Tuesday, July 06, 2021

How Jack De Sena Inspired 'Avatar: The Last Airbender' Creators to Change Sokka's Personality

Jack De Sena, the voice actor of Sokka, personally inspired the creators to change Sokka's personality to more match De Sena's goofy humor.

The creators of Avatar: The Last Airbender recently divulged that the character of Sokka changed quite a bit while the series was in early production. The hit Nickelodeon anime-inspired animated series originally ran from 2005–2008 and was created by Bryan Konietzko and Michael Dante DiMartino. The character of Sokka was voiced by Jack De Sena (All That, 100 Things to Do Before High School)

Avatar was buoyed back into the mainstream after it was added to Netflix’s catalog in 2020 with soaring viewership. This rekindled popularity came along with new fans and a strengthened appreciation for the supporting characters of the series, one fan-favorite being Sokka. Sokka, Katara’s older brother and an original core member of Team Avatar, provided the much-needed comic relief to a series that sought to introduce serious topics such as imperialism, genocide, and totalitarianism to young kids. Sokka sported this unique blend of humor that was both bitingly sarcastic and hilariously goofy, which went well his technical genius and sense of responsibility as the eldest sibling, forming an uber-lovable character. This sense of humor, which more than made up for what Sokka felt he was lacking in the absence of bending abilities, made him a ladies-man in the series and one of the most beloved characters to fans.

On Avatar: Braving the Elements, Nickelodeon’s official Avatar: The Last Airbender podcast, Konietzko and DiMartino discussed the early stages of creating the hit series, which included a much different Sokka. While re-living the origins of Avatar with podcast hosts Janet Varney and Dante Basco—the voice actors for Korra in sequel series Legend of Korra and Avatar’s Zuko respectively—Konietzko explained how influential the other parties in the process were. One of the main influences for the final form of the characters were, of course, their voice actors—this was particularly true in the case of De Sena’s Sokka. Read Konietzko’s full quote below:

“We had thought of a slightly different personality for Sokka. He was gonna be a lot more like dry wit, you know, a lot more just kinda wry humor. But Jack…I think whacky is an appropriate word for Jack, we love Jack. You know when he auditioned we were like not only is this the person but…we tried to just set up everything so that we have our vision, we have our sort of like goal posts, but with the writers that come in and the storyboard artists and the designers and the animators and the music—you want to set it up so that everyone can inject that passion and love and idiosyncrasies and all that in there.”

It is truly hard to imagine the series with a less over-the-top, goofy Sokka, who never fails to cheer up the Gaang (and the audience) when they’ve experienced something soul-crushing. However, his sarcastic wit and lovable charm is one of the reasons why his story being the only one left with so many unanswered questions in Korra. However, Konietzko and DiMartino, who have recently created Avatar Studios at Nickelodeon, specifically dedicated to expanding the Avatar universe, can right this wrong somewhere in the multi-tiered plan they have for future Avatar projects. 

While not much is known about the aforementioned Avatar projects, it is certain that the audience is there and ready to dive even deeper into the Bending World. Even though Sokka was not given, in some fans’ eyes, the closure the character deserved, anything is possible in the future of the Avatar universe. One thing that can be said with certainty, however, is Konietzko and DiMartino are dedicated to carrying out the story of the Avatar world the way they envisioned it, and not the way other studios have wanted to change it to better suit their aims. From letting the voice actors, animators, and more guide the series, to walking off of projects where they feel the story being bended against their will, Konietzko and DiMartino have proved that much.

Watch Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra on Paramount+ and Netflix!

Listen to the brand new podcast, Avatar: Braving the Elements!: http://nickalive.blogspot.com/search/label/Avatar%3A%20Braving%20the%20Elements

Subscribe to the NEW official Avatar: The Last Airbender YouTube channel!: https://at.nick.com/AvatarSubscribe

Original source: Screen Rant.

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