Avatar: The Last Airbender

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Avatar: The Last Airbender
Avatarthelastairbenderposter.jpg
"But I believe Aang can save the world..."
Genre: Action
Adventure
Fantasy
Comedy
Drama
Running Time: 23 minutes
Country: United States
Release Date: February 21, 2005 – July 19, 2008
Network(s): Nickelodeon
Created by: Michael Dante DiMartino
Bryan Konietzko
Distributed by: Paramount Domestic Media Networks
Starring: Zach Tyler Eisen
Mae Whitman
Jack DeSena
Dante Basco
Jessie Flower (seasons 2–3)
Dee Bradley Baker
Mako Iwamatsu (seasons 1–2)
Greg Baldwin (season 3)
Grey DeLisle-Griffin (seasons 2–3)
Mark Hamill
Seasons: 3
Episodes: 61
Next show: The Legend of Korra


Avatar: The Last Airbender (known as Avatar: The Legend of Aang in Europe) is an American animated Nickelodeon television series that aired from 2005 to 2008. The series has a spin-off sequel, The Legend of Korra.

Plot

The world is divided into four nations - the Water Tribes, the Earth Kingdom, the Fire Nation and the Air Nomads - each represented by a natural element for which the nation is named. Benders have the ability to control and manipulate the element from their respective nation, with a single person known as the "Avatar" having the ability to master all four elements. The ruthless Fire Nation sets out to conquer the world... but the Avatar, the only person powerful enough to stop them, mysteriously vanishes. 100 years later, a pair of Water Tribe siblings named Katara and Sokka discover a young Airbender named Aang frozen in an iceberg. They soon discover that he is the long-lost Avatar, and they must now safeguard Aang on his journey to master all four elements and save the world from the diabolical Fire Lord Ozai.

Why It Will Save the World

  1. To this day, it is still considered one of the best cartoons on Nickelodeon and one of the greatest animated shows of all time.
  2. A solid and exciting plot that's full of suspense, gripping action, drama and comedy.
  3. The action scenes are exciting and well-animated.
  4. Lots of emotional and heartbreaking moments.
  5. Pretty good pacing
  6. Very good world-building where each of the four nations (as well its other fictional ethnic groups, within the nations) mirrors a real-world culture:
    • The Water Tribes are based on the Inuit people.
    • The Earth Kingdom (and its minor cultures) is based on pre-modernized China and Korea.
    • The Fire Nation (and the Sun Warriors) is based on Imperial Japan and Mesoamerica.
    • The Air Nomads are based on the Tibetan and Nepalese monks.
  7. Great at balancing both mature and light-hearted themes, without being jarring at all.
  8. Despite being targeted towards younger audiences, the show tackles some very serious topics such as mass genocide, oppressive class systems and imperialism.
  9. Memorable characters such as Aang, Katara, Sokka, Toph, Zuko and especially Uncle Iroh.
    • Zuko, in particular, stands out as one of the best characters, with a believable turn from evil to good that doesn't feel forced, unlike many villain redemptions. His redemption arc is widely considered of the best redemption arcs in television history.
    • Iroh acts like a real father-figure to Zuko than his younger brother, Ozai. He had a son who died during an attack on the Earth Kingdom capital, and hopes that Zuko will not end up like his cousin.
  10. Great villains such as Fire Lord Ozai, Princess Azula, Admiral Zhao and Koh the Face Stealer.
    • Azula, in particular, is an excellent "love-to-hate" character, and Grey DeLisle does a fantastic job voicing her.
  11. "Sozin's Comet: The Final Battle" is an excellent series finale.
  12. The show's trademark "element bending" is a great concept and makes for many of the show's most awesome action scenes.
  13. Excellent vocal performances, featuring talented voice actors such as Grey DeLisle-Griffin as Azula, Dante Basco as Prince Zuko, the late Mako Iwamatsu as Uncle Iroh, and Mark Hamill as Fire Lord Ozai, all of whom are very convincing in their roles.
    • Zach Tyler Eisen, the voice actor for Aang who was only 11-years-old when the series premiered, gives a solid performance.
  14. Nice anime-esque art style and gorgeous animation, especially in the series finale.
  15. Hilarious moments, such as the running gag with the cabbage merchant ("MY CABBAGES!") and Sokka's sense of humor.
  16. Excellent amounts of continuity, including characters who didn't appear that often.
  17. The show's debut on Netflix in 2020 tremendously boosted its popularity, which led to the creation of "Avatar Studios", a division of Nickelodeon dedicated to expanding the Avatar universe.
  18. Some of the characters are kinda cute, especially Ty Lee.
  19. The soundtrack of the show is excellent, especially the opening theme song.
  20. The Avatar State

Bad Qualities

  1. The ending where Aang strips Ozai (who is supposed to be the most powerful firebender ever) of his Firebending abilities, while rewarding for the audience and in-character for Aang, is considered by some to be a major "Deus Ex Machina".
    • Aside from stripping Ozai of his Firebending Abilities, there are plot holes like what happened to Azula after Katara tied her in chains, and Zuko telling Ozai where his mother is.
      • These plot holes have since been resolved in the graphic novel series, which takes place immediately after the series.
  2. "The Great Divide" is generally considered to be the weakest episode in the show by many, with "Avatar Day", "Bato of the Water Tribe" and "The Painted Lady" not far behind.

Reception

Avatar: The Last Airbender was a rating success for Nickelodeon, with every episode drawing more than a million views, and received widespread critical acclaim from both critics and audiences alike. The show gained immense popularity and has a massive fanbase that exists to this day. The series is widely considered to be one of the greatest Nickelodeon shows ever made. It sits at 9.3/10 on IMDb, making it the highest-rated Nickelodeon show on the site, a 100% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and a 9/10 on TV.com, though many, if not most, of the comments and reviews are poorly constructed and simply blind praise without little thought.

Episodes With Their Own Pages

Videos

Trivia

  • Book One: Water was adapted into a live-action film, titled The Last Airbender, directed by M. Night Shyamalan and released in July of 2010. Unlike the show, the movie was universally panned by critics, audiences and fans alike, and is considered one of the worst films ever made. The film was originally envisioned as a trilogy of films each based on the three seasons of the series, but due to the universal backlash and the low profits of the first film, the planned trilogy was ultimately scrapped.
  • The show won five Annie Awards, a Genesis Award, a Primetime Emmy Award, a Kids' Choice Award and a Peabody Award.
  • The extended Avatar franchise includes an ongoing comics series, a prequel novel series, an animated sequel series and a live-action film, as well as an upcoming live-action remake series produced for Netflix.
  • The complete series was released on Blu-ray in June 2018 in honor of the tenth anniversary of its finale, and was made available to stream on Netflix in the United States and Canada in May 2020, on Paramount+ in June 2020, and on Amazon Prime Video in January 2021.
  • A theatrical CGI animated film is currently in the works, with Paramount Animation, Nickelodeon Movies and Avatar Studios confirmed to be involved.

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