Netflix is working on a live action adaptation of Avatar: the Last Airbender, and as a loyal, longtime fan of the original series, I‘m somewhat excited but mostly apprehensive. Live action adaptations of animated classics do not typically perform well, whether they’re big-budget Disney films with all-star casts or low-budget anime remakes that are inexplicably white-washed.

I personally take issue with the live action remake trend entirely. Animation is a medium that is no less worthy of critical praise than live action; animated content need not be “upgraded” to live action. Animation is unique in its ability to impart a level of beauty, fluidity, and vivid color that can rarely be achieved under the constraints of our physical world, even when CGI is thrown into the mix. But unfortunately, animation is not considered as broadly appealing or far-reaching as live action, given that most mainstream American animation is geared towards children (though shows like Bojack Horseman, Rick & Morty, and The Midnight Gospel are working hard to change that). …

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