- The live-action Avatar: The Last Airbender show has captured the essence of the original show better than the 2010 film adaptation.
- The new Netflix adaptation has a better chance to succeed as a series, allowing for more time to include the original show’s source material.
- The accurate casting shows that the showrunners understand and respect the source material.
The upcoming live-action Avatar: The Last Airbender show has only released a two-minute teaser thus far, and yet, it’s already doing things that M. Knight Shyamalan’s infamously bad adaptation never did. The live-action Netflix reboot will be compared to the 2010 live-action cinematic adaptation from the get-go, but since the film didn’t exactly set the bar high, it’d be impossible to think how it could do much worse. In the two minutes they’ve shown thus far of the show, it appears Netflix’s Avatar: The Last Airbender show has captured much of the essence of Avatar: The Last Airbender that the film did not.
The live-action movie was doomed to fail, as there was no realistic way it could have fit Book 1, which was over 440 minutes of story, into a 90-minute film. The new Netflix live-action adaptation has already been given a better chance to succeed since it will be a series, meaning it will have more time to bring in more of the original show’s source material. All of those elements represent a good start for the show as far as nailing the tone of Avatar: The Last Airbender.
6 Netflix’s Avatar Show Got The Name Right
It’s A Simple But Core Element Of The Show
Because of the film Avatar, a revolutionary special effects phenomenon that came out the year before, the 2010 film did not want moviegoers to be confused. While there could have indeed been some confusion among those unfamiliar with the show, luckily, Avatar: The Last Airbender had a very strong fanbase established by the original series beforehand. As such, removing “Avatar” from the title was not a good idea. Nonetheless, the movie came out as The Last Airbender, which was a strong hint that it was not going to live up to its animated predecessor.
Removing “Avatar” from the title takes away Aang’s main point as a character. He’s a child who has been given this rare power whose job is to restore balance to the world, which is a tall demand out of anyone who was given abilities he never asked for. The upcoming series restoring “Avatar” to the title demonstrates that it understands the importance of the Avatar’s role in The Last Airbender‘s universe, particularly in Aang’s case, since he is also the last airbender.
5 The Avatar Show’s Story Is Shown, Not Told
Netflix’s Avatar: TLA’s Trailer Depicted The Show’s Atmosphere Instead
One of the oddest creative decisions in The Last Airbender was having Katara narrate the story, which highlighted that much of the story is told in exposition. That made the film more frustrating, not just because of the classic narrative rule, “Show Don’t Tell,” but in a show with an original and entertaining concept like bending elements, the constant exposition removed much of the potential for more action. While the live-action Avatar: The Last Airbender teaser had dialogue, it didn’t reveal any exposition whatsoever. During that same time, it showed Avatar: The Last Airbender‘s atmosphere converted into a live-action format.
Even though the monologue in the trailer should ease anyone’s fears since it’s Iroh talking about self-identity, it doesn’t reveal anything about the plot at all. Every story needs some exposition, and Avatar: The Last Airbender was no exception. Katara’s iconic monologue before every episode helped establish the story, but The Last Airbender proved that there is such a thing as too much backstory. This new teaser strayed pretty far away from that.
4 The Avatar Characters Look More Like Their Animated Counterparts
The Netflix Cast Is Very Accurate
One of the more glaring issues with The Last Airbender is that the characters’ depictions didn’t match their animated counterparts. Among the more infamous misses was whitewashing Katara and Sokka, two characters that are supposed to be of Inuit descent. These miscasting errors, among others, have played a pivotal role in why The Last Airbender is still reviled to this day. Avatar: The Last Airbender is fixing The Last Airbender‘s most glaring issue with an accurate cast. Even if the show doesn’t turn out great, getting the casting right at least shows that the showrunners understand and respect the source material at some level.
3 The Kyoshi Warriors Are Included
The Live-Action Reboot Won’t Cut One Of Book 1’s Standouts
One of the teaser’s snippets of footage featured the Kyoshi Warriors during their training. The Kyoshi Warriors were integral to the original Avatar: The Last Airbender. The Warriors, who were led by Suki, impacted Sokka’s arc both as a warrior and a leader because they taught him how to fight. Suki herself, of course, played a role in how Sokka progressed as a person too. That is why it was hard not to be frustrated that they weren’t in The Last Airbender because of their important role in the story. Putting them back in shows that they won’t cut corners in this adaptation.
Of course, Shyamalan cut a lot out of Book 1 because he only had so much time. Still, with them now in the story, that means that other characters from Book 1 will likely be included. This includes Jet and the Freedom Fighters, Bumi, Avatar Roku, Bato, and Jeong Jeong, among others, could definitely be featured this time, which can help re-capture the entire world of Avatar: The Last Airbender.
2 Netflix’s Avatar: TLA Special Effects Look Much Better
The World & The Creatures Look More Accurate
Shyamalan’s inexperience with CGI and fantastical action stood out in The Last Airbender. The poor visual effects didn’t help either, to the point that some scenes were downright laughable on top of Momo’s and Appa’s poor designs. While it’s only in snippets in the Avatar: The Last Airbender teaser, the action appears much crisper, and the designs of the animals look much better than The Last Airbender. All of that proves that the live-action Avatar: The Last Airbender clearly knows how to incorporate the bending movies used in the show and how to convert fictitious animals like Appa and Momo into realistic animals.
1 The Avatar Character Designs Are Better As A Whole
The Costumes & Props All Look Great
Part of converting Avatar: The Last Airbender into a live-action adaptation is getting the character designs right. The Last Airbender got some of the designs right, like Aang, but some of the others, particularly characters from the Fire Nation, didn’t match the original. Ozai is a terrifying character, yet he doesn’t look too menacing in the movie. Zuko’s iconic eye scar is barely visible and is only recognized because those familiar with the story know about his backstory. Iroh was supposed to be the laid-back uncle and mentor, but nothing about his portrayal gives that impression. Netflix’s versions of the characters, on the other hand, look much more like their iconic designs.
Avatar: The Last Airbender
- Release Date:
- Mako, Dee Bradley Baker, Jack De Sena, Michaela Jill Murphy, Zach Tyler, Dante Basco, Mae Whitman
- Animation, Adventure, Action
- In a war-torn world of elemental magic, a young boy reawakens to undertake a dangerous mystic quest to fulfill his destiny as the Avatar, and bring peace to the world.
- Story By:
- michael dante dimartino
- Michael Dante DiMartino
- Streaming Service(s):
- Dave Filoni
- Michael Dante DiMartino