AVATAR: The Last Airbender – Movie vs. TV Series

September 15, 2010 by Rakhitha Karunarathne | Filed under Movies, TV.

Water; Earth; Fire; Air; Long ago four nations lived in harmony. Then everything changed when fire nation attacked. But to really foul things up, Shyamalan made a movie out of it.

This is old news. But I’ll post this anyway to release my anger. According to AVATAR (Not the movie) it’s not a good thing to keep inside you for too long. I had to wait to write this until I finish watching the series. Because it’s not something you can take your mind off once you start watching.

I am not a fan of AVATAR The Last Airbender animated series. I had not seen it before ether. But the basic concept of the movie which is people being able to ‘bend’ one of natural elements and the existence a being who can ‘bend’ all elements kept me dreaming on how great a movie like that can be. It’s a totally out of the world concept with massive space for imagination. And a massive opportunity to make a movie like nothing world has ever seen. And that’s what Shyamalan ruined.

You can’t just make a movie out of a bunch of special effects and a bunch of sequences connected only by narration. At least not a good one. You need a well thought through plot/script which flow smoothly and present it in a creative way.  You need good acting. You need to develop your characters. You need good camera work. And you need well planned and realistic dialogs. Some dialogs sounds like actors are reading from a book. Most actors has simply not get inside the characters. In the movie, only the special effects and few characters such as fire prince Zuko and his uncle Iroh did some justice to the story. I don’t even want to mention the speeches from movie. It’s just too painful to recall.

Disappointment of watching the movie made me want to watch the animated series. What was there in the series but lacked in the movie was simply the depth of characters. It explores entire 360 degrees of each character. It allows the viewer to relate to character through the situations that the character face, and the choices that the character make. Even though the Avatar universe is totally different from ours, situations that those characters face, and choices they have to and do make are quite consistent with lives that all of us are living. Also the series does lot better when it comes to entertaining. It has it all. Great humor, adventure, action, romance and everything. Of course the series had more time than the movie to tell the story in 20, 20 minutes episodes. But the movie could have been lot better if real effort was put in to it.

Movie also did not accurately portray the characters in consistent with the series. Specially Avatar and Sokka has lot more attitude in the series. And the uncle of fire prince shows more of a wise-man attitude than an ex general. Those characters were lot more entertaining in the series than in the movie. Movie also does a half-hearted job at portraying the spirit world and spirits. But that is a different matter as the movie don’t really have to stick to original story, assuming it change things for better, but not for worse.

If you watched the movie but not yet the series, give it a go. You will realise what is missing in the movie and more importantly you will enjoy. By the way, AVATAR TV series is not a 3D animated series. It’s just an animated series. If you only enjoy 3D animations when it comes to cartoons, this is not for you.  My only hope is that Nickelodeon will get some one else to make the next two installments of the trilogy.

/Rakhitha


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6 Responses to “AVATAR: The Last Airbender – Movie vs. TV Series”

  1. I agree with you. The movie is absolutely crap as compared to the animation TV series. Although movie is centered around a very little portion of the animation series, it miserably fails to grab some of the most important bits from the animation.
    In the movie, the character ‘ Avtar’ seems like so ordinary.

  2. Rakhitha says:

    Exactly. Movie does not capture any esence of any character. Even if you take the movie on it’s own merits without comparing to series, it is still crap. Just look at those poor acting, horible dialogs, painfuly uninspirational speeches. And one dimentional camera work.

  3. Nishadha says:

    Totally agree with you, The whole movie has a rush feeling to it and as you said the speeches sucked big time

  4. AVATAR: The Last Airbender – Movie vs. TV Series – RaKasUniverse.info was a wonderful read. I love it, I can read this stuff forever, keep em coming!

  5. alexmeister says:

    i couldn’t agree more with u guys!

    everything u guys said is 100% truth!

    its a shame watching such a good animation serie being ruined like that!

    in my opinion they needed at least 2 movies per book, this way they would have more time to capture the essence of the story, but with such a poor acting, 2 movies per book, wouldn’t be enough!

    srry my english.

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