The new model for Tobias used for the 2011 re-release of Animorphs.
|First appearance||The Invasion|
|Last appearance||The Beginning|
|Created by||K. A. Applegate|
|Portrayed by||Christopher Ralph (TV series)
Unknown (dark) brown-haired boy (Books 3 through 33)
Unknown blonde-haired boy (Books MM4 and 43 onwards)
Unknown (light) brown-haired boy 2 (Re-release)
|Voiced by||Matt Levin (PC game)|
Red-tailed Hawk (nothlit)
|Occupation||Member of the Animorphs|
|Relatives||Aximili-Esgarrouth-Isthill (paternal uncle)
Noorlin-Sirinial-Cooraf (paternal grandfather)
Forlay-Esgarrouth-Maheen (paternal grandmother)
unnamed maternal aunt and uncle
Tobias is a fictional character and one of the six protagonists of K. A. Applegate's Animorphs series. His surname is never mentioned, but had the Ellimist not altered time in order to take his father, Elfangor-Sirinial-Shamtul, back to his old life, his full name would have been Tobias Fangor, the family name adopted by Elfangor when he assumed a human identity on Earth.
Tobias is one of the original five Animorphs. Before the war with the Yeerks, Tobias considered himself a loser. He had few if any friends, and often the target of bullies. To a degree, he hero-worships Jake, because Jake once stopped some bullies from beating him up.
In Megamorphs #4: Back to Before, an alternate reality scenario, Tobias' low self-esteem leads to him joining The Sharing and becoming a Controller. Besides the fact that The Sharing stops him from being bullied, one of his main reasons for doing so was the fact that he saw Jake attending a meeting at Tom's insistence and figured that if they both got involved in The Sharing, then he could become a "winner" like Jake.
Before the war, Tobias lived variously with an uncle in the other Animorphs' home town and with an aunt on the other coast. His parents were believed to be dead, so neither ever really cared about the boy, often not paying attention to him or just using him as free labor, and they never tried to find him after his "disappearance".
Tobias had a pet cat named Dude, which was his first morph and the very first morph of the Animorphs. He morphed the cat in front of Jake to prove that morphing technology was real. It was Tobias who convinced Jake to lead the Animorphs.
In the first book, Tobias is trapped in the Yeerk pool and becomes a red-tailed hawk nothlit (a morph-trapped creature) as a result of staying in morph for longer than the two-hour time limit in order to keep the Animorphs' identities as humans secret. Initially, the other Animorphs perceive Tobias' actions to be a selfless sacrifice. It is implied, and later suspected by the other Animorphs, that Tobias trapped himself as a hawk deliberately (In the first book, he makes no effort to keep track of time while in morph and seemingly does not care about the two hour limit, only demorphing when pressured to by the other Animorphs).
Because of Tobias' dual existence as both a hawk and a human, his friends sometimes call him "bird-boy". Tobias' narrations contain many thoughts on his internal conflict between his human and hawk sides. In the third book, Tobias begins to fear that he is losing his humanity when he begins to forget how he looked as a human and finds himself attracted to a female hawk. When morphing to human, Tobias does at times encounter problems; in The Pretender, for example, he briefly forgets how to make facial expressions. Among the group, Tobias is closest to Rachel and Ax. After becoming a nothlit, he lived in the forest as a hawk along with Ax. He has a crush on Rachel during the early books, but they become romantically involved later on in the series and fall in love, going to the occasional school dance together, with Rachel often being implied to be the one thing that Tobias would become permanently human for once the war was over.
In the book The Change, the Ellimist restores his power to morph. However, as the Ellimist does not also restore Tobias' human form as his normal body, Tobias' normal form remains that of the hawk, from which he is able to morph to any other animal, including his original human form. This has, however, given the Animorphs an advantage when dealing with the Yeerks in cases where demorphing in 'public' might be required, most notable when the Yeerks attempted to develop an Anti-Morphing Ray that could force them to demorph; by ensuring that Tobias was the ray's test subject, the project was scrapped as it completely failed to do anything to Tobias given that his hawk-form was his regular form.
The Ellimist makes the human morph possible by sending Tobias, still in his red-tailed hawk form, into an illusion in which he encountered his human form the day before the Animorphs gained their morphing ability. This occurs at the end of The Change. The Ellimist's intervention gives Tobias the chance to return to life as a human, but he chooses to continue living as a morph-capable hawk, explained by the others as a need to stay in the fight. However, as the series progresses, it becomes apparent that in many ways Tobias prefers his life as a hawk to his life as a human.
Towards the end of the series it was revealed that Tobias's mother, Loren, was still alive and blind. Tobias's true father was Elfangor-Sirinial-Shamtul, the Andalite who gave the Animorphs their powers. Because the Ellimist had wiped out all evidence of Elfangor's time on Earth, Tobias and the Animorphs were unaware of Tobias' lineage, until Visser Three got his hands on Elfangor's will in The Pretender.
Loren and Tobias were reunited towards the end of the series, though Loren never quite remembered her son or Elfangor, due to a case of amnesia. Tobias' surname is often assumed by fans to be Fangor, but it's quite likely that he had his mother's maiden name instead, due to the Ellimist altering the timeline to remove Elfangor from Earth.
In The Familiar, narrated by Jake, Tobias appears ten years in the supposed future in Aximili's body; once again becoming a nothlit in an effort to preserve his lifespan. Jake at first confuses Tobias as Elfangor (because it is a supposed future, many things are distorted and confusing) and blames Elfangor (Tobias) for throwing the Animorphs into a war they could not possibly win. Tobias then reveals himself as Aximili in morph; having aged ten years, he now looks remarkably like Elfangor. He then gives Jake a pep-talk involving saving Earth from being permanently taken over by the Yeerks at the sacrifice of Cassie. In the end, Jake saves Cassie's life instead and the timeline is restored. No other Animorph remembers this event and Tobias is returned to his hawk-form.
After the war, Tobias is distraught by Rachel's death, and unable to forgive Jake for his role in her death. He only rejoins the other Animorphs (minus Cassie) after finding out about Ax's capture by The One.
Relationships with the other Animorphs
- Jake: Tobias and Jake are casual acquaintances before the series began, after Jake saved Tobias from a group of bullies. Tobias has a deep respect for Jake and rarely challenges his decisions or leadership during the series. However, Tobias is never able to forgive Jake for sacrificing Rachel in the final battle.
- Rachel: It is implied that Rachel and Tobias were acquainted before the start of the series, although they don't really know each other. Tobias has a crush on Rachel right from the beginning, and their romance develops into a strong relationship over the course of the series, and they fall in love. Rachel's death drives Tobias into depression and seclusion.
- Cassie: Tobias and Cassie interact rarely. He is the closest in attitude to her, and they generally side together on group votes. Cassie's house is physically close to Tobias' territory.
- Marco: Initially Marco and Tobias seem largely indifferent or opposed to each other, with Marco making a few jibes at Tobias, but they develop a bond over the course of the series.
- Aximili-Esgarrouth-Isthill: Ax and Tobias share a close bond, though interestingly, this is emphasized more in Ax's narrations than Tobias'. Ax regards Tobias as his shorm (best friend), and Ax is revealed to be Tobias' uncle mid-way through the series.
- Father Elfangor-Sirinial-Shamtul, an Andalite who deliberately became a human nothlit to escape the war and live with Loren on Earth and his son Tobias. The Ellimist interfered with his timeline, leaving his memories intact but restoring his Andalite body and his position in the war effort. Loren and the young Tobias remained on Earth.
- Mother Loren Rescued from the Skrit Na by Elfangor, she later married him. A car crash somewhere in Tobias' early life left her blind and destroyed her long-term memories prior to that point. She chose not to continue caring for Tobias, believing she wasn't suitable to take care of him due to the amnesia, though she remained living a short distance from him. She performed volunteer work at a crisis hotline. Later on in the series, she is found by Tobias and given the morphing power, which restored her sight. She then went to live in the Hork-Bajir valley.
- Uncle Aximili-Esgarrouth-Isthill, Elfangor's younger brother, who joined the Animorphs after a battle which claimed the lives of all the other Andalites on his ship. The two were very close friends (or shorms in Andalite culture) even before discovering their relationship, in part because both are, in a way, "outsiders" among the Animorphs.
- Unknown Aunt and Uncle: Became Tobias' legal guardians after Loren's incapacitation. Each had little affection for him and would frequently try to pass responsibility for him onto the other. Neither has looked for Tobias since his disappearance, apparently content with the assumption that the other is minding him. Loren mentions the aunt as her sister, otherwise she doesn't really remember her. This implies the "uncle" is not actually related to Tobias by blood, just indirectly through his aunt.
- In book 33, it is elaborated that Tobias's uncle worked as a roofer and drank beer from cans while watching television and listening to a police scanner. When Tobias was younger, he won a spot in the state art show for a drawing he made. His uncle shows apathy when Tobias explains there is no prize money, and proceeds to talk about how he had to work at washing cars at a car lot to make money while his (the uncle's) father wasn't around.
- Grandparents Noorlin-Sirinial-Cooraf and Forlay-Esgarrouth-Maheen, Elfangor's parents, whom Tobias has never met.
Including unused and unusable morphs, Tobias has 36 potential morphs.
|Cat (Dude) (unusable, acquired prior to becoming a nothlit)||The Invasion|
|Hork-Bajir (Ket Halpak)|
|Deinonychus (unusable Sario Rip morph)||In the Time of Dinosaurs|
|African Elephant||The Solution|
|Ringed Seal||The Extreme|
|Sperm Whale||The Exposed|
|Mountain Goat||The Reunion|
|Andalite (Ax)||The Illusion|
|Honey bee||The Other|
|Human (Taylor)||The Test|
|Human (male navy lieutenant)||The Deception|
|German Shepherd (Champ)||The Diversion|
* This becomes Tobias' form as a nothlit, and his primary form after regaining his ability to morph.
Books narrated solely by Tobias include:
Tobias also takes part in the narration of:
- The Andalite's Gift
- In the Time of Dinosaurs
- Elfangor's Secret
- Back to Before
- The Hork-Bajir Chronicles
- The Beginning
In 1999 three different Transformers toys of Tobias were made. Two of the larger ones that were sold in stores turned into a Hawk and a much larger "Mega Hawk", while the third was one was a smaller transformer was part of a Taco Bell children's meal promotion and was a clear white hawk with a yellow human "soul" trapped inside. KFC also ran a promotion in which a hawk-shaped glider and a watch clutched by a shape that was roughly half human hand, half hawk talon.