Way too often it takes a mistake and even a failure to launch before things are finally set where they need to be. This feels like it might be the case when considering that there’s another animated Avatar: The Last Airbender movie coming from the original creators. Fans of this series were kind of split when the live-action movie came out since it didn’t do a lot to explore the world that Aang and his friends lived in, especially since everything went by so fast that it was difficult to really know what was going on. But now that the creators are being given leave to create another animated movie it’s likely that fans might finally get what they wanted to see. There was a plan to make another live-action movie, and it’s very possible that a lot of people were holding their breath and even biting their lip trying to decide whether or not to be happy about it. But since that project has apparently stalled it sounds as though this animated movie will be the next and most desired project that will be in the works at some point. There are ups and downs when it comes to animation over live-action and vice versa of course, and the technology is there, but the fact is that unless a story is built up over the course of one or two movies then it’s bound to be rushed and a lot of people won’t know what the heck is going on.
Having been interested enough to see what Avatar was all about, I did manage to see the live-action movie, and while it’s easy enough to deduce what’s happening, it’s still easy to see how a lot of people would be confused, and how fans would be insanely frustrated. A great comparison is The Dark Tower since much like Avatar it has a very rich and detailed mythology to it, but somehow the movie was created in a way that feels as though it ripped chunks out of the stories and slapped them all back together in the most haphazard manner possible, using only spit and chewing gum in some instances. That’s a big part of what frustrates the fans and confounds anyone else, the fact that such great stories were relegated to stories that weren’t the worst in the world but definitely didn’t tell enough so that the majority of viewers could comprehend what they were seeing. There are likely factors that go into the reasoning behind why the live-action movie turned out the way it did, but at the same time, one has to imagine that those that made the effort were either trying to put too much in at once or weren’t certain if another movie would be allowed after the first attempt. It’s bound to be a giant ‘what if’ when one happens to wonder if the live-action movie could have been executed in a manner that might have created a better result, but oh well.
Going back to animation for a time is probably a good idea for the Avatar series largely because there’s more that can be done with it despite the advances in technology that would allow for quite a few added special effects in a live-action movie. Animation also allows for more emotion than some actors are able to pull off, since the fact that animators are in complete control and one isn’t relying solely on the acting talent of the actor. There are upsides and downsides to animation and live-action, but a certain level of control is allowed in animation that isn’t really possible in live-action since people are going to do what they know how to do and sometimes that may or may not be enough. Plus, in terms of animation, the Avatar series is proven, as fans have flocked to it over the years and have continued the push to keep it a popular series. This is one of the reasons why it’s a better idea to keep it as an animated favorite at the moment simply because it’s something that fans have been able to admit that they love and as a result, it’s something that will keep the revenue flowing and ensure that people will keep coming back. There’s nothing against live-action, but until it’s established that the Avatar series needs at least a trilogy, a SET trilogy, not one that may or may not come, to really push forth some of the key ideas, animation does feel as though it will be the best idea for this particular series.
Live-action might still be something that is being planned for in the future, but for now, it’s going to have to take a backseat to what’s coming. Sometimes keeping things the way they are, at least for now, is the best way to go.