Avatar: The Last Airbender

Netflix's Avatar: how a remake should be made
Published by Luna S on 2024-03-01 in Nerd
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With the live-action adaptation of 'Avatar: The Last Airbender,' Netflix delves even further into the captivating yet dangerous territory of the world's most beloved animated series, following the strategy already initiated with 'One Piece.' A title of such relevance certainly doesn't go unnoticed, attracting the attention of both fantasy genre enthusiasts and long-time fans, eager to assess whether the adaptation will live up to the original.

It's worth clarifying, especially for those who associate "avatar" with blue humanoids, that this series aims to be a reimagining of the beloved 2005 animated series, following the adventures of the young Avatar Aang as he learns to control the four elements (Water, Earth, Fire, Air) in a world where the Fire Nation has subjugated much of the globe. The Avatar represents the last hope to restore balance and peace among the four nations. Alongside his friends Sokka and Katara, Aang embarks on a vibrant and playful journey to discover his true purpose.
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The first 8 episodes, released on February 22nd on Netflix, offer a reimagined perspective of the first season of 'Avatar: The Last Airbender,' teasing a project that will cover the entire animated series. The production team can certainly leverage the setting and already beloved characters, along with a vast streaming-ready audience. However, this strategy is not without risks: if the result fails to meet expectations, it could turn into both a media and economic disaster.

Netflix is aware of this dynamic and remains faithful to the original, albeit making some changes to adapt it to the live-action format, such as shortening the duration of certain events. However, the risk of losing some nuances of the characters, such as Sokka's growth regarding sexism, could be considered a shortcoming.
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What makes the live-action 'Avatar' unique is its real-life dimension, bringing to life enchanting locations like the Air Temple, the Fire Lord's Palace, and the Northern Water Tribe City. The bending techniques, combined with high-quality CGI, are jaw-dropping.

Personally, I find the final product satisfying, capable of evoking both nostalgia for the original episodes and curiosity about the development of the next season. However, some character design decisions, like the marginal characters like Azula, Mai, and Ty Lee who seemed "without a role," could be improved. Overall, despite some areas for improvement, the first 8 episodes flew by thanks to the engaging atmosphere that was created.