser Three. They discovered that he had been branded a traitor and was living as an outcast, surviving by killing Human-controllers and ingesting their Yeerks. One of the Animorphs burned his mansion down, forcing him into hiding.[13] After a trip to the distant past,[14], Cassie felt unable to continue as an Animorph and left the group, only to become lost in the woods with a Yeerk named Aftran 942. While trying to find their way back to civilization, the pair came to a mutual understanding, which led to Aftran deciding to voluntarily leave her host and work to destabilize the Yeerk war effort from the inside.[15]

David, the New Animorph

"You may kill a bird, but it isn't murder. I'd never do that. I wouldn't hurt a human. But hey, an animal? That's a different story."

A boy named David found the Escafil device - or "blue box" - that had been used by Elfangor to give the Animorphs their power. The Animorphs' initial attempt to prevent the Yeerks from obtaining it ended with David's parents becoming Controllers, and David himself becoming homeless. Knowing that they could not willingly allow the Yeerks infest him, they decided to use the device to make him the seventh Animorph.[17]However, David was emotionally distraught from the loss of his parents, and his unstable, sociopathic personality led to him attempting to kill the other Animorphs.[16] The Animorphs were unable to out-fight him, so they decided to set a trap for him at the construction site, luring him into the open with the Escafil device. David morphed to rat, and the Animorphs caught him in a box, keeping him there until he was trapped in morph. Rachel and Ax then flew him to a remote island and left him there.[18]

Tobias was approached by a solicitor claiming to represent his father, who told him that an unknown cousin of his, Aria, wanted to take care of him. After investigating, the Animorphs found that the solicitor was a Controller and that "Aria" was really Visser Three in morph - but that the solicitor nonetheless represented Tobias's real father, Elfangor, who had fathered Tobias while living on Earth in human morph, in a timeline that had later been altered by the Ellimist. Upon discovering his true parentage, Tobias felt an increased sense of kinship with his shorm - and now his uncle - Ax.[19]

Pawns of the Ellimist

The Ellimist appeared to the Animorphs once again, asking them and their Chee friend Erek to help save an alien race called the Iskoort from destruction by his nemesis, Crayak and his force of Howlers. He transported them to the Iskoort homeworld, where they were able to stop the Howlers by introducing the concept of love to their collective memory. Furious that his seemingly-unstoppable fighting force had been crippled, Crayak swore that he would take personal revenge against Jake, promising that his nightmares would continue.[20]

Crayak first attempted to destroy the Chee, by having his underling the Drode paralyze them with the controls on a sunken Pemalite ship, the only remnant of Pemalite technology still in existence. His secondary goal was to lure the Animorphs to the Pemalite ship, where they would be drawn into a Yeerk ambush and destroyed. However, the Animorphs managed to survive the Yeerk attack long enough to repair the Chee, allowing Erek to take control of the Pemalite ship and sink it deeper into the ocean, far from the reach of the Yeerks.[21]

After successfully dismantling a Yeerk research operation designed to destroy human free will[22], Ax developed a case of the yamphut, an illness fatal to Andalites. The other Animorphs also caught the illness, but were not in any danger. Cassie, as the only uninfected Animorph, worked with the Yeerk Peace Movement to free Aftran from the Yeerk pool, where she was to be interrogated and executed by Visser Three. Aftran assisted Cassie with operating on Ax to cure the yamphut, then was given the morphing power and voluntarily trapped herself in humpback whale morph.[23]

Further battles

Marco spotted Visser One - still occupying his mother's body - on Earth, and discovered that she had been exiled for her part in the Yeerks' losses on Leera, pending an investigation. The Animorphs brokered a deal with her in an attempt to have her and Visser Three destroy each other; however, this plan was not successful. Visser Three escaped, and Visser One disappeared once more.[24]

Learning from the Chee that the Yeerks were developing an Anti-morphing Ray[25], the Animorphs decided that rather than destroying it - and thus proving that it could affect them - they would instead make the Yeerks believe that the weapon would not work. They accomplished this by letting Tobias be captured - as his hawk morph was now his natural form, the Yeerks would think that he was still in morph when they used the weapon on him, and conclude that it had failed. The plan succeeded, but in the process, Tobias was tortured extensively by a human-Controller named Taylor. He would never fully recover from this incident, becoming more withdrawn.[26]

The Animorphs were then approached by an Arn, who brought with him the Ixcila, or "stored personality", of Aldrea-Iskillion-Falan. Aldrea was the grandmother of Jara Hamee, and knew the location of a hidden weapons cache on the Hork-Bajir homeworld, which the Arn could use to start a resistance movement against the Yeerks. Cassie played host to Aldrea's personality, and the Animorphs - with Jara Hamee's daughter Toby - traveled to the Hork-Bajir homeworld. Once there, they were able to find the weapons, and returned to Earth.

Return of the Andalites

(36 comes first (the Nartec), however, 38 and 40 are the focus books; 39 is a sidenote between them (buffa-human!), maybe mention 41 and 42, while MM4 isn't that important, end with 43 (Taylor).

Out of hiding

(The final arc, 45 to 54. 48 isn't that important, 47, 50 and 52-54 are the main books)


  • Ax is sometimes NOT considered an Animorph because (1) he was not present at the time Elfangor gave them the morphing power, (2) he is not a human, and (3) because he always tried to maintain allegiance to the Andalite government. Despite this (and the direct mention by Ax in the first Megamorphs book that he isn't an Animorph), Ax is considered by most fans as a full member of the Animorphs. However, book summaries and the like will often say "Ax and the Animorphs" rather than just "the Animorphs" for this reason.


Also See


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 The Invasion
  2. 2.0 2.1 The Visitor
  3. The Encounter
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 The Message
  5. The Capture
  6. The Stranger
  7. The Alien
  8. The Secret
  9. The Android
  10. The Change
  11. 11.0 11.1 The Decision
  12. The Escape
  13. The Warning
  14. In the Time of Dinosaurs
  15. The Departure
  16. 16.0 16.1 The Threat
  17. The Discovery
  18. The Solution
  19. The Pretender
  20. The Attack
  21. The Exposed
  22. The Experiment
  23. The Sickness
  24. The Reunion
  25. The Separation
  26. The Illusion