Destroying Avatar “The Last Airbed is an agonizing experience in every category I can think of and others still waiting to be invented”0(Roger Bert, Chicago Sun-Times).
Many have sat through and watched The Last Airbed, directed by Shaman, while others have ravished over Avatar: The Last Airbed, the Nickelodeon cartoon. Both of these have the same concept and story line, but yet still vary completely. Shaman altered the setting, plot structure, added and deleted ideas and details from the cartoon, as well as portrayed the characters differently from the original episodes.In The Last Airbed, several rumors arose over the controversy regarding the casting; how Caucasian actors portrayed all the heroes, while non-Caucasians portrayed all the villains. In the original cartoon, Qatar and Osaka came from Intuit ethnicities, but yet in the movie, Caucasians played them. Likewise for the Fire nation who were portrayed from central Asian and the Middle Eastern areas, and in both the film and original cartoon, the Fire Nation is seen as the villains.
Shaman claims he tried to be more “culturally diverse and organic at the same time” (Shaman Interview).When casting the Fire Nation, Shaman seemed to like more of the Mediterranean, Asian, Korean, and so forth, ethnicities. All dark skinned. So did Shaman purposely cast darker-skinned actors as the villains to portray that those who were “unfortunate” enough to be born into such ethnicities became automatically labeled as a scoundrel? Of course not, for Shaman himself was an Indian and dark skinned. Unless, he had some kind of hatred toward his culture, which caused him to cast all dark skinned characters as the villains, giving the underlying meaning that not only is Shaman racist, but also prejudice.Anyone who has seen the groundbreaking cartoon before must realize how Shaman develops, or rather doesn’t develop, the characters throughout his film.
The original cartoon takes time in order to understand the background and awareness of each of the characters. Prince Ouzo had the most apparent character development throughout the series. The writers vividly explained every experience of Ouzo’s that changed him into a well-rounded, levelheaded prince. The writer’s told the story of how Ouzo’s loving mother sacrificed herself to his own grandfather in order to save Ouzo’s life.They also explain how Ouzo’s own father banished and literally scared him for simply speaking out of turn. The movie does none of that. Throughout the entire movie, Ouzo became a banished prince, but the audience does not know why, or why Ouzo became such a static character.
Brian Prison quotes it best in his review of the movie when he says,” It’s as if Shaman left the cartoons on in the background while he made dinner and figured it counted as research” (Interview). One who has seen the cartoon would sit in the theatre in shock as Shaman fumes all of your favorite characters down to a flat robot of an actor.Shaman’s idea of telling the plot of the movie consists of literally Just that, each character tells the audience exactly what happens during the entire movie. The cartoon series relied on visual clues, hoping the audience has the ability to piece Shaman must not have had the ability to do so himself. The script feels like it could have been written as a third grader’s book report, in that each scene acted out also had a background-commentary/summary of the scene. In the cartoon, the same scheme was illustrated with actions, rather than a lame excuse for plot development.This poor quality scripting falls entirely on Shaman’s shoulders as the director, thus becoming an unforgivable mistake, which the audience must bear throughout the entire movie.
Works Cited Avatar: The Last Airbed. Dir. M.
Night Shaman. Peer. Noah Ringlet, Deep Patella, Nicola Petal, Jackson Rotenone, Shawn Doubt, Gasify Amanda, Cliff Curtis. Paramount Pictures, 2010. Nettling.
Web. 31 Gag. 2011 “Budget В« Last Airbed Film I Avatar: The Legend of Koura News, and Media Fan Blob. ” Last Airbed Film I Avatar: The Legend of Koura News, and Media Fan Blob. Web.
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