If you’ve never watched Avatar: The Last Airbender the anime you probably didn’t get the huge backlash to The Last Airbender nearly a decade ago. It was a bad summer blockbuster set up to become the next big tentpole franchise that just didn’t have what it takes to connect with audiences … if you weren’t a fan of the television show. If you were?
It was about as awful an adaptation as $200 million can buy.
Simple premise: In a world where tribes can bend various elements, but not all, Aang is an airbender frozen in an iceberg. Freed from the ice, his return will cause events in the whole world to change leading to an epic final showdown.
Having watched both the show and the film, the former well after it went off the air, one can see why ardent fans of the show were livid when the film came out. There’s something special in the near 1500 minutes of the show that is mistranslated in such awful ways its understandable. The show is a slow build and beautifully designed; even if you’re not a fan of anime (which I am not) you can see the long form story telling and how they pay off storylines in rich, deserved ways leading to a finale that leaves us completed.
Avatar: The Last Airbender has to be considered when one discusses the greatest animated shows of all time.
If you’d been waiting for the Blu-Ray to be released then you have been rewarded. There is an ungodly number of extras on this; everything you can ever want to know about the series is included. It’s actually really impressive.
Paramount presents Avatar: The Last Airbender (The Complete Series). Starring Dee Bradley Baker, Zach Tyler, Mae Whitman, Jack De Sena, Dante Basco. Run Time: 1464 minutes. Not Rated. Released on: 6.5.18
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