The Hartford Courant

--Pamela Mitchell




Name any animal or insect and Brooke Nevin's character, Rachel, on the new Nickelodeon show "Animorphs," can change into it. Rachel is an adventurous high school student who -- along with her pals Jake, Marco, Cassie and Tobias -- can acquire any creature's DNA, just by touching it. Once the DNA is in her body, Rachel can morph (change) into an exact copy of the animal.

Pretty cool.

Rachel and her friends weren't born with this awesome power. They were exploring a construction site one day when an alien ship crash- landed right in front of them. Out came Prince Elfangor, a great Andalite warrior. Elfangor had been fighting the evil Yeerks (slug-like aliens who infest the brain of their prey and control their minds) near Earth but was soon outnumbered. He was injured in the crash but before he died, Elfangor warned the teens of the Yeerks' plan to invade Earth. To help them fight the Yeerks and save Earth, he armed them with a special Andalite gift -- the ability to morph.

"Basically, we power morph and kick some Yeerk butt," says Brooke, 16, of Toronto.

The new show is based on K.A. Applegate's popular book series. Brooke had never read an "Animorphs" book before joining the show's cast but has since read them all. She has been acting for two years and "Goosebumps" fans might recognize her from the recent episode "A Shocker on Shock Street."

Filming continues through the end of the month, then it's back to high school for Brooke. She's eager to be in a classroom again but will miss her new best friends -- fellow cast members and the show's animals. Much of the show is shot at the Bowmanville Zoological Park, a 42-acre wildlife preserve outside Toronto.

"It's pretty exciting to be around wolves, lions and hawks, elephants, " Brooke says, adding that if she could morph into any animal, it would be "a bird. Everybody has dreams about flying, soaring above in the clouds. That would just be the best."

The Hartford Courant