For the book series, see Animorphs (book series)
For the TV series, see Animorphs (TV series)
The Animorphs. From left to right: Tobias, Marco, Rachel, Jake, Cassie and Ax.
Team information
Leader(s) Jake
Rachel(briefly; interim)
Marco (temporarily)
James(Auxiliary Animorphs)
Craig(lieutenant; Auxiliary Animorphs)
Erica(lieutenant; Auxiliary Animorphs)
Members Jake
David (formerly; defected)
Melissa Chapman (alternate timeline)
Mean Rachel † (briefly)
Nice Rachel † (briefly)
Five unnamed members †
First appearance The Invasion
Last appearance The Beginning
"My friends and I are Animorphs. Animal morphers. We can acquire the DNA of another animal, then become that animal. It's the only weapon we have in our war to help save humanity."

The Animorphs (also known as the Andalite bandits and the Earth Liberation Army) were a group of adolescents who possessed the ability to morph. The original incarnation of the team comprised of five human children, chosen by Elfangor-Sirinial-Shamtul to fight against the Yeerks' invasion of Earth. Later joined by Elfangor's brother Aximili-Esgarrouth-Isthill and briefly by another human named David, the group used their morphing power wage a guerrilla war against the Yeerks and their leader on Earth, Esplin 9466. A second incarnation known as the Auxiliary Animorphs was later formed, and the actions of both teams ultimately ended the Andalite-Yeerk War.


First Incarnation

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

"Animorphs. Marco coined the term back before I was rescued and joined the team. The original members of the Animorphs are Jake, Rachel, Cassie, Tobias, Marco. And me. The only Andalite."


"I'm a sixteen-year-old kid named Jake Berenson, and I am the leader of the Animorphs. In the past it's been hard for me to say that, to take on the title of leader. In the past I've questioned myself. Wondered whether I was right, wondered whether what I did was good, wondered whether I had any right to make life-and-death decisions. I've felt sorry for myself at times. [...] I had given up soul-searching because I realized now that it was simply too late. Way past too late. The battle had become a war. And I was, for better or worse, the only leader we had."
Jake Berenson[src]
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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.


"She was the goddess of war, my cousin was. Sixteen years old and a veteran of more battles than a World War II veteran. So was I, but Rachel loved it in a way I didn't. She needed it."
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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.


"I guess it's true what they always say about combat soldiers. They may start out fighting for their country, but they end up fighting for the guy next to them in the foxhole. I didn't so much care about the fate of the human race at that moment. I wasn't human. I was a hawk. But I cared about Jake, and Cassie, and Marco, and Ax-man, and Rachel. Always Rachel."
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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.


"I'm an Animorph. An animal morpher. My friends and I were given the ability to acquire the DNA of other creatures and morph them. This power is the only real weapon we have in our fight to save humanity. But it's more than that. For me, at least. Every time I morph an animal, I experience the world as that animal does, sensing it, sharing its instincts. That's knowledge my parents will never have. And I'm not sure not having it is such a bad thing."
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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.


"I'm probably the least emotional of the group. It's always been my virtue and my failing that I see the clear path from A to Z without the distraction of moral considerations. I don't want to say I'm ruthless, I'm not. But I have the ability. I can see the ruthless way clearly. I have to sort of add the morality back into the equation after the fact."
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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 ControllerVisser One. Although initially reluctant to fight against what he believed to be "insane" odds, Marco was nonetheless loyal and courageous in battle.


"An aristh, a cadet, a warrior in training. But my existence in the group of humans that calls itself the Animorphs has, I believe, qualified me as a full warrior. An experienced fighter. Why do I fight for and with a people not my own? Because, in many ways, these humans have become my own. And the central, most important reason is that the humans are fighting off an invasion of an evil, parasitic alien species known as the Yeerks. The Yeerks must be stopped. It doesn't matter who stops them, or why. Maybe, just maybe, it doesn't even matter how."
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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.


"Jake doesn't even know how to use his powers. I mean, come on, who cares if the Yeerks are around? With Animorph powers we can have anything we want."
―David to Rachel[src]
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Second Incarnation

Auxiliary Animorphs

"Slowly our team formed a line. Grizzly. Gorilla. Tiger. Andalite. Hawk. Wolf. Then James's team. Lion. Crocodile. Bobcat. Bull. Then Craig's team. And Erica's. Slowly the visser's attention was caught. Maybe I imagined the look of fear that flitted across his enigmatic Andalite face as he surveyed our forces. Maybe not. But for the first time since this war had begun, it looked like a fair fight."
Main Article: 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.



Five human children watch Elfangor's fighter land.

"We were five kids taking a shortcut home from the mall at night. There was a ship. There was an alien. There was the destructive worm of knowledge: You are not alone. You are not safe. Nothing is what it seems. No one is who they seem to be. The knowledge of betrayal and terror. The awareness of evil. And then, the power. The power made us responsible, see. Without the power the knowledge would have just been a worm of fear eating up our insides. Bad enough. But it was the power that turned fear into obligation, that laid the weight on our unready shoulders. We could become any animal we touched, the Andalite told us. Power enough to win? No. Power enough to fight? Ah, yes. Just enough, little Jake, here is just enough power to imprison you in a cage of duty, to make you fight."

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.[2]

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.[3] Soon afterwards, they destroyed a Yeerk truck ship that was used to carry water to the Yeerk's Pool ship.[4]

Rescue of Ax

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

"I will fight for you, Prince Jake, until I can return to my cousins."

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.[5]

Destroying the Kandrona

"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."
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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.[6]

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.[7] Its destruction, and further sabotage by the Yeerk traitor Eslin 359, led to the deaths of many Yeerks as they succumbed to Kandrona starvation.[8]

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[src]

After thwarting a Yeerk attempt to destroy the forest in which Ax was hiding[9], 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.[10]

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.[11]

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[src]
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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 Visser One 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.[13]

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.[14] After a trip to the distant past, [15], 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.[16]

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."
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A boy named David found the Escafil device 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.[18] 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.[19]

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.[20]

Defying Crayak

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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.[21]

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.[22]

Rescuing Aftran

After successfully dismantling a Yeerk research operation designed to destroy human free will[23], 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.[24]

Visser vs. Visser

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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.[25]

Anti-Morphing Ray

Learning from the Chee that the Yeerks were developing an Anti-Morphing Ray,[26] 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.[27]

Trip to the Hork-Bajir homeworld

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 Hamee - traveled to the Hork-Bajir homeworld. Once there, they were able to find the weapons, and returned to Earth.

Working with Visser One

"Four of them: two Hork-Bajir, the tiger, the bear. Four. No, that was wrong. There were at least six, not four. Where were the other two? Most of all, in virtually every record we had of the bandits]], one of them had usually appeared as an Andalite. There were all sorts of theories to explain this: This one Andalite did not possess the morphing power, or else the Andalites felt they needed to keep one of their people in true form as a way to "show the flag." I knew, or at least guessed the truth: The always-visible Andalite was a deception to keep us from realizing that at least some of the six were humans. Where was the Andalite as Andalite? Where were the other two?"
Edriss 562[src]

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Further battles

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USS George Washington Incident

"Things are different. From now on, we take what we need. We do what we have to do. No matter what the consequences." [...]
"Jake's right. Things have changed. We can't be asking anymore whether something's right or wrong. We really need to start asking whether it's expedient." [...]
"I think Visser One is about to launch open war. Entire cities might be incinerated. Whole countries. Maybe, just maybe, if we strike now, if we do everything we possibly can, maybe we can keep that from happening. I'm not sure I could live with myself if we didn't do all that we could."
Jake and Marco to the other Animorphs[src]

To be added

Identities Exposed

"Ax. A cadet in training. A kid like us. Like we were, once. Because none of us will ever really be kids again. Now, a hundred or more battles later, I'm not sure exactly what we are. In the eyes of the innocent world, we're still children. But in our own eyes... We've won some of those battles. Lost others. At least we've come out alive. But the war rages on. And everything is different. Because now, the Yeerks know we're not "Andalite bandits." Now they know we're human. Most of us, anyway. They even know our names. They know who our families are, too. Which meant we had to tell our families everything. About the Yeerks. About the Andalites. About why we call ourselves Animorphs. About the months of fighting and the incredible danger and the exhausting emotional drain. We didn't have time to break the news to our families gently. Not with the Yeerks on the way. We had to evacuate our homes—our lives—immediately."

To be added

Creating New Animorphs

"Would the Animorphs function as smoothly with twenty-three members as we had with six? With James now as a leader of the majority of members—though Jake was still in charge overall?"

To be added

Destroying their hometown's Yeerk pool

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Open War

To be added

Heroes of the World

"And all of that is over and above the rounds of interviews that came in that first wild month after the defeat of the Yeerks. I mean, in that first month you couldn't keep track of how many shows I'd been on. Jake and Cassie and I were bigger than all of Hollywood, D.C., and Manhattan put together. We weren't just celebrities, we were the only celebrities. We had senators and big-league rap producers and hot starlets fetching us sodas and Kit Kat bars. So cool. That first month we owned the world. But that was the easy part: We had a story to tell and everyone wanted the details of how we and our weird alien friend and all our animal morphs had saved the world."

To be added

One Last Mission

"I'd put it to the class that I needed volunteers for a mission that would very likely prove suicidal, that was illegal, that would involve their disappearing without a trace, without the approval of their governments, without notice to their families. They wouldn't be paid, promoted, or well-treated. I would be in charge and they would be low men or women on the totem pole."

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Also See