Ra(Tan) Lines – MorphCast

Guys guys guys guess what! Guess! What! There are multiple podcasts about Animorphs, the children’s sci-fi epic of the 1990s where kids turn into animals to fight aliens. There’s a podcast called Thought Speak: it’s pretty good and I’ll mention it here and there. However I personally prefer Morph Club. Join me, readers, on a nostalgic journey like no other.

 Morph Club is hosted by Megan and Carey, who much like the Animorphs, refrain from mentioning their last names (if you must know these things, they have Twitter). They agree on a lot of Animorphs-related things, perhaps because of all the long Animorphs discussions they had prior to making a podcast. Even the occasional guest speakers offer little in the way of resistance. This is the world of unanimous opinions, an alien realm for the audiences of Hello Internet, Hello from the Magic Tavern, Thought Speak, and the excellent Animorphs review blog Cinnamon Bunzuh!. Even Cortex has more conflicts, probably. That’s fine, Animorphs is a constant stream of conflict. Additionally, the Morph Club’s priorities while reading Animorphs conflicts with my own.

 Animorphs is a constant mood whiplash. War crimes and violence are interspersed with poop jokes and mild pranks. I was always one to focus on the dark side, while chuckling here and there. Megan and Carey prefer to frolic in the light. They’re trying to have fun, after all. They really genuinely enjoy all the series’ silliest moments, which I always considered the worst parts.

 Morph Club focuses on the cartoonish scenes and weirdly chosen metaphors, but doesn’t shrink from the bloody violence or eerie horrors. If something is cartoony enough the hosts will laugh at it. In more serious moments, Megan and Carey actually take a much more detailed look at the emotional lives of the Animorphs than I had ever read or heard elsewhere. Now and again Morph Club calls out some of the insensitive and poorly considered parts of the series: social justice was a bit less advanced in the age of dial-up internet. Megan and Carey also giggle at some of the cuter dialogue and audibly despair at almost all the sad moments, even if they last a single sentence. “All I’ve got left here is sad noises.” says Carey in Episode 16 of the podcast, which confusingly enough is a review of the 13th Animorphs book. “Poor kids,” says Megan in that same episode. They will remind you that the main characters are children every 10 minutes, and hope that one day there will be an Animorphs adventure without any guts on the floor (there are maybe one or two).

 Most episodes analyze one Animorphs book. Sometimes, there’s an episode which analyzes three episodes of the terrible, terrible Animorphs TV series. The podcast is currently about halfway through the books. I haven’t heard of any plans to do anything after reviewing the last book (contrast with Thought Speak, which is maybe 4 books ahead and whose hosts keep mentioning that they have a plan for the future).

 Morph Club releases “a new ep every other Tuesday”. Megan and Carey are comic artists, so if you like the cover (?) art for each episode, there’s more where that came from.

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