Avatar: The Last Airbender

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Adults Watching Children's Animation

Inspired by the resurgence of Avatar: the Last Airbender (and soon the Legend of Korra), there seems to be a pretty big subset of adults/teenagers watching more and more children’s TV (particularly animation) entirely of their own accord. What is the benefit of this, and why do we keep coming back to them? What do these shows have to offer us as adults vs as children? Who are they made for, really? And what, if anything, are the downsides?

  • As an adult who watches animation, let me say this is a great topic. For me, it's about nostalgia and relaxation, mostly. I do notice though, that as an adult, I think more deeply about certain characters and themes than I did as a kid. Hey Arnold is a great example; it's a kids' show on the surface, but wasn't afraid to go dark and deep several times. – Stephanie M. 3 months ago
  • I think this a great subject. I've written on this topic while in College. And while cartoons in the western countries are typically targeted at children, animation originally wasn't intened for kids. It was often used for satire or comedy. Often talking about mature subjects like race, war, and class struggles. But Cartoons were really expsenvie to make. So talking about politics wasn't popular, due to it alienating a portion of the cartoonist audience. It wasn't until Hanana Barbera and Walt Disney built their cartoon empires around using their cartoon character's as marketing pieces to sell merchandise. That's when we started seeing a shift in how cartoons were used/viewed. It became popular to target kids cause you could sell toys, cerals and other products. Cartoons studio's often partnered with advertising/toy compannies. I think you consider looking at markerting for this topic as it completely changed the landscape of cartoons, for better and worse. As cartoons couldn't survive without it, but this is also the reason we don't see many cartoons marketed at adults. (Looking at the Simpsons as well would be a good idea, since it was one of the few adult cartoons to see success.) – Blackcat130 2 weeks ago

Avatar: The Last Airbender and War

Avatar: The Last Airbender is at its core a story about war. It features the Fire Nation on an imperialistic crusade expanding it’s power and trying to take over the world. Through Aang, our main character, we see many different people and how this war has affected them. Analyse the effect of war in the Avatar universe and whether or not Avatar: The Last Airbender is anti-imperialism/anti-war.

  • To help with this idea, someone might want to reference Yamamoto Tsnunetomo's "Hagakure" and Sun Tzu's "Art of War." Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko build so much from Eastern culture. Also, consider how good characters echo Dalai Lama names: Tenzin and Gyatso. This type of discussion should balance Western and Eastern concepts of war (and peace).– Michael J. Berntsen 5 years ago
  • I would suggest trying to draw connections between tactics that each of the Four Nations use to conflicts in history and each battles to real-life battles. – Xander95 5 years ago