With the news that Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko have dropped out of the Netflix live-action Avatar: The Last Airbender re-make, now is a perfect time to say:
STOP GIVING POPULAR ANIMATED FRANCHISES INTO LIVE ACTION ADAPTATIONS!
It doesn’t work. Rarely, if ever has an animated franchise, worked better as a live action adaptation. Most of these stories only work because they are animated – and that allows for a suspension of disbelief and more creativity.
Not to mention, they tried making a live-action adaptation of Avatar and it completely and utterly failed on every level imaginable.
And why, in the world of stories you could tell about this world….would you re-tell a story that’s already been told well? They could have…re-adapted Korra without all the interference from Nickelodeon and actually made the series more coherent and do a better job with the Korrasami ship.
They could adapt the Kyoshi books and tell the story of the most bad-ass Avatar to ever exist. I’ve read the first book, it’s pretty interesting. Or…or…just hear me out….make a new Avatar. There are hundreds of Avatars in-universe….why retell the story of one?
This is what I hate about live-action remakes. They rarely add anything to the original story. They only exist because the studio execs think animation is a genre, not a medium and it’s solely for kids and because it’s easier to adapt than create a new and original property.
I hate it.
There’s so much to say — at the same time, these adaptations attempt to attract a new audience but also aim to attract the original fans. And they alienate the story will probably confuse both -the new audience and still not want to touch a cartoon and the old audience…will find something to complain about. Some it isn’t justified…but often much of it is, because those working on the adaptation often miss the fact it was animated, give the story a heart and soul that can’t be replicated.
And it’s so blatantly a way to make money. Look at the live-action version of Mulan which costs $30 to rent ON TOP OF A DISNEY+ SUBRCRIPTION. No thanks.
If you’re just going to replace all the landscapes with CG and use motion capture and computer animated special effects on everything – that’s stupid. It’s basically a very bad but realistic looking animated movie.
(Yes, I’m looking at you The Lion King)
Due to the inherent nature of bending and how integral it is to the Avatar series, you can’t have it be shittly rendered. And even with our technology, I don’t think there’s a way of doing this realistically.
I’m just tired of this. And when people reboot a series – and attempt to make it more diverse, I’m still disappointed. Not because they want to add more women or POC, but because it means the executives believe that a diverse show can’t stand on its own, it needs the backing of a popular franchise in order to make sure people watch it.
And also, it’s usually not a woman or POC behind the camera or in the director’s chair. Instead of re-telling the story of The Little Mermaid with an Black lead…why not tell an original story about mermaids with a Black lead?
I’m so desperate for new shows and movies – I don’t always want sequels, prequels, spin-offs, reboots, remakes…And I especially don’t want those to be of beloved animated properties turned into live-action soulless monstrosities by people who would piss on the grave of cartoons.
(Note: I wrote this very quickly because I’m pissed off at a lot of things and this is just one of them. I’ll probably come back to it soon and expand on my ideas. I just really needed to get my thoughts out there.)