Avatar The Last Airbender - The Complete Book 1 Collection (2005)

Actors: Zach Tyler, Mae Whitman, Jack De Sena, Dee Bradley Baker, Dante Basco
Writers: Bryan Konietzko, Michael Dante DiMartino
Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Full Screen, NTSC
Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
Region: 1 (U.S. and Canada only)
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Number of discs: 6
Studio: Nickelodeon
DVD Release Date: September 19, 2006
Run Time: 489 minutes

Special Features:

  • Other: Behind-the-Scenes with the Avatar Cast & Crew
  • Commentary: Avatar Pilot Episode with Audio Commentary
  • Featurette: The Making of Avatar - Inside the Sound Studio
  • Featurette: The Making of Avatar - Inside the Korean Animation Studios



This 2005 Nickelodeon series may be aimed at six- to eleven-year-olds, but that didn’t stop the show’s creators from making one of the best TV shows of recent years . . .

In fact what is most surprising about the show is its unexpected humor, story-telling sophistication and genuine affection for its characters.

It’s simply brilliant and rewatching this first season (of three) along with my seven-year-old daughter I realized the following:

(a.) Sixth Sense director M. Night Shyamalan decided to make a live action version of the show when he started watching it along with his kids and got hooked on it. (The plan is to actually make three movies if all goes to plan and the first one makes enough money.) Can’t say I blame him. It’s a great show. The movie - simply titled The Last Airbender - is due later this year.

(b.) We’re not looking forward to the big screen movie at all. We think that Shyamalan hasn’t got what it takes to do the show justice. Come on, when last did he make a good movie? The Happening? Lady in the Water? To be fair though, all his previous movies were based on his own ideas and this is his first movie based on someone else’s material.

Best described as an American anime show, Avatar: The Last Airbender is set in a mythical land that is divided into four kingdoms, namely those of Earth, Fire, Air and Water. Practically everybody has superpowers in this universe. People living in the Water Kingdom can magically manipulate water; the ones in the Earth Kingdom can manipulate the ground and so on. Trouble ensues when the militant Fire nation attacks the other kingdoms and, er, sparks off a hundred years war.

The avatar – a sort of holy man who can manipulate all four elements – is supposed to bring balance to the Force, er sorry, peace to the land, but instead he mysteriously disappears when he is needed the most . . .

THE DISCS: What also makes the show works is its epic scope. This DVD contains 20 episodes comprising the entire first season. It allows the show’s creators to better flesh out and expand its rich fictional universe as well as its characters. Rewatching it I also couldn’t help but notice how much they were influenced by the legendary Hayao Miyazaki (Spirited Away). But whereas some of Miyazaki’s efforts are too intense for young children, Avatar: The Last Airbender is always pitch perfect.

WORTH IT? It’s a cliché, but this truly is a show that both kids and their parents can watch. The show never talks down because it’s for kids.

RECOMMENDATION: The trailers for the upcoming live action movie is all big budget CGI gloss, but they somehow lack soul, the one thing the original animated show has plenty of. Check out this excellent animated show before Hollywood messes it up!



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