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"Animorphs" Characters Analysis

By K.A. Applegate

science fiction | 8245 pages | Published in NaN

Animorphs "RM" is an exciting series for young adult readers about five teens who are given the power to "morph" into any animal they touch and then to absorb its DNA. This power is granted them by a dying Andalite alien named Elfangor, who also warns the teens that Earth is being threatened secretly by a group of aliens called Yeerks. This high-interest series is currently a successful television show and will be sure to intrigue even the most reluctant readers.


Estimated read time: 8 min read

Table of Contents

  1. List of Characters

The book series "Animorphs" by K.A. Applegate features a diverse cast of characters who play crucial roles in the epic battle against alien invaders known as the Yeerks. Each character brings their unique traits, backgrounds, and character arcs, making the story captivating and engaging for readers of all ages.

List of Characters

Here is a list of the main characters in the "Animorphs" series:

Character NameRole
Jake BerensonLeader
Aximili-Esgarrouth-Isthill (Ax)Alien ally

Role Identification

  1. Jake Berenson: Jake serves as the leader of the Animorphs, responsible for making strategic decisions and coordinating the group's actions. He is level-headed and exhibits excellent leadership qualities.
  2. Rachel: Rachel is the warrior of the group, known for her fearlessness and combat skills. She often takes on dangerous missions and provides the team with the necessary firepower.
  3. Tobias: Tobias plays the role of the scout, using his ability to morph into a red-tailed hawk to gather information and survey enemy territory. He is also the most sympathetic character, dealing with personal struggles and a desire for his human life back.
  4. Cassie: Cassie serves as the healer, using her morphing ability to acquire animal DNA and find solutions to problems. She is compassionate, environmentally conscious, and often acts as the moral compass of the group.
  5. Marco: Marco is the strategist, known for his quick thinking and ability to come up with creative plans. He adds a touch of humor to the group and uses his intelligence to outsmart the enemy.
  6. Aximili-Esgarrouth-Isthill (Ax): Ax is an alien ally, a member of the Andalite race. He provides the Animorphs with valuable information about the Yeerks and their tactics, as well as advanced technology to aid their fight.

Character Descriptions

  1. Jake Berenson: Jake is a natural leader with a strong sense of responsibility. He is described as having a strong build, with short, dark hair and intelligent eyes. Jake is a relatable character who must navigate the challenges of leading a group of teenagers in an intergalactic war.
  2. Rachel: Rachel is a tall and athletic girl with long blonde hair. She is often described as beautiful, but her physical appearance is balanced by her fierce determination and willingness to fight. Rachel's bravery sometimes borders on recklessness, making her a complex and intriguing character.
  3. Tobias: Tobias is a teenage boy with brown hair and intense blue eyes. Due to an unfortunate accident, he is trapped in the morph of a red-tailed hawk, a form he must maintain for most of the series. Tobias's struggles with his identity and his longing for a normal life make him one of the most emotionally compelling characters.
  4. Cassie: Cassie is a girl with long, wavy hair and a compassionate demeanor. She is often described as having a wise and old soul, with a deep connection to nature and animals. Cassie's ethical dilemmas and her ability to find peaceful solutions to conflicts make her a pivotal character.
  5. Marco: Marco is a witty and sarcastic character, known for his quick comebacks and humorous remarks. He is described as having dark, curly hair and a mischievous smile. Marco's intelligence and ability to see the bigger picture make him an indispensable member of the team.
  6. Ax: As an Andalite, Ax has a unique appearance. He has a blue, fur-covered body with stalk eyes and a scorpion-like tail. Ax's unfamiliarity with human customs and his struggles to adapt to Earth add a layer of humor and alien perspective to the story.

Character Traits

The characters in "Animorphs" exhibit a wide range of traits that contribute to their individual strengths and challenges. Here are some key traits for each character:

Jake Berenson: Responsible, level-headed, brave, loyal

Rachel: Fearless, impulsive, fierce, protective

Tobias: Compassionate, resilient, introspective, determined

Cassie: Empathetic, thoughtful, intuitive, ethical

Marco: Intelligent, witty, strategic, humorous

Ax: Curious, loyal, disciplined, naive

Character Background

Each character in "Animorphs" has a unique background that shapes their motivations and actions throughout the series:

Jake Berenson: Jake comes from a military family, which instills in him a sense of duty and leadership. He initially struggles with the weight of responsibility but grows into his role as the leader of the Animorphs.

Rachel: Rachel comes from a large and loving family. Her warrior nature is influenced by her desire to protect those she cares about and her need to prove herself in the face of overwhelming odds.

Tobias: Tobias had a troubled home life before becoming an Animorph. His morphing ability provides him with a sense of freedom and purpose, even as he grapples with his longing for a human existence.

Cassie: Cassie has a deep connection with nature and animals, thanks to her family's involvement in wildlife rehabilitation. Her ethical principles and love for the natural world drive many of her decisions.

Marco: Marco's mother died prior to the events of the series, leaving him and his father to cope with grief. Marco's intelligence and humor serve as coping mechanisms as he navigates the dangers of the war.

Ax: Ax is an Andalite warrior who becomes stranded on Earth after his spaceship is destroyed. His lack of familiarity with human culture and his determination to help the Animorphs drive his actions.

Character Arcs

Throughout the "Animorphs" series, the characters undergo significant personal growth and face numerous challenges that shape their arcs:

Jake Berenson: Jake starts as a reluctant leader but develops into a strong and decisive figure. He faces difficult decisions and deals with the consequences of his choices, leading to a more mature and battle-hardened persona.

Rachel: Rachel's arc explores the psychological toll of war and the fine line between bravery and recklessness. Her character evolves from a fearless warrior to someone struggling with the consequences of her actions.

Tobias: Tobias's arc revolves around his identity crisis and desire for a normal life. He grapples with the choice between his humanity and his hawk morph, leading to self-discovery and acceptance.

Cassie: Cassie's arc focuses on her moral compass and her ability to find peaceful solutions. She faces dilemmas that test her principles and experiences personal growth as she navigates the grey areas of war.

Marco: Marco's arc delves into the balance between humor and tragedy. He uses humor as a coping mechanism but also faces personal loss, leading to a more complex understanding of the war and his role within it.

Ax: Ax's arc revolves around his assimilation into human society and his loyalty to the Animorphs. He must navigate cultural clashes and learn to adapt to Earth's customs while remaining true to his Andalite heritage.


The relationships between the characters in "Animorphs" are a crucial aspect of the series, providing emotional depth and highlighting the bonds forged in the face of adversity:

  • Jake and Tobias share a close friendship, with Jake acting as a mentor and source of support for Tobias's struggles with his identity.
  • Rachel and Cassie have a strong bond as best friends, relying on each other for emotional support and balancing each other's strengths and weaknesses.
  • Marco's witty banter and friendship with Jake add levity to the story, showcasing their trust and reliance on one another.
  • Cassie and Jake's romantic relationship adds a layer of complexity to their roles as leader and healer, as they navigate their personal connection amidst the chaos of war.
  • The Animorphs as a group develop a strong camaraderie, relying on each other's skills and providing unwavering support during their dangerous missions.

In conclusion, the characters in "Animorphs" are multidimensional, with diverse backgrounds, unique traits, and compelling character arcs. As they fight against the Yeerks, their relationships and personal growth make the series a captivating exploration of war, friendship, and the complexities of human nature.