Monday, February 23, 2015

An Accidental Fan

I came home from work one day to find my husband sitting on the couch, watching a Nickelodeon cartoon.  I sat down next to him in a state of annoyed curiosity to see what this nonsense was all about.  It turned out to be, as I suspected, obnoxious!  And he kept doing it!  What's worse, I got drawn in and found myself on the couch for a full episode, slightly annoyed, but also intrigued by characters and a plot that seemed to be deepening.  After another episode, I didn't even find the show obnoxious, but funny and endearing - completely kid friendly, but apparently also fun for adults.  Before I knew it, I was in love with the epic little show:  Avatar, The Last Airbender!

Here's the background: the earth is divided into four nations: airbenders, earthbenders, firebenders, and waterbenders.  Individuals from these realms have mastery over their namesake element, but the nations are not at peace with one another.  To make a bad situation worse, the Avatar, the peacekeeper of all the nations, master of all four elements, has been missing without a trace for 100 years.  At the inception of the series, a brother and sister discover the Avatar frozen in ice, and they free him.  What follows is a rollicking adventure that takes the trio to the corners of the world and the edges of themselves.

The 3 season series ended all too soon for me, but the ending was a satisfying one.  I was excited to discover that there is a sequel series in progress called The Legend of Korra, and began to watch it after taking a break to recover from the epic-ness that was Avatar. (I am still a little surprised at how attached I became to a Nickelodeon cartoon - even as a kid I didn't like cartoons).  The Legend of Korra continues the story of the Avatar, with plenty of references to the original story, 70 years after Avatar, The Last Airbender ends.  It, too, is a high quality show.  The bad news is, our DVD collection does not include The Legend of Korra.  The good news is, we have Avatar, The Last Airbender

We also have copies of the comic book series that sprang up, which takes place after the Avatar cartoon episodes end, and before The Legend of Korra begins.  These are entitled the same as the cartoon they are based on, and they are just as good because after so many episodes of Avatar, you can imagine the characters' voices as you read (or is that just a weird thing I do?). 

Another product of Nickelodeon's show was a 2010 movie of the same title.  I cannot recommend the movie, however.  Even watching the trailer told me, among other things, that the movie has little semblance to the show, and where is it similar, it simply does not possess the same likeability.  In fact, on Rotten Tomatoes, a site where critics rate movies as "rotten" or "fresh," the movie was decidedly rotten, with only 6% rating it positively.  To be fair, it would be difficult to successfully cram 3 seasons of a great show, with lots of character development, taking place over lots of time, neatly into an hour and forty minute block of time.  And, hey, if you're not going to bother with the cartoon series, it's possible the movie wouldn't be so bad.  You can find out for yourself, because we do have copies.

Take a look at all of the above by clicking these links to our catalog:

The Cartoon Series On DVD

The Comics

The Movie

Is there anyone else out there who has fallen in love with a cartoon (book, movie) they thought they would hate?  Please share in the comments!

Also, check out Lomas Tramway's Graphic Novel Book Club!

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