Home > Books > What to Expect Soon (also a rant about Animorphs)

What to Expect Soon (also a rant about Animorphs)

Hey guys. Sorry for the lack of posts recently. Mostly been busy due to the holidays as well as work being extremely taxing recently (such is the cost of working in retail). Most the spare time I’ve had has been used working on my novel and trying to recoop from work by playing some of the games I received for Christmas.

The two most notable ones being Assassin’s Creed 2 and Dragon Age: Origins. As awesome as the story and gameplay in Dragon Age is, Assassin’s Creed 2 is the game I’m really focusing on just because the gameplay is addictive (pretty much improving on all the short comings of the last game in every way) and the story is really engaging. The story in Assassin’s Creed 1 was pretty good and I did really like the sci-fi twist they had on it. The story in Assassin’s Creed 2 is really kicked up a notch though, since it does a good job of focusing on the realistic (well, at first) historical fiction storyline presented by the main character Desmond’s ancestor as well as the modern story of Desmond, which focuses more on the sci-fi aspects of that series. They also explain more about the conspiracy with the Templars and the Pieces of Eden, which almost seems to delve into like…Metal Gear Solid levels of mindscrewery, but I actually really like that (in no small part to the fact Metal Gear Solid is one of my favorite game series of all time). I’ll probably end up doing a full post about Assassin’s Creed 2 soon enough, but I’m thinking about doing one for the first Assassin’s Creed first since I did love the first one and I can’t really talk about Assassin’s Creed 2 at all without spoiling Assassin’s Creed 1 anyway, so I might as well just tell everything that happens. Thinking the Assassin’s Creed 1 post will probably go more in depth about the story since the story is very cool and not that difficult to make fun of, so that might be enjoyable for you guys.

Now another thing I really want to talk about very soon is to do another Good Books post that is a retrospective on Animorphs, sparked by conversation I had about the series with a friend of mine the other day. Now, if you were in grade school in the 90s in the pre-Harry Potter era, you know what Animorphs is. Basically when you were a kid then that was interested in reading at all, there were two series that were generally agreed to be series that almost everyone read. One of them was Goosebumps, which I have fond memories of even though most of them do not hold up when you grow up. At all. In fact, there is a very funny blog reviewing all the Goosebumps books from an older perspective that rings very true to me. I recommend you all check it out. The other series that was required reading that was the much better one of the two was Animorphs.

Basically it was about a group of kids who get the ability to morph into any animal they touch for a short period of time from a friendly alien. This alien warns them of an invasion by a parasitic race called Yeerks which can get in people’s minds and control them. And they’ve just set up shop on Earth, so its up to these kids to stop them.

Now, if you’ve never read Animorphs, you’d think this seems like a fairly lighthearted superhero story, just the sort of thing you’d think little kids would be into. It’s not. Oh lord is it not. For a children’s series, this was DARK. These kids basically engage in a gurilla war against the Yeerks and starts to delve into surprisingly complex territory. It’s questioned if the Yeerks, which are intelligent and need hosts to do anything, are really bad and the heroes themselves start to do very morally questionable things for their cause (including, but not limited to, murder and blowing up a f***ing shopping mall filled with people. And not all of them were aliens). It was well written, complex, and dark, which made it very popular. I think mostly because the books had many complex themes so it did not seem like they were talking down to kids or insulting their intelligence like many young adult books. It’s a good book series and I suspect if I went back to read most of them, they’d still hold water.

I’m going to go more in depth about Animorphs at a later time. I also might even dig into the Animorphs live action TV adaptation, mostly because of how awful it is. I didn’t even remember it existed until recently even though I watched most of the episodes for it, which should tell you how forgettable it was. I remember the first couple episodes being decent because they basically just do the first book, but it doesn’t work out after that. I might talk about that too if I can find some videos of it somewhere. But trust me when I say it isn’t that good. The opening should tell you right away, since it has one of the worst, most misleading openings ever. Let’s watch:

Now… let’s think about Animorphs for a second. It is a dark series that is about 5 kids basically fighting a war against a powerful alien race that invades the minds of humans. They’re the only ones who know anything about it and part of them sees the war as hopeless, as only a means to stave off the inevitable conquest. These kids also do very morally grey stuff in order to defend the world. This show is an adaptation of that dark, complex, heavily science fiction series with themes about morality… and gives it an opening with a theme song that makes it sound like Dawson’s Creek. I mean, seriously. I can’t blame the person who wrote the lyrics, because if you listen to the lyrics, they are ominous. The melody of the theme son is not. It completely messes up the tone of the books and the tone the series is trying to created. Granted there is some high school drama in the books, but it’s downplayed for the most part. It is not Dawson’s Creek. It should not have an opening that makes people think it is.

And if I remember right, the opening isn’t even the worst part of that adaptation. But we’ll talk about that at a later time.

Finally, I have another interview coming up which I’m really excited about. I’m hoping to get that up in a few days. I hope you guys enjoy it.

Just wanted to let you guys know about some of the stuff to come. I hope you all will enjoy it. Have a nice day.

  1. JoTyler
    January 6, 2010 at 10:23 am

    Oh man. This was my favorite series. I’ve gone back and re-read it several times, and I’m always surprised at how dark it is, for a kid’s series. But it’s very, very good. Do you think if they made a movie or a tv show nowadays they could do it some justice? or would they go overboard and kill it… I’ve never seen the show, but now I am curious as to how terrible it is XD

    • January 6, 2010 at 2:11 pm

      I think it would be done justice if it was made today, assuming they stuck to the tone of the books and didn’t try to tone it down or anything. The best part about the series was how dark it was and how it didn’t talk down to kids. It introduced a lot of complex concepts, especially involving the morality of killing the Yeerks and if the heroes actions were really the right thing to do. It didn’t insult the intelligence of the readers.

      As for the TV series, from what I remember, the show wasn’t TERRIBLE, exactly. It was just sort of mediocre compared to the source material. Not to mention they take a lot of liberties with it. I really need to rewatch them to see if it’s as subpar as I remember. The only noteworthy thing about the series that I remember was that the first episode wasn’t THAT bad (at least from what I remember, mostly because they basically just do the first part of the first book straight). And I stand by the comment that they could not have picked a worse theme song. I mean, jeez.

  1. January 4, 2010 at 2:15 am

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