Wednesday, May 20, 2020

'Avatar: The Last Airbender' Is Currently the Most Popular Thing on Netflix

Fans of Avatar: The Last Airbender, of which there are many, have been waiting for Nickelodeon's acclaimed animated series to return to Netflix for some time, especially since it was revealed that the streaming service was working on a live-action adaptation of the property. That reality finally came to be last week, as all three seasons of Avatar began streaming on Netflix once again. Based on the conversation surrounding the show before its Netflix return, it should come as no surprise that people have flocking towards it.

Just a couple of days after arriving on Netflix, Avatar: The Last Airbender has become the most popular title on the entire service. This includes both movies and TV shows. On Tuesday's edition of the Netflix Top 10, Avatar appears at the very top of the list, beating out popular CW series and new Netflix originals.

The entire Avatar franchise has been a big hit on Netflix throughout 2020. M. Night Shyamalan's much maligned film adaptation, simply called The Last Airbender, debuted on the streaming service earlier this year. Despite its failure upon release 10 years ago, and it's continued bashing at the hands of both critics and fans, The Last Airbender was a staple of the Netflix Top 10 for weeks after its arrival.

Unlike the movie, the Avatar series still holds up for fans, and remains one of the most celebrated animated adventures of our time. It makes total sense that everyone is heading to Netflix to binge it all over again.

To hype Avatar: The Last Airbender returning to Netflix, Nickelodeon and Netflix turned to social media. Nickelodeon launched a dedicated Avatar: The Last Airbender YouTube channel, whilst Nick and Netflix partnered with Sprice Machines to create a domino tribute to the series.

Created by Michael DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko and airing between 2005 and 2008, the critically-acclaimed Avatar: The Last Airbender is set in world people can manipulate the elements of Earth, Water, Fire, and Air, and they lived peacefully in different regions until one of the nations started a world war. One master who can manipulate all four elements, dubbed the "Avatar," had been able to prevent this war, but disappeared soon after. 100 years later, a new Avatar named Aang awakens and sets out on a journey to master all the elements in order to bring peace to the land once more by defeating Fire Lord Ozai and ending the destructive war with the Fire Nation.

The series managed to be such a hit with fans by combining amazing animated action set pieces with three dimensional interesting characters set in this magical fantasy world.

The animated series originally aired for 61 episodes over three seasons ("Books") originally on Nickelodeon, where it began in February 2005 and concluded in July 2008. The series was nominated for—and won—Annie Awards, Genesis Awards, a Primetime Emmy Award, and a Peabody Award.

Its success led to the creation of adjacent consumer products, including video games, and a follow-up series, The Legend of Korra, that returned to the world of Avatar years after Aang’s death to follow Korra, his successor as Avatar. That series ran between 2012-2014. In 2010, the series got its first feature-length film, The Last Airbender.

The stories of both Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra have since continued on in graphic novel series.

Netflix will be putting out an Avatar: The Last Airbender live-action series from original creators DiMartino and Konietzko sometime in the future, with filming set to begin this year. The streaming giant has said that it plans to stay true to the location and “background heritage” of the animated series after the 2010 film failed to do so.

Paramount Home Entertainment and Nickelodeon Home Entertainment released the Avatar: The Last Airbender – The Complete Series 15th Anniversary Limited Edition Steelbook Collection in February 2020.

Original source: ComicBook.

From IndieWire:

Netflix Fights ‘Korra’ Backlash After ‘Avatar: The Last Airbender’ Begins Streaming

When all three seasons of "Avatar: The Last Airbender" debuted on Netflix this month, it reignited a heated debate among fans over the sequel series.

Fans of the Nickelodeon animated series “Avatar: The Last Airbender” rejoiced this month when all three seasons of the show made their Netflix debut May 15, but it didn’t take long for backlash to stir on social media. The Netflix debut of “Avatar” has reignited a heated debate among fans over the sequel series, “The Legend of Korra.” Backlash against “Korra” became so widespread on Twitter that Netflix got involved and defended the show through its @NXOnNetflix account, which is the streamer’s official “home of all things geek.”

The original “Avatar” series ran for three seasons between 2005 and 2008 and garnered widespread critical acclaim. The show won various industry prizes each season, including the Annie Award for Best Animated Television Production for Children with its third and final run of episodes. Four years after the series finale, creators Michael DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko revisited the franchise with the “Korra” sequel series. “Korra” ran for four seasons from 2012 to 2014 and was also a critical favorite, although the change in story direction irked some fans of the original series.

“Korra” is set 70 years after the events of “Avatar,” so the shows greatly differ in protagonists and settings. “Avatar” follows the adventures of a 12-year-old boy named Aang who is the last survivor of the Air Nomads. “Korra” picks up seven decades later to follow the adventures of Aang’s eponymous successor, a headstrong 17-year-old girl. That the “Avatar” creators decided not to continue Aang’s story in the sequel and instead chose to follow a new character has often been the center of fan backlash, as has “Korra’s” increased focus on inclusive storytelling. The “Korra” finale is infamous for the controversy it earned over the romantic pairing of Korra and Asami, two women of color. Den of Geek writer Michael Mammano did an excellent job in 2014 analyzing the homophobic undertones present within the “Korra” backlash.

As mentioned above, “Korra” backlash started ramping up on social media in the aftermath of “Avatar’s” Netflix debut, so much so that new essays were published over the last week defending “Korra” and urging viewers to give it a second chance. Netflix first got involved in the social media debate by responding to one fan who posted artwork of the original “Avatar” characters grown up. The fan caption read: “Imagine an alternate universe where four seasons of this dropped instead of ‘Korra.’ Yeah, I’d wanna live there.” The post leaned into backlash claiming the sequel series should’ve continued Aang’s story and not focused on a new character.

Netflix issued a response to the fan, writing: “Korra’s story was important. Aang’s story had been told.” The reply has generated over 45,000 likes and counting. The streamer didn’t stop there and continued to respond to fans expressing negative opinions about “Korra.” Netflix told one fan, “Both [series] were important and essential to the ‘Avatar’ universe. No two avatars have the same perspective or growth.”

One “Avatar” fan mentioned that Netflix is developing a live-action “Avatar” series, implying that’s proof the streamer values the original series more than it does “Korra.” Netflix shut the assumption down by responding, “Korra’s story being important doesn’t mean that Aang’s isn’t.”

Netflix announced in September 2018 it’s producing a live-action “Avatar” series with original creators DiMartino and Konietzko serving as showrunners and executive producers.

“We can’t wait to realize Aang’s world as cinematically as we always imagined it to be, and with a culturally appropriate, non-whitewashed cast,” the creators said in a statement at the time — M. Night Shyamalan’s 2010 film adaptation had been whitewashed. “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime chance to build upon everyone’s great work on the original animated series and go even deeper into the characters, story, action, and world-building. Netflix is wholly dedicated to manifesting our vision for this retelling, and we’re incredibly grateful to be partnering with them.”

Netflix has not announced a release date for its live-action “Avatar” series, but all three seasons of the original animated series are now streaming.


From Forbes:

‘Avatar: The Last Airbender,’ A 15 Year-Old Cartoon, Is Now Netflix’s Most Popular Show

Netflix did not seem to be celebrating the arrival of Avatar: The Last Airbender with all that much fanfare when it arrived on the service this past weekend. Despite it being one of my favorite shows of all time, it was not recommended to me on my homepage, and did not show up in trending or new releases. Though when I went to manually search for it, there it was, under “most popular searches.”

And it seems I’m not alone.

As it stands right now, Avatar: The Last Airbender is the most popular series on Netflix in the US, beating out the likes of Riverdale, Dead to Me and Outer Banks, all huge series on the service. A new show appearing in the Most Popular Top 10 list is not all that unusual, and yet this is not a new show, this is a 15 year-old Nickelodeon cartoon that is so ancient it’s still in the 4:3 ratio format instead of widescreen.

I have already extolled the virtues of this series in other articles, but the point is that no one should be turned off by the fact that it’s A) old, B) animated or C) on Nickelodeon originally which implies it’s for kids. It isn’t (though yes, your kids can watch it), and is a great series that blends elements of fantasy and the superhero genre for one of the best-told stories in TV history.

As of right now, Netflix does not have the sequel series, The Legend of Korra, which I believe is on CBS All Access right now. However, a while ago it was announced that Netflix would be making a live-action adaptation of the original show with the founding creators returning for it. This would of course be the second attempt at a live action adaptation of the series, as M. Night Shyamalan famously made a blockbuster film version that was universally derided as horrific, and most Avatar fans have attempted to scrub it from their memories.

Avatar showing up as number one on the service right now is indicative of a lot of people like me rewatching it (I think the last time I saw this show in its entirety, I had downloaded it through Pirate Bay torrents), or it could be newcomers discovering it for the first time. Whatever the case, Netflix is likely feeling pretty comfortable with their decision to draw upon the series for a live-action version, though obviously plenty could go wrong if it’s not handled correctly.

As I’ve said before, I cannot recommend the series enough. It’s around 60, 20 minute episodes in total, and a breeze to get through. I watched ten in a row yesterday without even blinking. It’s a fantastic series everyone should experience, and don’t let it being old or animated chase you away. Give it a shot.


More Nick: Netflix to Host Open Casting Call for Live-Action 'Avatar: The Last Airbender' Series!

Originally published: Wednesday, May 20, 2020 at 01:27 BST.
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