Nickelodeon was a popular go-to channel for me after school and on the weekends. They had a good variety of shows, some better than others. Some children were able to grow up with Nickelodeon, as the phrase “Appa, yip, yip” might sound familiar. It might even bring back happy flashbacks from watching a favorite show. The phrase is said throughout one of the network’s most popular shows: “Avatar: The Last Airbender”.
Created by Micheal Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko, ATLA made its debut in 2005 and ran for three seasons, coming to an end in 2008. The show follows young Avatar Aang, an air bender, who must master all four elements (air, water, fire and earth) to save the world from the Fire Lord. It is an action-packed cartoon that kept the viewers on the edge of their seats during its three seasons.
Rewatching it now, I realize that ATLA was made for all ages. Making a comeback on Netflix on May 15 of this year, ATLA grew its fanbase, now that it is available on demand, to kids who weren’t able to watch it 15 years ago. According to Vulture, ATLA was in Netflix’s top ten list within its first day of debut. By May 19, ATLA was in the number one spot for most streamed movie or show on Netflix. Slipping out of the top ten spot on May 24, Avatar is still in the top ten three months later.
As an original viewer of the show, I have rewatched ATLA a couple of times now, and it is a show that doesn’t get old. As an original viewer, I was pretty excited when it was aired on Netflix. I decided to watch it again, interested in whether or not it would still appeal to my liking. I will say, it isn’t quite what I remember, but the fact that I binged watched it twice says something! The show is full of jokes, redemption arcs and character growth. My favorite growth of a character would be Prince Zukko. Zukko must change how he acts and how he sees the world to accomplish what Aang and his friends want – to take his father out of power. Zukko learns through a journey of self discovery that he isn’t going to be able to make his own path until he stops trying to please his evil father. I feel that his character arc was very realistic and is proof that some people can change when they want to better themselves.
Even after 15 years, the show still appeals to me. I would safely say that this is one show in which the age group isn’t set, as it is a show for everyone of all ages. The show explores the idea of personal growth throughout the three seasons in all of its characters. If you have a Netflix account, I definitely recommend watching “Avatar: The Last Airbender,” whether you already watched it as a child or not. So, as in the words of Aang, “yip, yip.”