Avatar: The Last Airbender is a perfect TV series, full stop. No “perfect TV series for an animated show” or “perfect TV series for kids.” For three seasons, Avatar: The Last Airbender delivered a rich, thematically complex, gorgeously animated story about a young boy who is charged with saving the world from an oppressive, conquering empire. It’s a simple, and familiar, tale but the characters were so vibrant and the storytelling so tight that Avatar: The Last Airbender deserves its place as one of the best TV shows of all time. Then, the live-action movie happened and ruined its legacy — apparently in more ways than one.
Not only did M. Night Shyamalan‘s whitewashed disaster put people off ever watching the Avatar: The Last Airbender series, according to former head writer Aaron Ehasz, it also aided in scrapping a potential fourth season of the show. Now that is a worse crime than that one Earth-bending scene.
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You seldom see a review of The Dragon Prince that doesn’t refer to its spiritual predecessor Avatar: The Last Airbender. You might recognize the name of Aaron Ehasz, the head writer of Avatar, as one of the creators of The Dragon Prince. Even Jack De Sena, the voice of our boomerang-wielding Sokka, leads as Prince Callum.
Many of the hallmarks between these two shows overlap. These two children’s animated shows are worlds apart yet close in resemblance. Let’s dive into the shared motifs of The Dragon Prince and Avatar: The Last Airbender and why they’re proof that you should watch the Netflix fantasy series, whose second season arrived today.
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Eight years after M. Night Shyamalan desecrated Avatar: The Last Airbender with his feature film that won’t be named, Netflix has announced a second attempt to adapt the matchless Nickelodeon animated series as a live-action show. But wait — before you freak out and go into the Avatar State, there’s a silver lining to this seemingly ill-advised project.
Original creators Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko are on board to oversee the Avatar: The Last Airbender live-action series, which will “reimagine” the beloved Nickelodeon series. But even with DiMartino and Konietzko on board, can they fulfill the fans’ biblical expectations for a series that will likely require a biblical scale and budget? After Netflix has teamed up with several other Avatar: The Last Airbender alums to great success, maybe this might actually be a match made in heaven.
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Avatar: The Last Airbender was one of the greatest animated series of all time, if not the greatest. So it’s always an exciting prospect when one of the talented writers behind that beloved Nickelodeon show is working on something new. Because you know it will be something fantastic.
Which makes a team-up between Netflix and Avatar: The Last Airbender head writer Aaron Ehasz sound doubly fantastic. The streaming service has announced that it will release an all-new animated series called The Dragon Prince, a fantasy series co-created by Ehasz and Uncharted game director Justin Richmond.
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Every week in /Answers, we attempt to answer a new pop culture-related question. This week’s edition asks “What is your favorite television episode of all time?” As always, we have submissions from the /Film writing crew and podcast team, along with a special guest. This week, we are joined by The Leftovers and Lost showrunner Damon Lindelof.
If you’d like to share your favorite TV episode, please send your thoughts to email@example.com for a chance to be featured on the site. Find our favorite episodes below!
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Before you get all nervous, The Last Airbender: The Legend of Korra is a not a sequel to M. Night Shyamalan’s multiple Razzie award winning (or is it losing) film The Last Airbender. It is, however, a sequel to the wildly popular and critically acclaimed animated television show Avatar: The Last Airbender on which that crappy film was based. Set 70 years in the future, The Legend of Korra follows a new Avatar named Korra whose attempts to master the final element, air, leads her to a brand new, steampunk influenced city. After the jump, check out two images from the show, a detailed description as well as the full cast list that includes Lost‘s Daniel Dae Kim, Aliens‘ Lance Henriksen and Spider-Man‘s J.K. Simmons. Read More »
I know these Scott Pilgrim vs. The World movie trailer mash-ups are probably getting old, especially after that awesome Matrix video. I mean, how can you top that one? Someone created a trailer mashing up Scott Pilgrim with the Nickelodeon cartoon series Avatar: The Last Airbender (not to be confused with that “thing” that M Night Shyamalan created…). Director Edgar Wright actually tweeted out this video, stating “Okay. I thought Scott Pilgrim Vs The Matrix was the best trailer mash up yet. I was wrong. Behold.” Watch the movie trailer mash-up now, embedded after the jump.
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In this week’s episode of the /Filmcast, David Chen, Devindra Hardawar, and Adam Quigley try to figure out what Kevin Smith was going for in Cop Out, assess the career of David Goyer, and shower praise on Triangle, The Last Airbender, and the Muppet movies. Special guest Laremy Legel joins us from Film.com.
You can always e-mail us at slashfilmcast(AT)gmail(DOT)com, or call and leave a voicemail at 781-583-1993. Join us next week on Sunday night at 9 PM EST / 6 PM PST at Slashfilm’s live page as we review Alice in Wonderland.
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Writer/director M. Night Shyamalan will definitely be following up his June blockbuster contender, The Happening, with Paramount‘s adaptation of the hit Nicktoons series Avatar: The Last Airbender. The ambitious live-action film is now due on July 2, 2010. Variety reported just minutes ago that the film’s title has been officially shortened to The Last Airbender, thus avoiding the 3D death ray of James Cameron’s AVATAR. Smart move, but as a standalone title The Last Airbender reminds me of Air Bud or something. It’s goofy. Shyamalan spoke with Empire recently about what drew him to the high concept children’s material and professed how difficult it will be to bring the philosophical aspects and [deep breath] deeeep action to the screen…
“Obviously [there will be] some breathtaking visual effects,” the director says. “Just imagine if you saw a little girl bending water out of a glass into the air as an extension of her own personal discipline. It’s three movies about the hero learning three elements. Live action.”
“It’s daunting on the level of not doing it properly,” he admits. “It can’t be special effects for the sake of special effects, it has to be [that you use] take seven because the girl breathes properly on take seven. I have to tell the animators that. Everything, has to have that detail. I can’t leave it. I have to make sure that I make it the same kind of storytelling, but with just one more tool.”
The title character is a young savior, comparable to a holy Llama (Carl Spackler grins), who possesses superpowers allowing him to “bend” the four elements, earth, water, fire and air, each of which is delegated to a respective tribe/nation. Like any young punk who’d rather play GTA than commit to charity, this airbender is reluctant to protect his world’s three tribes from the fourth warring tribe. Shyamalan tries to explain this better in the quote below. He also aspires to make The Last Airbender a live-action Hayao Miyazaki (Howl’s Moving Castle, Spirited Away) flick. Right now in Hollywood, it’s safe to say that anime is here to stay…
“The story is about how, in this particular time, this avatar is born into the airbenders and disappears. Then all hell breaks loose and the fire nation basically commits genocide and eradicates the air tribe in the hopes of killing the avatar and taking over control of everything. … He reappears having been frozen in the ice a hundred years later and this world is all fucked up and he is the last airbender, but he doesn’t want this job. He’s forced into the position of putting the world back together again. It actually has a lot of Shakespearean overtones to it.”
With Spielberg getting behind Ghost in the Shell today, DiCaprio doing Akira, and the Wachowskis’ Speed Racer and Ninja Assassin on the way, it will be interesting to see how general American audiences receive these heavily stylistic films. What do you guys and gals think, is this Shyamalan’s The Matrix or, gasp, his Star Wars (he compares it to both)? If anything, it will probably be far more satisfying than the live-action Dragon Ball Z.