Another possibility might be to have the students create their own
stories 'populated' with their own fantastic characters that appear to
be animal / human 'morphs'. This might be linked to a study of animism
as a belief system with many non-Christian peoples including many
Native Americans and other indigenous peoples across the globe. The
stories might be a result of hearing / reading stories from those
cultures as well.
You might also have them investigate the comic book super hero route if
you are interested in a more pop culture approach.