Netflix’s ‘AVATAR: The Last Airbender’ Already Destroys Shyamalan’s ‘The Last Airbender’

Netflix's Avatar: The Last Airbender isn't out yet but it's already way better than Shyamalan's movie.
Avatar: The Last Airbender.

We’re finally getting another live-action Avatar: The Last Airbender production after 14 years. This time, we’re blessed with a series.

Avatar: The Last Airbender
Avatar: The Last Airbender. (L to R) Kiawentiio as Katara, Gordon Cormier as Aang, Ian Ousley as Sokka in season 1 of Avatar: The Last Airbender. Cr. Robert Falconer/Netflix © 2023

It’s been long established in the fandom that there is no live-action movie. However, it’s about time we do acknowledge it. While one can argue that The Last Airbender live-action movie has terrible CGI because of the period it was released, it would not be a solid argument. Not a lot of effort was put into this movie by the production companies. It was produced by Nickelodeon Movies, Blinding Edge Pictures, and Paramount Pictures. There should have been a bigger budget. It also should have had a better storyline since ATLA was shown on Nickelodeon and they were involved in making this movie.

Every ATLA fan hates this movie, to the point that bringing it up traumatizes some of them.

Already Better Casting

No disrespect to the actors of the 2010 live-action film, but Netflix did a better job. The characters looked nothing like their animated counterparts, but like I mentioned before, it isn’t their fault. They got hired to do a job.

RELATED: Netflix AVATAR: THE LAST AIRBENDER Gorgeously Puts the Art in Martial Arts

The entire fandom knows that in Book 1, which the movie was based of off, the characters were only 12-16 years old. The live-action movie did not do a good job of reflecting this, however, Netflix did. I truly believe that they paid attention to the past, regarding casting, storyline, and everything else, and worked to get it as accurate as possible.

Netflix Avatar: The Last Airbender
Avatar: The Last Airbender. (L to R) Paul Sun-Hyung Lee as Iroh, Dallas Liu as Prince Zuko in season 1 of Avatar: The Last Airbender. Cr. Robert Falconer/Netflix © 2024

A lot of key details were missing in the live-action movie, such as Katara and Sokka not being Inuit, but rather of European descent. Zuko, Azula, Iroh, and Ozai were played by actors of South Asian descent rather than East Asian. Sokka’s sarcasm was also missing from the movie, however, from the trailer of the Netflix series, we can see it being present. Zuko’s scar is also much more recognizable. Momo and Appa also do not look cursed or scary in the Netflix trailer. They both look cuddly. We finally got Aang with a blue arrow as well. The bending even looks amazing and believable.

Why Having Young Actors is Important to the Storyline

Netflix Avatar: The Last Airbender
Avatar: The Last Airbender. Elizabeth Yu as Azula in season 1 of Avatar: The Last Airbender. Cr. Robert Falconer/Netflix © 2023

What a lot of people forget about Avatar, including myself, is that these characters are children. These are children having to make tough decisions about war, being away from their families, and fighting for a greater cause. They do not have a regular childhood. With animation, this can often be lost in translation.

RELATED: Netflix AVATAR: THE LAST AIRBENDER Official Trailer Gives Best Look at the Upcoming Series Yet

I love the fact that Netflix chose extremely young actors for the series. This would highlight the significance of what the story is about. It reminds viewers that these are kids enduring these things. It would also show the trauma all of them experience as well.

Storyline Issues the Fandom isn’t Pleased About

Netflix Avatar: The Last Airbender
Avatar: The Last Airbender. (L to R) Dallas Liu as Prince Zuko, Paul Sun-Hyung Lee as Iroh in season 1 of Avatar: The Last Airbender. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2024

One of the main issues the fandom isn’t pleased about is Sokka’s sexism being gone. Every Avatar fan knows how important this plotline is for him. Sokka being sexist was how Katara freed Aang from the iceberg. It’s also what got him beaten up by the Kyoshi warriors, which then allowed him to have a change of heart and worldview. Eventually, this turned him into the amazing leader we all know and love.

The fandom did not take this lightly. They shared their opinions on various social media platforms about how disappointed they were. Actor Ian Ousley who plays Sokka shared his opinion on this reminding fans that they shouldn’t be worried.

Sokka Avatar The Last Airbender
Avatar: The Last Airbender. Ian Ousley as Sokka in episode 101 of Avatar: The Last Airbender. Cr. Robert Falconer/Netflix © 2023

“I think that the essence of the character that Sokka is, is 100% the character that is portrayed in the live-action version of the show. I think the fans are a little worried that there’s going to be changes in who Sokka is, and I don’t really think that’s been the case at all in our show. Obviously it’s different from an animated show to a live-action in those ways, but the heart and soul of the animation show is the breath that we’re all playing into. I think that we’ve turned those in different directions in the way that… we can’t fit every single arc of every single thing from the animated show, but the essence of him is still there.

He’s an overprotective older brother, and that’s kind of shown in the way that he doesn’t really trust Katara maybe at the beginning, feeling like he’s the in-charge guy of Southern Water Tribe. He definitely still gets humbled in ways and learns that women can be powerful. I’m just excited for people to watch it and get their own take on that particular thing that I know that people are worried about.”

Ian Ousley via Metro Entertainment


There are a lot of changes that would be made in Avatar: the Last Airbender live-action animated series as well but we should all save our judgment until we see the show. One should never judge something unless we get the full story, which goes for the live-action series as well. It’s important to not believe the many rumors that are circulating on social media. Feb 22nd is right around the corner so we do not have to wait any longer.

Here is an exclusive clip from the series shared via IGN on the social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter.

About Netflix’s Avatar: The Last Airbender

Netflix Avatar: The Last Airbender

Premiere Date: February 22, 2024
Episodes: 8 episodes x 1 hour
Executive Producer / Showrunner: Albert Kim
Executive Producers: Jabbar Raisani, Dan Lin, Lindsey Liberatore, Michael Goi
Cast: Gordon Cormier, Ian Ousley, Kiawentiio, Dallas Liu, Ken Leung, with Paul Sun-Hyung Lee and Daniel Dae Kim


Based on the Nickelodeon hit animated series, Avatar: The Last Airbender follows Aang as he learns to master the four elemental powers to save the world from the Fire Nation and anyone who seeks oppression.

Are you as excited as us for the live-action ATLA TV series? Do you think the writers would do justice to the animated show? How do you feel about some of the changes that have been made? Let us know on social media, and do follow us for more content like this.