[[quoteright:325:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/cast_6162.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:325: From left to right: Jake, Marco, Ax in human morph, Rachel, Cassie, and Tobias. You probably needed the clarification, even if you're familiar with the books.]]

The popularity of the ''Animorphs'' book series eventually led to a live action television series. This was initially met with a ''lot'' of resistance within the fanbase, due to feelings that this would eventually cheapen the great book series, and that the books would translate more easily to an animated adaptation due to their truly alien aliens and the premise of morphing. But even in the midst of the backlash, Scholastic went ahead with production and the series premiered September 15, 1998 on {{Nickelodeon}}. The series didn't gain the same popularity as the books, and only lasted 26 episodes. Reruns currently air on {{Qubo}}. The series is also now available on Netflix.
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* AdaptationDyeJob: Tobias has black hair here, dark blond hair in the books.
* AdaptationNameChange: Tom's Yeerk is given the name Iniss Three-Three-Five. Because in the books his first Yeerk has a different name and his second Yeerk has no name at all, 'Iniss Three-Three-Five' is the name sometimes used in fandom for Tom's second Yeerk.
* AdaptationalAngstUpgrade: Inverted with Tobias. In the flashback episode that bears his name, it's revealed he led a pretty comfortable life before becoming an Animorph, in stark contrast to his rough background in the books.
* AdaptationalBadass: Marco instantly becomes one in the season one finale when he [[spoiler:''single-handedly destroys the Yeerk Pool''.]]
* AdaptationSpeciesChange: Variation in ''Literature/{{Animorphs}}''...the short-lived TV series rarely used the signature morphs of the protagonists...Rachel never did her bear morph, Marco never went gorilla...possibly because there wasn't the budget for a ton of CGI and they wanted to use animals they could work with decently well. Then the Transformers toys got into it, with things like a Jake-bear and Jake-stingray toy...
* AdaptedOut: David, the team's SixthRangerTraitor, never made an appearance in the show.
* AgeLift: In the book series, the protagonists started off as middle school students, and progressively got older. Here, they're already in high school.
* AnachronismStew: The setting. Ostensibly set during the late nineties, the computers seen recall late eighties tech and the movie they see in one episode is straight out of the fifties.
* AnimalMotifs: The resistance movement seen in ''Changes'' has adopted the hawk as their sigil. Weirdly, this isn't because of Tobias.
* AscendedExtra: Crazy Fran from ''The Forgotten'', who is based off a throwaway character seen in the first Megamorphs book. Also Melissa Chapman, who makes more appearances in the show than she does in the books.
* BadDreams: In a rather bizarre callback to all the nightmares the kids go through in the books, one episode opens with Marco having a nightmare about being chased by a T-Rex. This has nothing to do with anything, and it's been speculated that it was a last minute change from him being chased by a Hork-Bajir (the T-Rex makes the same sounds) when they couldn't use the suit for whatever reason (the T-Rex is stock footage from the stop motion short "Prehistoric Beasts"). This makes it tie with the MagicalNegro scene from "Tobias" for worst BigLippedAlligatorMoment in the series.
* BaldOfEvil: Visser Three in his Victor Trent human morph.
* BigBad: Visser Three, theoretically. He doesn't actually accomplish much, though, and what he ''does'' accomplish is more due to the Animorphs's incompetence than his own efforts.
* BigNo: Visser Three in ''The Message'', when he realizes that, for him, everything is ''[[SubvertedTrope not]]'' [[PrettyButterflies better with butterflies]].
* BottleEpisode: "Tobias," which only features Tobias and Ax, and is nothing but character material. Unfortunately, it didn't work out very well and is one of the worst episodes.
* ButNotTooBlack: Nadia Nascimento, Cassie's actress, is considerably lighter-complexioned than the Cassie depicted in the books' cover art. Not nearly as much as it may seem from the article photo, however.
* ButtMonkey: Harold Nesbit, a CanonForeigner from ''Changes''.
* CallARabbitASmeerp: The Yeerks are described as slug-''like'' in the books, although they look more alien upon closer inspection. In the show, they're just slugs.
* CanonForeigner: Several, though the most memorable are [[RebelLeader Hugo]], [[MagicalNegro Fred]], [[CrazySurvivalist Mr. Perkins]] and the [[VoiceOfTheResistance unnamed kid]] played by Shawn Roberts, who is credited as "Skater Dude". [[MacGuffin Elfangor's disk]] is a non-character example.
* CharacterExaggeration: Eugene Lipinski's Visser Three. He was already kind of a [[LargeHam ham]] in the books, but Lipinski took it UpToEleven.
* {{Chickification}}: Rachel suffers from this as a symptom of her BadassDecay.
* ClaspYourHandsIfYouDeceive: Reversed - Hugo is steepling his hands as he talks with Tobias, but it's Tobias and not Hugo who's the one lying.
* CoconutSuperpowers: One of the reasons why the TV Series is so reviled.
* ComplexityAddiction: The Yeerks are pretty good about avoiding this in the first season, but they take it UpToEleven in the second season, cranking out one hare-brained scheme after another and each more ridiculous than the last.
* CompressedAdaptation: Due to Ani-TV's limited budget, numerous factors of the series were scaled down - the Hork-Bajir and Taxxons, the size of the Yeerk Pool, and the battle morphs of the Animorphs all got this treatment.
* CrazySurvivalist: Mr. Perkins from ''The Release'', though he's light on the 'crazy' and heavy on the 'survivalist'.
* CutawayGag: In "My Name Is Erek" Ax is left out of the mission because he's busy... [[MakesJustAsMuchSenseInContext making salad]].
* CutShort: The second season ended after a mere six episodes, and the three-part finale ended with nothing resolved. The Yeerks were still a threat, Ax was still stuck on Earth, and aside from [[spoiler:the inexplicable destruction of the Yeerk Pool]], the Animorphs had accomplished nothing.
* DiminishingVillainThreat: Visser One. In the books, she's a menacing, proactive and dangerous figure. In the show, she spends most of her onscreen time watering plants.
* DirtyCoward: The Yeerks run like little girls at the first sight of any wild animal.
* DullSurprise: Anyone who's infested with a Yeerk. A big departure from the books where Yeerk Controllers are able to make their hosts act perfectly normally, which naturally also greatly lessens the tension when it's obvious who the Controllers are.
* EpicFail: The fight scene between Ax and Visser Three is probably the most triumphant example. Two Andalites, in a glorious wrestling match to the death!
* {{Expy}}: The Ellimist becomes one of Obi Wan Kenobi. Old man, same cloak, blue and transparent. Similarly, Visser Three's human morph is a dead ringer for Lex Luthor.
* FauxActionGirl: Rachel.
* {{Flanderization}}: The characters in the TV adaptation were pretty much flanderized versions of their book counterparts.
* FourLinesAllWaiting: The series finale, which features the writers' plans for the rest of the season crammed into three episodes.
* HarmlessVillain: The Yeerks frequently come off as this. Even Visser Three, while memorable, is rarely a fearsome presence.
* [[HesDeadJim He's Dead, Jake]]: Tobias in ''The Underground''. [[UnexplainedRecovery Until his inexplicable recovery]].
* [[HeroOfAnotherStory Heroes of Another Story]]: The human resistance movement seen in ''Changes''.
* IdiotBall: The resistance movement, a fascinating concept unique to the TV series, was doomed to carry one of these. It led to their swift recapture by the Yeerks.
* TheIgor: The bald [[FanNickname Dr. Weenie]] is this to Visser Three.
* IJustWantToBeNormal: Jake in ''Not My Problem''.
* ImperialStormtrooperMarksmanshipAcademy: The Yeerks, when they bother to use their weapons.
* InNameOnly: Erek the Chee in Season 2. There's no mention of the other Chee, no mention of the Pemalites, and he looks drastically different from the way he's described in the books.
* ItsAWonderfulPlot: In ''Not My Problem''.
* KarmaHoudini: Visser Three, who ends the series ''better'' off than he started - he lost [[spoiler:the Yeerk Pool]], but he's still leader of the invasion, he just seized Elfangor's disk and neutralized a human resistance, and he's acquired a new human morph to replace his fugitive old one.
* TheKlutz: Brooke Nevin's Rachel is depicted as notably clumsy, which makes as much sense as anything else on this show considering that she's, you know, a ''gymnast''.
* KudzuPlot: The series three-part finale, ''Changes'', cobbles together a mishmash of plot ideas most likely intended for future episodes and attempts to resolve them all at once. The result, while superior to anything else in the second season, is deeply confusing and disjointed.
* LaResistance: In ''Changes'', Tobias is captured by a human resistance made up of former Yeerk hosts. Sadly, they are not explored very deeply and end up getting taken down by the Yeerks in short order.
* TheLancer: Marco to Jake, as per his role in the books. Also, the unnamed character played by Shawn Roberts, who appears to be second-in-command of the resistance movement.
* LargeHam: Eugene Lipinski as Visser Three.
* LeftHanging: It sucks to be Marco. Despite accomplishing more than any other Animorph, he never gets to rescue his mother from the Yeerks.
* LetUsNeverSpeakOfThisAgain: The fandom's reaction to this show. Even the author hated it.
* LighterAndSofter: Compared to the books. Most episodes were rated PG, and later ones were often G.
** This resulted in some very clumsy [[ShadowDiscretionShot Shadow Discretion Shots]] when it came to the gory scenes.
* LongBusTrip: Eugene Lipinski's Visser Three never came back for the second season.
* LoweredMonsterDifficulty: Visser Three in spades. He spends almost every appearance in his vulnerable human morph.
* {{MacGuffin}}: Elfangor's disk, a device original to the TV series, serves this role.
* MagicalNegro: Fred, who randomly shows up in "Tobias" to offer encouragement. Fred moonlights as a walking BigLippedAlligatorMoment.
* MakingUseOfTheTwin: When Ax morphs Jake so that Jake can be tied up while his Yeerk is starved. Shawn Ashmore's twin Aaron Ashmore appears in the one scene with two Jakes.
** It's also speculated that we're seeing Aaron in all the other scenes of Ax-as-Jake, but information is scarce.
* NewMediaAreEvil: In ''The Front'' the Yeerks concoct a hare-brained scheme to sell cell phones with Yeerks nestled inside them. At the time this episode aired, cell phones were still relatively new.
* NoNameGiven: The resistance fighter played by Shawn Roberts is credited simply as "Skater Dude". Which is strange, seeing as how he is [[InformedAttribute never seen skating]].
* OxymoronicBeing: Erek the Chee, who in the show is allergic to ''his own hologram crystals''. To put it into perspective, that's like a computer being allergic to its own keyboard.
* PowerCreepPowerSeep: The Animorphs all have significantly weaker battle morphs than in the books. Rachel goes from her grizzly bear and elephant to a lion (stealing SixthRangerTraitor David's battle morph), Marco goes from his gorilla to a wolf, and Cassie loses her own wolf in favor of a horse. Even Jake loses a little; he still gets a tiger morph but he's forced to trade in the formidable Siberian tiger for a smaller, less dangerous white tiger.
** Visser Three loses his menagerie of monstrous morphs. Aside from one (mostly offscreen) instance, the only morph he ever uses is his human morph.
** In Season 2, Erek the Chee gets to keep his durability and strength but loses the ability to project holograms around anyone but himself.
* PragmaticAdaptation
* RebelLeader: Hugo, the leader of the resistance movement seen in ''Changes''.
* RedEyesTakeWarning: Of a sort. If somebody scratches at their ear in the show, it's a good sign that they're a Controller.
* RelationshipCompression: Rachel and Tobias. In the books, they barely knew each other before becoming Animorphs. In the show, a flashback episode establishes they were already good friends at the very least.
* RefugeInAudacity: Used the heroes and villains alike. The Animorphs at one point memorably defeat the Yeerks with ''water balloons'', and the Yeerk plots in season two range from 'sell people cell phones with Yeerks inside them' to 'air an awful sitcom that will brainwash people'.
* RepeatCut: When the Controllers break open the door of the observatory, the shot is played 3 times.
* ShoutOut: Rachel's dialog in the television adaptation of "The Stranger". After the Ellimist shows the kids what the future of Earth will be like if they continue to fight, Rachel asks a familiar question: [[Literature/AChristmasCarol "What you showed us...is it the definite future or just a possible one"]]?
** Marco's dinosaur dream in ''My Name is Erek'' is a strange shout-out to the second Megamorphs book.
* [[SirNotAppearingInThisTrailer Sir Not-Appearing-in-This-Show]]: David. There was a teaser at the end of ''The Threat'' which implied he might show up in Ani-TV, but he never did and to add insult to injury, his lion morph was taken by his archnemesis Rachel.
* SlidingScaleOfAdaptationModification: This series covers the whole gamut. Some episodes are very faithful adapations of the source material (such as ''The Alien''), whereas others [[InNameOnly borrowed the title and not much else]] (such as ''The Reaction'').
* StatusQuoIsGod: In ''Changes'' Ax builds himself a spaceship out of spare parts, pre-empting [[MemeticMutation Tony Stark]] by a decade. Though this was the series finale, Ax's spaceship still failed to get off the ground, presumably because he was never able to leave Earth in the books.
* StupidEvil: The Yeerks always had elements of this, but it went into overdrive in the mercifully-brief second season.
* TallDarkAndSnarky: Christopher Ralph's Tobias, in a considerable departure from the meek bully-magnet book-Tobias started out as.
* TheBadGuyWins: In "Not My Problem". Too bad for the Yeerks it's just an ItsAWonderfulPlot episode.
* ThemeTune: "It's All In Your Hands", which is admittedly pretty good.
* TookALevelInDumbass: Compared to their book counterparts? Pretty much all of them.
* UltimateJobSecurity: Visser Three. Despite being [[UpToEleven even more incompetent]] than his book counterpart, he somehow retains his position as leader of the Yeerk invasion.
* UnexplainedRecovery: In the episode based on "The Underground," Tobias is shot with a dracon beam and falls down completely stiff, and even if he somehow survived, there's no indication that the other Animorphs took him with them in their escape. In the next episode, he's back to normal with no explanation.
* VillainsBlendInBetter: Averted. In the books, it's said that Yeerks can perfectly imitate their host's behavior so that not even those closest to them can tell the difference. In the TV series, Controllers show clear differences in behavior from their hosts. For example, Principal Chapman says that he hates a pet cat that he once loved, which makes his daughter suspicious. Ax also says that he can tell who's being Controlled by looking in the host's eyes.
** Oddly enough, it's averted in the {{Its A Wonderful Plot}} episode "Not My Problem," which actually has two surprising twists about characters being Controllers. It's a good thing they weren't this effective in the real world.
** The Controllers also finger their ears a lot, which receives a TakeThat in one of the later books.
* VillainDecay: The Yeerks were never particularly effective, but in season two they threw all pretense of competence to the wind.
* WhyDontYouJustShootHim: The Yeerks only rarely use Dracon beams, presumably for budget reasons.
** Or maybe because the 'Dracon beams' are just glorified flashlights.
* VoiceOfTheResistance: Shawn Roberts's unnamed resistance fighter plays this role, putting up graffiti around town with the movement's sigil.
* WrittenInAbsence: Rachel during most of "The Message," when she's supposed to be [[VisitByDivorcedDad visiting her dad]].
* YouHaveFailedMe: Averted with Visser One. She threatens Visser Three with execution if he continues to fail, but several major failures later and he's still inexplicably alive.

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[[ThemeTune It's all in your hands...]]