|The bald, bearded, stern older guy on the right is the character I identify with most-- often he is exasperated with his kids.|
Lately the kids have been watching The Legend of Korra, an exciting sequel to Avatar: The Last Airbender, both animated shows originally airing on Nickelodeon.
Set in a fictional universe in which some people can manipulate, or "bend", the elements of water, earth, fire, or air, only one person, the "Avatar", can bend all four elements, and is responsible for maintaining balance in the world.
The animation appears heavily in debt to Japanese filmmaker HayaoMiyazaki, and is on one hand relatively simple, but employing a happy fusion of early 20th century technology and Asian styling. Of note, the show is an American creation, despite small doses of Tibetan Buddhism and large servings of Chinese characters.
I’m happy the kids are into Korra as the storylines are overlapping and complex, handling a range of childhood and teenage relationship issues as well as terrorism and social unrest. Korra, the Avatar and main protagonist, is a teenage girl who doesn’t necessarily act wise beyond her years without a bit of prodding.
I give it a hearty thumbs up as the martial arts battle scenes are exciting and have that what-will-be-destroyed-next excitement.
A delightful mix of high and low themes, drama and humor, magic and realism, and stern, but wise, paternal advice – hey, I need a role model too!