Avatar: The Last Airbender (NICK)
2008 | Nickelodeon
Closer in spirit and complexity to The Lord of the Rings trilogy than the typical TV adventure cartoon, Avatar: The Last Airbender is an American-made, anime-influenced saga that draws its rituals and philosophies from Tibetan Buddhism, Hindu, Greek and Japanese traditions and its martial-arts styles from a variety of Asian cultures. Handsomely animated, with a stirring musical score, the series follows the odyssey of Aang, a fun-loving, 112-year-old boy who is the current incarnation of the Avatar, the spirit of the planet in human form. Aided by a band of adolescent and teen warriors and some fantastical creatures, Aang reluctantly accepts his role of bringing peace to a world at war. The series is distinguished by multi-dimensional characters, unusually complicated personal relationships for a cartoon serial, and a healthy respect for the consequences of warfare. Though it’s aimed at 8 and 9 year olds, it has been embraced by fantasy-mythology lovers of all ages. For adding thoughtful substance to a genre best known for its style, Avatar: The Last Airbender receives a Peabody Award.
Executive producers: Mike DiMartino, Bryan Konietzko. Co-executive producer: Aaron Ehasz. Producers: Miken Wong (Animation). Directors: Seung Hyun Oh, Joaquim Dos Santos, Ethan Spaulding, Giancarlo Volpe. Writers: Aaron Ehasz, Elizabeth Ehasz, Joshua Hamilton, Tim Hedrick, John O'Bryan, May Chan. Actors: Zach Tyler Eisen, Mae Whitman, Jack DeSena, Jessie Flower, Dante Basco, Dee Bradley Baker.