Avatar: The Last Airbender – The Complete Series

It’s here! Amassed in one small slip-case, the adventures of Aang (Zach Tyler), the Last Airbender – The Complete Series comes to blu-ray for the first time.

Over the course of 9 discs and 66 episodes the brilliant, and beloved Nickelodeon series comes home in the perfect collection. Included in the set are a mass of  supplemental materials and featuretttes, uncut animatics, as well as episode commentaries. There are chats with the series creators Micheal Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko, as well as glimpses into the behind the scenes work that brought the series to life.

The three seasons are broken into books, following Aang’s character arc, as well as those of his friends, Katara (Mae Whitman) and Sokka (Jack De Sena) after they recover (in Captain America fashion) from a block of ice.

Combining anime style animation with serialised storytelling, this cartoon series may in fact be one of the best cartoon series every created in North America. With a sweeping tale of friendship and adventure, our heroes try to bring peace to the world as Aang learns levels of elemental magic that will serve him on his journey.

What starts as a fun, occasionally goofy story becomes a powerful tale of friendship, magic and the struggle to maintain peace, all with a wonderful blending of mythology and kung fu.

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The blu-ray transfer is gorgeous, the images are beautiful, and the sound is fantastic, a huge step-up from the original DVD collection, which is evident when one checks out the extras which were imported from the original DVDs.

Still, having the entire collection at hand, in an easily accessible package like this is a huge plus, and settling in to watch the entire series as a cohesive whole makes for an incredible enjoyable experience.

The entire series gives the impression of being planned out to the last detail, each arc, each act, each moment and character beat – planned and paid off perfectly before the series end.

This is a great series to introduce young viewers, as well as families to, and it can also serve as an introduction to other series, especially those anime series which influenced it, and open a whole new world of animation for countless viewers.

After its run from 2003 to 2008, the series set the gold standard in animated storytelling. It inspired a sequel series, a lacklustre film adaptation, and continues to wow those coming to it for the first or even fifth time.

Avatar: The Last Airbender – The Complete Series is available from Paramount Pictures today. Check it out, and travel with Aang, Katarra and Sokka as they try to return their world to peace and discover who they are along the way.

God, I love this series!!

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