ANIMORPHS Episode 6: The Message

Oh, it’s Friday, I guess.

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We start with a hawk’s-eye (read: brown-tinted) view of a field and a rabbit as Tobias the Bird flies around and considers eating it. This goes on for three years or four. Then at the last second before Tobias eats that bunny from the inside out, it screams out in Cassie’s voice: “Tobias, it’s me”

morphsOh, great, it’s a Cassie episode.

Cassie is always interesting.

Cassie is always interesting.

Cassie suddenly has a migraine as her brain is assaulted by a voice-over and footage of a spaceship falling out of the sky. It seems someone or something or whatever is crashing out of the space. Cassie falls over and goes into a coma and I am jealous.

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After the intro, Cassie and the the boys & bird are in the barn. She’s told them all about this spooky happening and OH WHO CARES, MARCO’S ORANGE JACKET IS BACK.

My special effects budget now matches the show.

My special effects budget now matches the show.

Also Rachel isn’t here. Guess she’s dead.

Cassie thinks the thing calling out to her dumb brain is an Andalite calling out to them for help. Marco and Jake aren’t so on board, afraid they’re going to end up going on a mall-ass mall adventure like the last time an alien contacted them.

The worst Drunken Barn Dance since '99.

The worst Drunken Barn Dance since ’99.

Meanwhile, in Dumb Yeerk Labs, Chubby Scientist and Visser Trent are still trying to unlock the secrets of the Andalite disk.

And the cure for baldness

And the cure for baldness

Chubby tells Visser Trent that his human morph is pretty hot, so Visser Three transforms into an alien’s arm on a stick and chokes him out, presumably as foreplay.

"I have the weirdest boner right now" - Visser "I know, it's on my shoulder" - Scientist

“I have the weirdest boner right now” – Visser
“I know, it’s on my shoulder” – Scientist

Cassie walks through the woods and continues getting mind-messages from the alien. Visser Trent receives them as well, and while Cassie just keeps making a headache face, the Visser responds by seizing about the lab and burbling “hrmrmrmrmrmrmmrmmrmrm”.

"hrmrmrmrmrmrm" - a paid actor

“hrmrmrmrmrmrm” – a paid actor

It’s a thing that was shown on television. Visser Trent surmises that “another one has landed.”

Cassie finds Jake and Marco at the Cyber Cafe. The Cyber Cafe.

"Another day of rollerblade shopping ruined."

“Another day of rollerblade shopping ruined.”

They all decide to discuss Cassie’s imaginary alien brain-buddy in a public setting. She tells them that her visions included “a forest…a fence…some kind of pipe.” That last bit really freaks Jake out, so I think we all know how this will end.

"Ah, pipe jokes, we meet again"

“Ah, pipe jokes, we meet again”

A convenient news broadcast tells the kids that a local area befitting that description has been closed off to public access.

The news, I guess

The news, I guess

Then a helicopter flies overhead for whatever reason. The gang assumes this must be the alien crash site, so they head off into the woods. Marco puts the hood up on his orange jacket, but the power it bestows is too much for him and he has it off by the next shot.

"Haha, Jake, look, a talking bird, lol"

“Haha, Jake, look, a talking bird, lol”

Cassie, Jake and Marco (seriously, did Rachel’s actress abandon the show?) find the abandoned woodland warehouse district and Cassie gets another headache. It seems someone has already cut open the fence, so they head inside. Unfortunately, Tom and his gang of Yeerks with flashlights show up and they have to hide. Tobias shows up and says he’ll keep a lookout for controllers as the others explore because renting that bird for another hour of filming would’ve been too much for the budget.

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The kids explore the building and I have to note that we’re halfway through the episode and the only “morphing” that has occurred was Cassie pointlessly being a rabbit at the start. Well, whatever, a shadowy Andalite grabs Cassie from behind, holding her captive or sexually harassing her.

Look at that cardboard-ass tail.

Look at that cardboard-ass tail.

Marco is like “Visser Three” and the Andalite is like “Racist orange asshole.” Jake name-drops Elfangor, which puts the Andalite at ease before he starts stroking out. Jake tells the Andalite that the Animorphs were Elfangor’s BFFs, but Visser Three starts calling out “Andalite cousin” over and over again, and the Andalite runs off to find him. The kids hide, at which point Cassie remembers that she can turn into animals. She becomes a skunk.

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The Andalite and Visser Three confront each other and it’s shot entirely in shitty silhouettes while musclehead extras stand around in the background questioning their purpose in life.

I'm blue, if I were green I would die...

I’m blue, if I were green I would die…

Jake and Marco do nothing while CassieSkunk skunks all over Visser Three and the Controllers, completely incapacitating them with her stinky asshole. The Animorphs escape by having a production assistant throw a stuffed skunk toy into Marco’s waiting arms. It looks fantastic. This show is fantastic. My life is fantastic.

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The kids and the Andalite escape into an enclosed alley between a bunch of abandoned buildings. The Andalite is like “yo this sucks” and the Animorphs are like “yeah that’s pretty much par for the course on this show.” They all acquire and morph a convenient butterfly (because I guess none of them have ever acquired any flight-capable animals because they’re all dumb assholes) and fly away.

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Then probably the most ridiculous scene so far happens, and for reference, the alien overlords were just a moment ago defeated by a skunk being too smelly. Visser Trent, in his human form for no reason, off-screen morphs into his Andalite form for just long enough to break down the door separating him and the Animorphs. Then he steps through the broken door in human form for no reason, and finds them gone, butterflying into the sky to go twice as high. He raises his stupid hands to the air and screams, “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO”

"hrmrmrmrmrmrm"

“hrmrmrmrmrmrm”

The Animorphs hang out with their new Andalite buddy in the barn. They ask if he can help Tobias become a real boy but he is like Nawwwwww lol. Then he asks if they can take him to Elfangor, and they are like Nawwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww ROFL. The Andalite flies into a rage and Tobias starts squawking for bird reason.

The kids chase the Andalite out into the woods, where Cassie has a heart-to-heart with his torso (since like all Andalites, his legs don’t seem to exist).

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Turns out Elfangor was the Andalite’s brother. Shit sucks. The Andalite tells them his name is Aximili-Esgarrouth-Isthill (holy shit) and that’s he sorry for screwing up their day. Then, I’m not fucking kidding here, Rachel just strolls up out of NOWHERE and is like, “…what the fuck.”

"We were filming this week?"

“We were filming this week?”

They decide to shorten the Andalite’s name to Ax because no one can figure out how to pronounce that shit. Then Ax does this really weird thing where he absorbs the DNA of all four of them, and stirs it together in a cocktail to make one human morph that looks nothing like any of them. Then this happens. Forever.

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After all that shit, we end up with the kid from Road Trip. Totally worth it.

There’s a pretty good bit where Human Ax can’t comprehend walking with two legs or speaking with a mouth or only having one set of eyes. Jake promises that they’ll take of his dumb alien ass since all of his friends are dead. Ax bows down and pledges his loyalty to “Prince Jake.” He awkwardly shakes the hands of everyone involved EXCEPT TOBIAS BECAUSE HE DOESN’T HAVE ANY HANDS. A butterfly butterflies by. Whatever.

Final Thoughts:

Reading this review makes it seem like this episode wasn’t the bad I guess, but it was pretty stupid. It looked and felt a lot like a bad high school student short film where you just grab your buddies and a couple of props and film in whatever locations you can find that kind of look like the places you wrote about in your script. It should be sufficient to say that in the book, the kids morph into dolphins and swim to the bottom of the sea where they rescue Ax from inside of his crashed ship while fighting sharks and undersea monsters. In the show, they found him sitting in a warehouse and turned into butterflies.

Adaptation Rating: 0/5. Pretty much the opposite of the book.

Character Development: Ax is now a character who exists. Rachel vanished for a week and none of her friends noticed. Marco put the hood up on his orange jacket.

Special Effects: 0/5. Shadows: The TV Show

’90s Bullshit: Abandoned Woodland Warehouses, Cyber Cafes, Poorly Adapting Popular Scholastic Books

Overall Rating: 1/5. Gutter trash but that scene at the end with human Ax was kinda funny.

Next Week: I keep reviewing Animorphs.

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3 thoughts on “ANIMORPHS Episode 6: The Message

  1. RACiE

    This so is just so eye-gougingly terrible. I love suffering through it with your reviews.

    There were a few things that bothered me that you didn’t already say:
    1. Why does morphing not heal your default body?
    2. How the hell do the Yeerks never notice the Animorphs when they are only 3 feet away. Jesus fuck.
    3. There was this one part where Jake was having a conversation back and forth with Ax, but then Jake randomly spoke a single sentence to Tobias (“Tobias, you went over the two-hour limit.”) I had to replay this several times because I was so confused at why he said it. Clearly they did it so they could use the word “nothlit,” (which sounded like “nonlith” in the episode), but what in the world was that?

    This episode was terrible save for the human Ax scene.

    Reply
  2. mgs2ss

    “My special effects budget now matches the show.”

    Lmao. I think I’m going to start watching these in conjunction with the release of your reviews. That way, as RACiE says, I can kind of suffer through these with you.

    Do you have any plans for after you are done with Animorphs? I love your commentary style. It would be really fun to see you tackle Goosebumps in the same way.

    Reply
    1. jonkeykong Post author

      Thanks for the compliments. Jeez, I don’t know. If I keep doling one review a week, I’m going to be miring in this hell until just after Christmas. Maybe I will review a Goosebumps for Halloween or something. Or for Thanksgiving

      Reply

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