Avatar: The Last Airbender Netflix TV series review

Published By Alexandra Heilbron on Feb 22, 2024

Netflix’s new live-action series Avatar: The Last Airbender is based on an animated series that’s beloved by many. Although it adheres more-or-less faithfully to the original storyline, this new production brings so much more to the small screen.

Kiawentiio and Gordon Cormier in Avatar: The Last AirbenderThe storyline begins with Aang (Gordon Cormier), a young Airbender. Miles ahead of other children his age in terms of airbending skills, Aang is a 12-year-old boy filled with joy. He loves his home, his pet air bison Appa and his mentor, Gyatso. In fact, he’s aboard Appa when Firebenders come to destroy his village in an effort to take over the world.

Frozen for 100 years in ice, Aang is discovered and freed by siblings Katara (Kiawentiio) and Sokko (Ian Ousley) of the Southern Water Tribe. Katara is a Waterbender, and immediately forms a bond with Aang, while Sokko is distrustful of the newcomer. They soon discover Aang is the Avatar — the one person who can save the world.

The cast is perfectly put together, from younger actors such as Gordon Cormier to older ones such as Kim’s Convenience star Paul Sun-Hyung Lee as Uncle Iroh, and Lost star Daniel Dae Kim as Fire Lord Ozai. The detail put into the creation of the series is breathtaking. In an interview with Tribute, Dae Kim said it best: "If you think about the level of craftsmanship on our show, I don’t know that you’d find much better anywhere."

Filmed in Vancouver, the series puts the talent of Canadian actors such as Gordon Cormier, Kiawentiio and Paul Sun-Hyung Lee to excellent use. Their flawless characterizations, along with the rest of the cast, are 100 percent convincing, grabbing our hearts and immersing us completely into the world of Avatar: The Last Airbender.

If you’re a fan of the animated version, or a newcomer, this is a show you won’t want to miss – it’s a work of art in every area of the production, from the acting, the set design, the costumes and the special effects to the intricate hairstyles and makeup, including incredible facial tattoos.

The series consists of eight episodes and took two years to complete. Hopefully it’s a huge hit for Netflix so that they can film more seasons consecutively before the young cast members outgrow their parts, because after watching the first season, you will be left wanting more.

Avatar: The Last Airbender debuts Thursday, February 22 on Netflix. ~Alexandra Heilbron

5 out of 5 stars.

If you have watched Avatar: The Last Airbender and would like to rate/review it yourself, click here.

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