Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Avatar - The Last Airbender

For the last week or so -- and including the last 2 days -- Princess and I have been glued to the telly, watching a little bald boy and his odd group of friends set out on a journey to restore balance to a world corrupted by the Fire Nation. Princess' Aunt introduced us to Avatar, now we can't stop it from invading our telly time.
We watched and rewatch some parts; and check out the special interviews. We want to know the creatures and the amazing people behind the scenes.

Since Easter, hardly a day has has gone by without us talking our "Avatar" talk. We are so besotted by Aang (the airbending hero who has a blue arrow running from his back to his forehead), Zuko(a Fire Nation prince who goes through a series of personal and spiritual transformations, Katara (the ever lovely Waterbender from the Southern Water tribe) and her brother Sokka (the silly but practical boy who seems to have a huge mind for science) and a blind sharp-tongued earthbender called Toph. We love Appa, the fury and snowhite giant bison with six legs that zips through the air like an aeroplane, and the lemur Momo which makes a funny screeching noise.

It was easy for Princess and I to fall in love with Avatar the anime series. The people who wrote the stories did such a splendid job that we went on an emotional journey with the characters. The animation was stunning and the theme music was catchy. Princess does the 4 different styles of kicks that comes with each of the 4 nations (Water, Earth, Fire and Air). She mouths the introduction to the series, imitating the American accent. I have a good laugh each time. Now we have to wait for the movie, due in 2010 (directed by directed by M Night Shyamalan. I wish they came to NZ to scout for talent, and picked Peter Jackson for this. He would have done a spectacular job -- and Aoteroa would have a chance to shine in the customs department!

Not since Hayao Miyazaki's (the master of Japanese animation)My Neighbour Totoro, and Spirited Away have Princess and I been so caught up by the sheer brilliance of animation.

With us watching the last of the 3rd box of DVDs from the Avatar anime, there will be a huge gap in our lives. Perhaps I will rewatch My Neighbour Totoro. Perhaps I will rewatch Kiki's Delivery Service or Howls Moving Castle...Ah, the beauty of animation!

I am glad Princess has taken to the content of the Avatar series. We are alike in many ways -- our love for stories. Avatar's themes are adult, but level enough for kids to follow. As humans, our journeys are mostly the same -- we have to fulfil our destinies, we have to learn forgiveness, we have to learn trust, we have to learn loyalty, friendships. and we have to know when to retreat. The tales told in Avatar cover all of those themes and much much more. Thank you Michael Dante DiMartino
Bryan Konietzko (the creators of this series)! I am sure Princess have learnt some amazing stuff just watching this Nickelodean series (which has about 12 discs).