To some, Avatar: The Last Airbender is one of the best animated TV series of all time. And with good reason: Avatar introduced us to an exciting new world packaged together with great animation, lots of action, humor, and unforgettable characters.
Since the series ended its three-season run back in 2008, fans have clamored for an HD Blu-ray release of the series. Unfortunately, Avatar: The Last Airbender – The Complete Series is not that. Actually, this new release doesn’t bring anything new to the table, but is simply just the old DVD releases repackaged. To be frank, it’s quite a letdown and incredibly disappointing.
Avatar: The Last Airbender introduces us to a world where some humans, known as benders, have the ability to manipulate the elements of earth, wind, water, and fire. If a denizen is lucky enough to be born a bender, then they will only have the ability to control one of the elements. The one exception is the avatar, a chosen vessel who can control all four elements.
The conflict in the series arises with Aang, the long-lost Avatar of the Air Nomads who has been missing for over 100 years. When Katara – a waterbender – and Sokka – her brother – discover him, the three of them set out on a journey to save the world from the oppressive and dominating firebenders.
Previous DVD releases had major flaws in video quality, notably banding and oversaturated colors. These issues are not fixed in this release despite the fact, if one watches the series digitally on Amazon, they are corrected. As mentioned before, these disks are literally the exact same ones from previous DVD releases, hence nothing is fixed or improved. Nonetheless, it’s frustrating Nickelodeon would even waste time re-releasing the series and put almost zero effort into it. (Then again, based on how the network treated the Avatar spin-off series, The Legend of Korra, this isn’t really surprising.)
There are no new bonus features in Avatar: The Last Airbender – The Complete Series, but the old bonus features that are included will be of interest to Avatar fans. We get director commentaries, behind-the-scenes featurettes, interviews with the voice actors, and more. Each book has a variety of extras to keep an Avatar fan busy for a while.
Here’s a list of all the bonus features that are included:
- Original Uncut Animatic: Episode # 21 (“The Avatar State”)
- Audio Commentary by Creators, Cast, & Crew
- Audio Commentary by Creators, Cast, & Crew (Episodes 12 & 14)
- Audio Commentary by Creators, Cast, & Crew (Episodes 17, 18, & 20)
- Interview with Creators and M. Night Shyamalan
- The Essence of Bending with Bryan Konietzko and Sifu Kisu
- ‘Avatar’ Super Deformed Shorts:
- “Bending Battle”
- “Swamp Skiin’ Throwdown”
- “School Time Shipping”
- Escape From the Spirit World: Animated Graphic Novel
- Audio Commentary by Creators & Crew (Episodes 4 & 5)
- Audio Commentary by Creators & Crew (Episodes 6 & 10)
- Audio Commentary by Creators & Crew
- Bonus Audio Commentary by Creators, Cast, & Crew on all 6 Chapters
- The Women of ‘Avatar: The Last Airbender’
- Book 3 Finale Pencil Test Animation
- Into the Fire Nation at San Diego Comic-Con
- Behind the Scenes Kung Fu Featurette
- The Making of ‘Avatar’ – From Real Life to Animation
- Behind the Scenes: The Voices of ‘Avatar’
- “Ask the Creators” Featurette
- Original Uncut Anamatic – (25 minutes of animated raw sketches from episode #15)
- Audio Commentary with Creator, Cast, & Crew:
- Chapter 17 with Dee Bradley Baker (voices of Momo and Appa) and Ben Wynn (sound effects)
- Chapters 18-20 with Aaron Ehasz (Head Writer) and Co-Creators: Bryan Konietzko and Michael Dante DiMartino
- Behind the Scenes with the ‘Avatar’ Cast & Crew
- Avatar Pilot Episode with Audio Commentary
- The Making of ‘Avatar’ – Inside the Sound Studios
- The Making of ‘Avatar’ – Inside the Korean Animation Studios
If you are a fan of Avatar: The Last Airbender and don’t already own the series on DVD, then this collection is worth checking out since it does have a decent amount of interesting bonus features. However, if you’re most everyone else eagerly waiting for the series to be released on Blu-ray, don’t hold your breath. This is just another reminder that Nickelodeon bid farewell to the Avatar series a long time ago.
Avatar: The Last Airbender – The Complete Series: Amazon
Will you purchase Avatar: The Last Airbender – The Complete Series? Let us know in the comments!
Edited by: Hannah Wilkes