This one isn’t so much a review, but a commendation to what I have recently discovered to be a simply wonderful children’s television series that could still appeal to all ages. How has it taken me ten years to finally watch this? I ingested so many shows like this during my childhood; Pokemon, The Powerpuff Girls, Beyblade, Yu-Gi-Oh and all the worthy shows that were available to my tiny sponge mind. If I’d known, my Pokemon cards, beyblades and figures could have been joined by some serious bending in my front room. Believe me, I would have tried.
I remember Avatar The Last Airbender, which started broadcasting in 2005, taking up the majority of the Nickelodeon scheduling and yet for some unknown reason this passed me by. I remember the disappointment of the fans when the live action film attempted and failed to capture the charming essence of the show and before I began my Netflix binge I was once again warned to pretend the film didn’t exist. Do all the ATLA fans out their share the same opinion? What did finally capture my attention and kept it was in fact the finale of its follow-up series Legend of Korra which is set ninety years after the events of Avatar. I couldn’t possibly spoil for those who haven’t seen either series but just know that it was some groundbreaking children’s television.
What needs a mention is that this show has an IMDb rating of 9.2…that is higher than some highly sophisticated dramas and movies! The voice of the people have spoken out for Avatar and rightly so. For all those who may not have heard of it before now the story follows young Aang as voiced by Zach Tyler, the last airbender who is the reincarnation of the ultimate element bender: The Avatar. He must master all four elements to end the hundred year war that was initiated by the tyrannous Fire Lord. He is not alone! He is joined by brother and sister Katara as voiced by Mae Whitman and Sokka as voiced by Jack De Sena of the Southern Water Tribe and others along the journey to finding peace for the four nations. The show is created by Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko and has a comic continuation.
Fun Fact: The Voice of Prince Zuko Is The One and Only Dante Basco Who Played Rufio in Hook.
The characters have substance, depth and their back stories are handled with an intricate care where many television shows fall short and this is a cartoon from Nickelodeon. A Primetime Emmy winning cartoon from Nickelodeon. The story arc of Prince Zuko is masterful, the balance between humour and serious narrative is perfect for its audience, and even the filler episodes that make up the seasons are just as fun. I hope that children’s TV is still being created as good as Avatar and if not then I implore Nickelodeon to keep this show alive…how about a ten-year anniversary marathon? A special episode? No? Pretty please? When Netflix keeps asking you if you are still watching then you know you’re too deep in a binge but I cared not. I simply loved watching this series and I’m just annoyed at myself that I am ten years too late.
Was Avatar The Last Airbender a part of your childhood? How do you rate it against children’s television of this generation? Do you prefer Avatar or Korra? Let me know in the comments! Also you can follow me on Twitter @bingebox for updates and general television goodness. Thanks!