Blu-ray/DVD, Reviews, Television, TV

[Blu-ray Review] Avatar: The Last Airbender: The Complete Series

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Avatar: The Last Airbender is finally available everywhere to own on Blu-ray! This beloved, and critically acclaimed series has been available on DVD for years now, but fans have long been begging for a complete set of Blu-rays, and now, we’ve finally gotten our wish!

The Show

Avatar was a 2005 series following the adventures of a boy named Aang, who was the next incarnation of the Avatar, a powerful being capable of ‘bending’ all four elements, air, water, fire, and earth. The series is set in a world where all these elements are individually controlled by a tribe connected to them. Aang, as the Avatar, is the only being capable of controlling all four, and is tasked with maintaining the balance in the world.

The series gained widespread acclaim over the course of its three season run, winning numerous awards including a Peabody, an Emmy, and several Annies, among many others. It spun off a series of graphic novels, a trilogy of video games, a sequel series entitled The Legend of Korra, as well as a live action film adaptation in 2010. (Though most fans would rather forget that last one exists.)

The Set

This nine disk set is full of tons of bonus features, that fans are going to want to check out. I am hard-pressed to find more than a handful of animated series that are given the kind of full-series, Blu-ray/DVD set treatment that Avatar has been given. Nickelodeon really went all-out.

Book One: Water

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 Studio

Book Two: Earth

Original Uncut Animatic: Episode # 21 (The Avatar State)
Audio Commentary by Creators, Cast & Crew (Eps 6 & 8)
Audio Commentary by Creators, Cast & Crew (Eps 12 & 14)
Audio Commentary by Creators, Cast & Crew (Eps 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

Book Three: Fire

Audio Commentary by Creators & Crew (Eps 4, 5 & 6)
Audio Commentary by Creators & Crew (Eps 10, 11 & 12)
Bonus Audio Commentary by Creators, Cast & Crew
The Women of Avatar: The Last Airbender
Book 3 Finale Pencil Test Animation
Into the Fire Nation at San Diego Comic-Con

Final Thoughts

If you are a fan of Avatar: the Last Airbender, then you are going to want to get your hands on this set. Even if you’ve never seen this show before, if you are an animation fan, then you owe it to yourself to check it out. It didn’t become one of the most talked about animated series’ of the last decade for nothing.

Purchase: Avatar: The Last Airbender: The Complete Series
Amazon: Blu-ray
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About Jonathan North

Jonathan North is writer, photographer, video editor, and animation fan from Iowa. He studied advertising and design at Iowa State University, and also has degrees in multimedia and art. His favorite movie is Fantasia, and his favorite cartoon is Gravity Falls. Or maybe Steven Universe. He can’t decide. You can find more of his work on his blog, as well as his YouTube channel, where he reviews all manner things, including (almost) every version ever of Alice in Wonderland. His favorites are the 1999 version starring Tina Majorino, and of course, the 1951 Disney version. You can find him on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr, @jonjnorth.