Avatar: The Last Airbender — 10 Most Beautiful Moments Of Animation
Ten Moments Out Of Many Beautifully Animated Scenes
Since Avatar: The Last Airbender arrived on Netflix this May, with Legend of Korra following in August, there has been a resurgence of appreciation and fandom since many viewers are spending more time streaming television during quarantine and social distancing. While both series contain beautiful artwork and a unique style of animation mixed between Japanese anime and American cartoons, the tailored color palettes and attention to detail in ATLA truly elevate the first series.
There are so many beautiful and emotional moments accompanied by beautiful animation in ATLA. The following are just ten scenes out of many that feature particularly beautiful animation.
10. Aang Encounters A Lion Turtle
This first entry is a great example of the attention to detail the animators gave the lion turtle. The stylized earthy, spiritual, and mystical appearance makes it stand out in the scene; just looking at it without hearing its ethereal voice conveys the idea that this is a wise and ancient being. Earlier in the series, the viewers see another beautiful scene with a similar style: a detailed wide shot of the Bayan Grove Tree with its many roots, with the sun setting in the background.
In Legend of Korra, viewers learn the significant role the lion turtles played in the creation of the first Avatar, and the ability to bend more than one element at a time.
9. Zuko Redirects Lightning
This is an epic moment in the series when Zuko finally severs his ties with his father Ozai, renouncing his loyalty and following his true destiny. When his father retaliates, Zuko gets the chance to use the water bending-inspired technique his uncle Iroh taught him to redirect lightning.
The wide shot of Ozai discharging a huge strike of lighting at Zuko lights up the scene with an eerie but beautiful teal color that floods the dark cave.
8. Aang Tries to Let Go Of Katara & Earthly Attachments
This is another epic moment of the show when Aang tries to gain more insight and control over his Avatar state by opening his chakras with Guru Pathik. When attempting to forget his earthly desires and allow a flow of cosmic energy
We learn from Yangchen, the air nomad Avatar that came before Aang, that while many air nomads have achieved enlightenment from detaching themselves from their earthly desires, the Avatar can never fully let go of these attachments since their duty is to the earth and its inhabitants. However, he does gain control over his Avatar state and becomes a fully-realized Avatar at just 12 years old when Ozai unknowingly re-opens his chakra.
7. The Cave Of Two Lovers
In season 2 episode 2, Aang and Katara are separated from the rest of the group in a labyrinth of tunnels. Before their torch burns out, Aang and Katara decide to kiss in hopes that it would somehow show them a way out of the cave. After the screen goes dark, a bright stream of teal crystals lights their path and they solve the mystery of how the two lovers navigated the caves.
Katara’s cunning and proficient skill as a water bender and her strength and depth as a character has earned her plenty of fans through the years, and many were delighted to see her, Toph, and Zuko in their twilight years during Legend of Korra.
6. Aang & La Become Koizilla
As an air nomad, becoming the bridge between the spirits and the human world came fairly naturally to Aang. It’s probably while he was able to fuse with La, the spirit of the ocean after Admiral Zhao killed its counterpart Tui, the spirit of the moon, and wipe out the Fire Nation’s naval ships. While Koizilla defended the Nothern Water Tribe, Yue was able to heroically sacrifice herself to take the place of the moon.
La and Tui were some of the first spirits to inhabit the human world and decided to take the form of koi fish and live there permanently to help mankind.
5. Iroh Honors His Son Lu Ten
This is one of many beautiful sunset scenes in ATLA and one of the most sorrowful scenes in the show. The audience sees Iroh take a moment to mourn his son on the day of his birthday, who was killed during his infamous siege on the city. Kneeling beneath a large tree on a hillside with the cityscape of Ba Sing Se behind him, bathed in the golden light of the setting sun, Iroh sings “Leaves From The Vine” and breaks down in tears.
RELATED: Avatar: Uncle Iroh’s 10 Best Moments
There’s so much to love about Iroh, including his wisdom, incredible skill, and the comedic relief he provides, but for much of the show up until “Tales of Ba Sing Se”, the viewers haven’t seen him take anything too seriously — so this scene hits like a ton of bricks. It adds so much depth to an already well-rounded character, who would go down in history to become one of the most legendary and righteous characters in the franchise.
4. Aang Takes Away Ozai’s Bending & Resists Corruption
This sequence of shots from the final battle between Aang and Pheonix King Ozai is dramatic and abstract. Aang was able to learn the secret of taking bending away from the lion turtle, who we learn has the ability to give and take bending away from humans in Legend of Korra.
Initially, the audience is shown a wide shot of the two of bright beams of red and blue light shooting out of their bodies before a close up of Aang’s face and body almost consumed by Ozai’s corruption, before exploding with a bright blue light, chasing back the red light and shooting up to the sky.
3. Zuko And Aang Complete The Dragon Dance
This is a famously beautiful scene, with Zuko and Aang surrounded by a rainbow of colorful fire, showing them that while fire bending can be intense and forceful, it can also be beautiful, as powerful of a tool as the other elements in the fight for peace and harmony.
The moment that Zuko and Aang complete the Dragon Dance is indeed a beautiful moment. However, it also emphasizes how important this scene is — the solidifying of their allyship towards each other and the start of their lifelong friendship.
2. The Sunset In The Final Scene
The final scene in ATLA is beautifully tied together with a wide shot of an amazing sunset. Katara and Aang stand together on a high balcony, taking in the beautiful landscape, finally safe with all of their friends and family and on the road to peace and healing.
At this point, they are finally express their uninhibited love together and share their first on-screen kiss (since it was too dark to see them actually kiss in “The Cave of Two Lovers”).
1. Agni Kai With Azula & Zuko
This scene is usually uncontested by fans and critics alike as being one of the most beautifully animated scenes in the whole series. The raw power of both Zuko and Azula’s fire bending is on full display with huge dramatic waves of blue and orange fire.
What makes this episode and the other two parts of the “Sozin’s Comet” three-part series finale episodes is that unlike previous episodes, they were accompanied and recorded with a live orchestra, making the events in the episodes all the more epic and exciting. The live music in this scene in particular perfectly accompanies the beautiful animation of this legendary brother-sister duet battle.
Originally published at https://screenrant.com on October 5, 2020.