The Biggest Changes in Netflix’s ‘Avatar: The Last Airbender’ Compared With The Cartoon


The Biggest Changes in Netflix’s ‘Avatar: The Last Airbender’ Compared With The Cartoon

Picture: Netflix

We cowl among the largest modifications Netflix’s Avatar: The Last Airbender made when adapting the beloved Nickelodeon cartoon into live-action. 

Long in the past, the Avatar: The Last Airbender fandom lived in concord, protected within the data that the beloved animated present was as good because it could possibly be. But then got here alongside Netflix, pumping an enormous finances right into a live-action remake of the unique — and providing loads of modifications to the story and tone alongside the way in which. 

We knew from the outset that Netflix’s Avatar would see loads of modifications from the supply materials, whether or not for higher or for worse. It’s merely not possible to squeeze 20 episodes price of story into 8 live-action installments. And so liberties are taken, and story arcs are merged, resulting in some thrilling modifications.

Let’s have a look at among the most noticeable modifications from Netflix’s adaptation, beginning with the very first scene. 

The Fire Nation assaults.

Avatar: The Last Airbender

Source: Netflix

The cartoon opens with each Katara and Sokka crusing outdoors Wolf Cove and coming throughout Aang, trapped within the iceberg. However, the live-action model takes 100 years earlier, protecting a way more brutal, lore-filled strategy.

The Netflix present opens with the Fire Nation genocide of the Air Nomads, all however eradicating their existence from the world. This was the catalyst occasion of the Hundred Year War. And when it occurred, Aang was away, fully unaware of the bloodbath again residence. 

This was one of many extra welcome modifications to the story. We’d by no means seen this occasion play out on display screen earlier than, and it set the darkish tone of the sequence very well, giving followers some key lore alongside the way in which. 

Azula options in season 1

Avatar The Last Airbender Netflix Azula Season 2

In the unique present, Princess Azura doesn’t characteristic till season 2. However, given her standing as a fan-favorite, the creators of the live-action present determined to broaden her story into season 1. The daughter of Fire Lord Ozai and sister of Crown Prince Zuko, Azura is a fearsome fighter, holding a long-standing sibling rivalry with Zuko.

Played by Elizabeth Yu, it was a welcome change seeing Azula’s story start in season 1. It actually helps to flesh out her character, placing the items in place for her bigger function in future seasons.

King Bumi

Avatar: The Last Airbender

Source: Netflix

One slightly sudden change was Aang’s encounter with King Bumi. The story could be very a lot a remix of its animated counterpart. The King of Omashu, Bumi is each eccentric and goofy, however the live-action present makes him a bit extra severe. Plus, within the unique, each Sokka and Katara are held hostage till Aang completes Bumi’s video games. Whereas within the Netflix sequence, the siblings don’t present up till the ultimate sport, nor are they held hostage in any respect; they even be part of the combat.

Bumi’s extra severe method within the live-action present helps additional painting that Aang should make not possible selections within the warfare towards the Fire Nation. While this model higher match the darker tone that the creators had been aiming for, we do miss out on the extra enjoyable and goofy model of Bumi within the cartoon.


Avatar The Last Airbender

Source: Netflix

In episode 3, the live-action present began getting a bit messy, merging a number of storylines from the animated present in a single swoop. It made every part really feel a bit uneven. Most notably, Jet joins the present in episode 3. A Freedom Fighter from the Earth Kingdom, the live-action present units his story in Omashu. However, he’s based mostly within the Earth Kingdom’s largest metropolis, Ba Sing Se, within the unique; a location that the live-action present has but to introduce.

Jet’s function within the Netflix present solely lasted for one episode. It would’ve been good to see him play a bigger half within the story.

The Cave of Two Lovers

Avatar: The Last Airbender

Source: Netflix

Netflix’s Avatar actually remixes the key tunnels close to Omashu in a method that many followers haven’t taken too kindly with. One of the biggest story modifications, the animated episode, The Cave of Two Lovers, doesn’t occur till season 2. However, the Netflix present sees match to implement the story into episode 3. In doing this, they restrict the display screen time of the story, balancing it with the sport Aang performs with Bumi.

Moreover, within the cartoon, Aang joins each Sokka and Katara within the cave, and it results in some actually vital plot particulars, particularly between Katara and Aang. It simply felt a bit bizarre, and resulted in an excellent story being became a so-so facet plot.

Violence and brutality

Avatar: The Last Airbender

Credit: Netflix

While not a change story-wise, numerous followers have introduced up an enormous change of tone when the story has been translated into live-action. Of course, the cartoon is ostensibly a kids’s present. It’s whacky, goofy and enjoyable. And whereas the live-action remake retains some humour — thank’s largely to Ian Ousley’s Sokka — it dials the violence up a lot additional.

From the aforementioned Fire Nation assault on the Air Nomads, to Azula watching a person get burned alive, the extent of violence took many viewers without warning.

That mentioned, showrunner Albert Kim has already stepped in to elucidate the brutality of the difference. “It was about setting the stakes for this world,” he informed Variety. “One of the things we wanted to do was show how dangerous bending can be. Firebending should feel dangerous; it should feel something that could hurt you.” He goes on to say the good thing about hindsight, acknowledging how the animated present will get darker in later seasons.

Whether this variation was welcome or not is determined by style, but it surely definitely was a change that obtained individuals speaking.

Avatar Kyoshi

Avatar: The Last Airbender

Source: Netflix

Thanks partly as a result of her prolonged story in a sequence of Avatar novels, Kyoshi has grow to be a fan-favorite determine within the fandom. The writers of the live-action present knew this, and determined to leverage her character for season 1. In episode 2, when Team Avatar arrives at Kyoshi Island, they’re pursued by the Fire Nation.

What ensues is a battle, however as a substitute of Aang combating, Avatar Kyoshi connects with him from inside her shrine and fights in her bodily kind. It’s an epic, fan-pleasing scene that by no means occurs within the unique present. Former Avatars connecting into the lively incarnation to enter their bodily kind is uncommon, however not extraordinary. We’ve seen it happen with Avatar Roku within the animated present.

While I favored this scene, I’m upset that they not noted Aang using the Unagi — that might’ve been enjoyable!

The Spirit World

Avatar: The Last Airbender

Credit: Netflix

The means to grasp all 4 parts isn’t the one factor the Avatar can do. He may also enter the Spirit World. And in episode 5, “Spirited Away,” Aang makes his first journey to the alternate world… the place each Sokka and Katara be part of him just by being in his presence. The variations don’t cease there, nevertheless, for we get a shock look from Wan Shi Tong, the large owl-like entity that we don’t see till season 2 of the animated present.

These modifications had been definitely a daring transfer, which set the sequence on a special trajectory.

Commander Zhao

Avatar: The Last Airbender

Credit: Netflix

Commander Zhao has no loyalty to Prince Zuko and doesn’t look after his ultimate plea go achieve again respect from his father. Zhao solely cares about himself, and capturing the Avatar with power, as effectively as attainable. The present alters his character barely, altering how sure elements of his journey play out. For occasion, how he learns the identification of the Moon Spirit’s mortal being.

Actor Ken Leung was open to modifications from the outset, and defined to Metro why modifications had been made. “Like for example, when he discovers in the secret spirit library how to kill the Moon Spirit,” he mentioned. “I think we felt that maybe that was a little convenient, that he just happens to… and so things like that we changed a little bit.”


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