Pros and Cons: Live Action Remake of AVATAR: THE LAST AIRBENDER

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Bryan Konietzko and Michael Dante DiMartino, the brain trust behind Avatar: The Last Airbender
SAN DIEGO, CA - JULY 25: Writer/director Michael Dante DiMartino (L) and writer/producer Bryan Konietzko attend the Nickelodeon: "Legend of Korra: Book 3" panel during Comic-Con International 2014 at the San Diego Convention Center on July 25, 2014 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Water. Earth. Fire. Air. Four elements that have created a monster of an animated series. Avatar: The Last Airbender has been hailed as one of the greatest animated series ever, even beyond the history of Nickelodeon. A member of the golden age of cartoons, Avatar has become an innovator in the world of cartoons. Beautiful imagery and animation style, memorable characters, awesome philosophies, the list goes on. Awesome memories, right?

Wouldn’t it be great if this series got a revival? Well, you’re in luck.

Announced by Netflix earlier this year, Avatar will be launching again in 2020 as a live-action remake. Same characters and setting, but with a more reimagined cast and setting. Hopefully, it will avoid the same mistakes the live action movie made years ago. But how will the pros and cons weigh in for this series?

The Good and Bad of Rebooting Avatar: The Last Airbender

Pros:

It’s Avatar, Simple As That

The effect Avatar has had on generations of kids is undeniably strong. Avatar has proven to be a staple cartoon amongst fans across all demographics. So many memorable moments, memories and characters that everyone loves. It is hard to not love Avatar; it truly is a great show that has stood the test of time. Everything from the bending arts to the characters, the themes to the animation style. It is the perfect package.

Elemental Bending Revamped

Seeing all four bending arts both in action and high definition animation will be quite the thrill. Katara and her water bending will be amazing, as she has proven to be quite the healer and offensive water bender. Hopefully, she doesn’t resort to bloodbending (even though water bending is lowkey the strongest bending art.) Toph and her earth bending will be quite the spectacle. A blind girl with a sharp, brash attitude who can sense foes just by sensing their footsteps. Talk about overpowered. Zuko and his ferocious fire bending. Fingers crossed he learns how to generate lightning. And lastly, Aang with his illustrious air bending. Not to mention he can manipulate the other three elements.

The Return of Beloved Characters

In addition to experiencing childhood nostalgia, fans and audience members will remember characters that have been admired. Everyone from Sokka and his witty humor to Azula and her cruel intelligence.

Most importantly, we get to see Uncle Iroh again. Master fire bender, and such a well-written character. His ideals and philosophies have had such a profound impact on audience members. He was one of the few Fire Nation members to disagree with the war-machine ideal of his brother, Fire Lord Ozai. Plus, he enjoys a good cup of tea.

Possibly, the cabbage salesman will make a return? Anyone?

Cons:

Limited Effects and Animation

While filming live action can offer a more authentic feel, it can offer a number of obstacles. A pro of working entirely in animation is what you are able to do with special effects and CGI. Animation has multiple abstracts and is truly limitless. So many ideas, so many genius ways of creating scenes of action. This is why Avatar took off. The unique fighting styles based on real-life martial arts, the imagery of nature and people, the four bending arts, etc. It truly was a recipe for success.

However, it’s not as easy in real life. While you can film in locations similar to ones in the Avatar series, you need to take into account the expenses. Finances for travel, on-set filming, equipment, the crew, etc. It is quite a headache.

“Needs to Be Perfect”

Honestly, this series needs to be perfect. While the cartoon series received critical acclaim, a devoted fan base and a successful follow-up, the stain of the movie, The Last Airbender, caused a huge ruckus amongst fans and moviegoers. Leaving a bad taste in your mouth is an understatement after watching that movie. Because of that, producers and executives are under tremendous pressure to make sure they deliver a great series. Not to mention this series is a complete relaunch. While the series will remain the same in terms of story, they will have to outperform its predecessor. How this will turn out is anyone’s guess.

Last Word on the ATLA Reboot

Overall, there seems to be high amounts of hope for this revival. Since this is a relaunch of the original series, devoted fans will be overjoyed to enjoy the series again. While the series has a long way to go, it is possible that this relaunch can change the world.

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