Thursday, 1 April 2010

Avatar - The Last Airbender (TV) [* * * * *]

 While I didn't like the movie Avatar (which was so much americanized poppycock about invading en mass, using the locals and then feeling bad for it as individuals), I've been really fascinated by another series about a young Avatar, a nickelodeon tv series.

He's a kid who is vegetarian, full of gentle eastern ethics and bound to save the world - only he doesn't know how. The eastern philosophy of the elements - Earth, Fire, Water and Air - are taught in really clear language, both as a martial art and a healing art.

What's more, the writer of the series seems to understand it even more deeply when Sozen's Comet arrives and you find the unprepared child forced to take on the Fire Lord who's taking over the whole world and changing the natural balance. The reluctant young avatar can't get himself to take a life but instead learns from a lion-turtle of the sea how to use a deeper and older eastern tradition of working with the chakras.

And all this in a fun-filled package for children - I think it's wonderful storytelling most of the time. There's a bit of tai chi (for Waterbending) and a few other techniques like the dragon style kungfu (Firebending) shown in very authentic detail. Love the show and can't wait for the next season!


venkhat said...

The way u have written,makes me think the scriptwriter of the series must have met a multitude of masters to blend the arts and make it for the world at large.

I always wanted to study tai chi too.

Thanks Yoda will check on you tube.

Yoda said...


I saw an interview of the writers with Shyamalan Night. They're just a couple of slightly-more-serious average americans. But that being said, they're good storytellers.

The unusual thing from their education system is that it encourages creative imagination in kids who pass it on in their storytelling. Our older culture seems to require memory more than imagination - we 'memorize' stories, they 'make up' theirs.

Yoda said...

Here's the Interview with M. Night and Creators

See for yourself, venkhat.:)