Thursday, January 29, 2015

It Should've Been on a Saturday: Animorphs (1998)

Scholastic Books, the folks behind R. L. Stine's family of youth horror books, saw the success Fox had adapting Goosebumps for television, and sought to find another series that was ready for television.

The company and its television arm partnered with YTV in Canada and Nickelodeon in the US to produce Animorphs, based on the book series of the same name. The TV version began in 1998, but lasted just 2 seasons (26 episodes).

The plot deals with a random group of teens recruited to fight off an alien invasion, granted the ability to morph into various animals and insects. Series star Shawn Ashmore later landed a primo gig in the "X-Men" movie series, and is the only cast member who'd actually become a success coming out of Animorphs.

So far, Scholastic has resisted the urge to license the now-defunct series into comics. Had they done so, and, say, DC picked up the license, I get the feeling the Animorphs would get a visit from a couple of DC heroes already accomplished in animal morphing......!

Anyway, the mistake Nick made was putting Animorphs in primetime, rather than on Saturday mornings, where it would've garnered a bigger audience. Problem was, Nick suits were obsessed with running blocks of certain "hot" cartoons of the period and left themselves no room to fit this series into their Saturday morning block. Their loss.

Scope out the series opener:

No rating.


Scoobyfan1 said...

This is showing my age a bit, but not only do I remember the TV version of this series, I remember the books they were based on.

Although admittedly the books were waaay better then the TV series(at least in my mind) I think the reason why was because as far as the books were concerned, you had to imagine the action taking place and the characters becoming tigers, birds, whales, snakes, and what have you.

I mean I know the books were geared towards teenagers and young adults, but I could not put them down when they first came out(I collected the books from thrift stores and wherever I could find them, at least until space became an issue where I stored them so I decided to get rid of them).

At least to me the reasons why they were so good was because of the interesting way the covers were made(depicting the characters morphing into different animals, and the plot itself which you have to admit was pretty clever in itself).

Also, as I admitted earlier in this post even though they were geared towards young adults/teenagers, the book series was done in a way that really(again, at least to me) appealed to fans of Star Trek, Star Wars or any good science fiction TV series or movies of the past as well as fans of good storytelling or a well written book series.

Actually Animorphs(the book and TV series) was part of the inspiration for me getting into the world of fan fiction, as one of the very first ideas I had was involve Scooby Doo and company in the Animorphs place(mainly using the power to transform into animals and similar creatures to solve mysteries and similar things).

I never thought of any kind of crossover with any DC Comics characters but come to think of it, an Animorphs comic series would be rather interesting.

Animorphs crossovers period actually are an interesting subject as well; i've seen a few fan fiction pieces with the characters from that book/TV series crossing over with many different other universes characters.

hobbyfan said...

Y'think maybe if DC decided to try the Animorphs, they'd have found a way to bring back the Wonder Twins without any embarrassment?