Avatar: The Last Airbender: Book 3 Fire, Volume 1By Jane Louise Boursaw
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
DVD Release: Oct. 30, 2007
Genre: Animated, Adventure, Family, Fantasy
Runtime: 123 minutes
Plot: This DVD contains the first five episodes of Season Three of the popular Nickelodeon TV series. Aang, Katara, Sokka and Toph go undercover to infiltrate the Fire Nation, and learn more shocking secrets about the warring faction. Episodes include: "The Awakening," "The Headband," "The Painted Lady," "Sokka's Master," and "The Beach."
Sex/ Nudity: None.
Violence/Gore: Some fighting, martial arts, and weaponry.
Which Kids Will Like It?
Ages 7 to 14.
Will Parents Like It?
Yes, and don’t be surprised if you get sucked into watching it while you’re walking through the TV room. It’s a smart cartoon that makes kids (and adults) think.
Kaboose Review: Currently airing on the Nickelodeon television network, Avatar: The Last Airbender is one of those shows that takes some brains to figure out. That’s a good thing, because kids need to flex their cerebral muscles to counteract all the insolent cartoons crowding the airwaves these days.
Kids love Avatar because, like Pokemon, it’s a fictional world that most adults don’t understand, and that’s always appealing to kids. But adults get sucked into it, too. Even if you don’t know a chakra from a flying bison, this show is still very entertaining.
It would take pages to explain the whole premise, but here’s a quick rundown. Avatar: The Last Airbender takes place in an Asian-inspired world inhabited by humans, interesting creatures, and supernatural powers. The humans are divided into four nations: The Water Tribes, the Earth Kingdom, the Air Nomads, and the Fire Nation. Within each nation, certain humans called "Benders" have the ability to manipulate their native element. The Avatar is an extra-special person who can bend all four elements. Essentially, this person is the spirit of the planet manifested in human form.
When the Avatar dies, he or she is reincarnated into an unborn baby. Each Avatar possesses the skills and knowledge of all the past Avatars.
That’s the basic premise, but there’s a lot more to the series, including legends, an Avatar Cycle, glowing tattoos, world order, elemental magic, martial arts, and much more. A century prior to when the TV series began in 2004, Aang, a 12-year-old Airbender, learned from the elder monks that he was the Avatar. The story follows the adventures of Aang and friends in their quest to save the world from the ruthless Fire Nation.
The series is written in the form of a book, with each episode serving as a "chapter" and each individual season as a "book." This DVD set includes the first five episodes of Book 3, Volume 1, which just aired this fall: "The Awakening," "The Headband," "The Painted Lady," "Sokka's Master," and "The Beach."
Aang awakens to find himself aboard a captured Fire Nation ship with a full head of hair and sustaining serious injuries from the previous battle for Ba Sing Se. At his side are Katara, Sokka, and their father Hakoda who recount the events that led the four to the ship. Aang struggles to fight his own desire to face the Fire Lord before he is ready. Meanwhile, the once exiled Prince Zuko deals with his own issues as he makes his long-awaited journey home, with the fear of his father's rejection hanging over his head.
Directed by: Giancarlo Volpe, Joaquim Dos Santos
Cast: Cricket Leigh (Mai), Dante Basco (Prince Zuko), Dee Bradley Baker (Appa/Momo/Various Others), Grey Delisle (Princess Azula), Jack DeSena (Sokka), Jessie Flower (Toph), Mae Whitman (Katara), Zach Tyler Eisen (Aang).
Jane Louise Boursaw is a freelance journalist specializing in the movie and television industries. Visit her online at www.ReelLifeWithJane.com.