Avatar The Last Airbender: Live Action vs. Animated



Avatar The Last Airbender: Live Action vs. Animated

Explore the plot, casting choices, and quality of the highly anticipated new Avatar show from Netflix.

By Oluwajeminipe Fasheun-Motesho

PUBLISHED: February 27, 2024

The highly anticipated new Avatar show, produced by Netflix, was released on Friday and fans have been eagerly diving into the world of bending once again. As a fan of the original animated series, I was excited to see how this live-action adaptation would compare. In this review, we'll take a closer look at the plot, casting choices, and overall quality of the new Avatar show.


The new Avatar show follows the story of Aang, the last Airbender, as he embarks on a journey to master all four elements and bring balance to the world. Along the way, he is joined by friends Katara, and Sokka as they face various challenges and confront the tyrannical Fire Nation. Unfortunately, Toph wasn’t in this season as she originally appears in season two. 

One of the strengths of the original animated series was its rich storytelling and well-developed characters. In this live-action adaptation, the plot stays true to the original, capturing the essence of Aang's quest while also adding new elements to keep viewers engaged. The pacing is well-executed, allowing for both character development and thrilling action sequences.


Casting is always a critical aspect of any adaptation, and the new Avatar show features a talented ensemble cast. Gordon Cormier takes on the role of Aang, and while he may not perfectly capture the whimsical nature of the character, he delivers a solid performance overall. Ian Ousley and Kiawentiio Tarbell portray siblings Sokka and Katara, bringing depth to their respective roles. However, some fans may be disappointed by the casting of Dallas James Liu as Prince Zuko, as his performance fails to capture the complexity of the character.

On the other hand, one standout performance is that of Maria Zhang as Suki. Maria brings a sense of vulnerability and strength to the character, making her scenes particularly compelling. Additionally, Daniel Dae Kim shines as the villainous Fire Lord Ozai, delivering a menacing portrayal that adds depth to the show's antagonist. Furthermore, Uncle Iroh (Paul Sun-Hyung Lee), and General Zhao (Ken Leung) shined brightly and executed their roles quite perfectly. 

Comparison With The Animated Series

Comparing the live-action adaptation to the original animated series is inevitable, and there are both similarities and differences between the two. While the live-action show stays true to the overarching plot and key character dynamics, there are some deviations that may irk hardcore fans. Certain character arcs are condensed or altered, and some beloved side characters receive less screen time.

However, where the live-action adaptation truly shines is in its visual effects and choreography. The bending sequences are breathtaking to watch, with each element brought to life in stunning detail. The fight choreography is also top-notch, showcasing the martial arts prowess of the characters.

Is It Worth Watching? 

The new Avatar show offers an entertaining and visually stunning take on the beloved animated series. While there are some shortcomings in casting and deviations from the original plot, the show succeeds in capturing the spirit of the Avatar universe. Fans of the original series may find some aspects to nitpick, but overall, the live-action adaptation is a worthy addition to the franchise. The future of season two and season three are still a bit unclear as we await news from Netflix and Nickelodeon. The renewal of season two and three is dependent on the success of the first season- so keep streaming guys! Whether you're a die-hard fan or new to the world of bending, the new Avatar show is definitely worth a watch.

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