January 29, 2012

The Last Airbender

[Digital Gonzo 2012]

This one serves as an introduction to Avatar since my estimate is that 97% of you, my listeners have never had the pleasure of this, maybe the finest animated TV series in the world, and I do not use those words lightly.

The Legend of Aang is a story that starts out aimed at kids aged 6-11 but rapidly becomes something far more compelling to all age groups and walks of life. Taking inspiration from eastern mythology and martial arts, but with a fresh, original and very funny energy. Set over three series, which are paced like books, this has the scale of Lord of the Rings and the heart of Toy Story. You will find yourself devouring episodes, hungry for more as it draws towards a conclusion that will leave you breathless.

That series won ten major awards and ran from 2005 - 2008 but in an extremely rare instance Nickelodeon green-lit a follow-up series named The Legend of Korra which aired in 2012 and immediately met with massive success. It features gorgeous, animation that surpasses most theatrically released movies and a plot that embraces even more unexpectedly mature social themes than its predecessor. Nickelodeon was so impressed with the feedback, viewing figures and critical response that they recently ordered forty more episodes, a move that made my team here misty-eyed with joy.

To put the whole thing in perspective we review in this episode the disastrous, turgid and utterly hated cinematic outing from 2010, directed by M Night Shyamalan. Using it as a foil to explain what they did so wrong with the movie that was done so right on the show.

Joining me for this spoiler-free sizzle to convince you of what’s been missing from your life all these years I have Daniel Floyd, Pixar animator and the voice of Extra Credits and Joshua Garrity of the Cane and Rinse podcast and The Animation Archives, presented by Gonzo Planet. Also of Gonzo Planet, my ever-patient wife Mrs Sharon Shaw, anime and comic book fanatic Mr Jerome McIntosh and for one of his very first Gonzo shows, Mr Duane Griffiths.


Daniel Floyd of Extra Credits

Joshua Garrity of Cane and Rinse

Sharon Shaw of School of Movies

Jerome McIntosh of GameBurst

Duane Griffiths of the Digital Gonzo community


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