The Best Way to Revive Avatar the Last Airbender

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Avatar has been getting a lot of buzz since the announcement of a live action revival in the work. That buzz exploded when it came out that the creators of Avatar left the project (which doesn’t mean it’ll be bad or like the writers will miss the point of the series. I mean the same creators made Korra and that’s not as good, so it doesn’t mean anything). But the question plaguing me is why they are decided to go in a live action direction. They tired that before with a movie and everyone knows how successful that was.

Though I have not watched it, I am aware that the live action Last Airbender movie had a lot of problems, not least of which was pacing. Pacing being one of the elements Avatar handled perfectly the first time with its balance of goofier episodes to the more serious or contemplative episodes. A live action series has the ability to have the same kind of pacing but will lose some of the goofier elements because of the change in medium, animation to live action. It would still, at the end of the day, be an adaption of a series, not a revival.

There is a way to revive the series however, and it’s simple. What it seems like the reason people want a new version is because what they have feels outdated, and it does. The first episodes look really rough. Due to how it was animated it also cannot be upscaled to match the best possible visual quality. It’s trapped, but doesn’t have to be. If you see where I’m going, good but hold off a second, because…

Make an updated version of the series using the Legend of Korra team!

Korra, for all its flaws and victories is exceedingly pretty, and looks good on just about every video quality I have watched it on. Not even getting into the fight scenes, but the regular character animation is far more fluid and expressive than Avatar was.

The advantage of remaking the series frame by frame in this way also keeps the quality writing, characters, and pacing the show already had. Everything would remain as it was, but it would just get a HD remake like many classic video games get. This is also not a new thing, maybe for a whole animated series, but many of the classic Disney movies have been converted into HD, and many old TV shows from Star Trek TOS to X-Files all had scenes touched up and crisped up to look good on modern displays. It can even be argued that the elements FMA and FMA Brotherhood have in common, about the first 15 episodes in total, are the same thing. There is a history of this being done so it’s not out of the realm of possibility.

Also, it being on Netflix would also give it an extra draw because, as Netflix makes perfectly clear time and time again, shows they don’t own often leave or rotate in and out of circulation for no reason. Having this updated version of the show always available is great because it would keep that series always alive, and looking better, but would also allow people who are nostalgic for the old look to go back and watch the original run if it’s available.

There are certainly fallbacks to this. Dialogue and some sound effects might be restricted to staying the same. Not least of which being that some actors aged out of being able to voice characters, Aang’s Zachary Taylor being a prime example, but you also have actors who already had to be replaced like with Iroh and his original voice actor Mako. Also, it is easy to say that a frame by frame remake would keep the pacing, but any change in art style and timing does ultimately have a larger impact than assumed. Make Aang’s face a little more or less expressive could change the whole tone of a scene.

It baffles me that people, even now, still think live action is the pinnacle of TV. Cartoons, when first created, were for people of all ages. They were true family entertainment. Think about why series like The Flinstones or Jetsons were just prime time sitcoms of the era. It was mass market entertainment, not just kiddie stuff. Avatar, the original, already proved that if you make a good thing in any medium people will watch it. Therefore, seeing them chasing after the live action bandwagon feels like the people already missed the point of the series the first time. It’s great the way it was, but it’s look can defiantly be upgraded for modern audiences.

I’m cleaning house and selling some media. If you would like to buy comics, manga, or cards I owned and used follow this link: say you’re a reader and I’ll be happy to discount any item for you!

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