Tuesday, April 05, 2022

Giancarlo Volpe Explains Why Avatar: The Last Airbender's Animated Fight Scenes Were So Unique

Avatar: The Last Airbender director Giancarlo Volpe explains what made the Nickelodeon animated series' fight scenes so unique to create.

Avatar: The Last Airbender director Giancarlo Volpe reveals why the animated series' fight scenes were so unique. Avatar: The Last Airbender, created by Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko, is the beloved Nickelodeon animated series which tells the tale of Aang, a young boy (of 112) on a quest to fulfill his role as the Avatar and bring balance to the world. Avatar ran for three seasons between 2005 and 2008, and its fanbase continues to grow today. Despite being a children's show, Avatar has managed to charm audiences of all ages since it was first released.

With the news that Netflix is in the process of bringing a live-action Avatar: The Last Airbender adaptation to their streaming site, some fans have become excited, though many are somewhat apprehensive. Those who watched during its original run remember the failed attempt to bring the world of Avatar into the live-action realm with M. Night Shyamalan's film The Last Airbender, and few are keen to relive the experience. No matter their opinion on the upcoming live-action series, its impending release has brought many back to the original show to rediscover just what made it so special. Avatar: The Last Airbender certainly has received quite a bit of critical acclaim in its time; in fact, the series is even the seventh-highest-rated show on IMDb behind The Wire, which is impressive for any series, let alone a children's cartoon.

During The Boys Presents: Diabolical Panel at WonderCon 2022 (as reported by CBR), director Giancarlo Volpe gave some insight into the process of creating the intricate world of Avatar: The Last Airbender, specifically its iconic fight scenes. Volpe, who directed 19 episodes of the series, was asked about the biggest hurdle he faced when working on animated shows like Avatar: The Last Airbender and Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Volpe revealed that the fight choreography was one of the most difficult challenges the Avatar team had to overcome because of how ambitious it was. What made the series unique, he explains, was that it employed "very accurate kung-fu," which was unheard of in TV at the time. He goes on to say that they would film martial arts expert Sifu Kisu on digital cameras, and then animate exactly what they saw. They even used this to create the different Avatar nations' bending styles. See Volpe's full quote below:

"Avatar was very unique in that we had very accurate kung-fu in the show, which was a completely unheard of thing in TV at the time. I think there was also this fantasy that if we finally had a budget and did a show about martial arts, we would hire a martial arts instructor and film and rotoscope him. It was all those aspirations but no extra budget, so it was very strappy. This was a time shortly before smartphones existed, so we were using whatever digital cameras existed at the time, filming Sifu Kisu on the basketball court at Nickelodeon to capture this very accurate kung-fu. We developed four different styles for every bending style, so we were very technically crazy on the show."

What is perhaps most impressive is that Volpe talks about these techniques as if they were simply what they had to use, given their budgetary constraints. These limitations certainly didn't impact the final product, as even over fifteen years later, the Avatar fight scenes are still visually stunning. This is undoubtedly a huge asset for the series, and a key reason for Avatar's enduring popularity today.

Sifu Kisu was the fighting instructor and consultant for Avatar: The Last Airbender who assigned real-life fighting styles to the four bending arts. Tai Chi formed the basis of waterbending while Hung Ga inspired earthbending due to its use of rooted stances and strength. The martial arts master also took elements of the Northern Shaolin and reworked them to create firebending, similarly channeling the principles of Ba Gua, which involves light circle walking techniques, into airbending.

Set in an Asiatic-inspired world where some people have the power to bend an element to their will, Avatar: The Last Airbender centers around Aang, a powerful individual with the ability to control all four elements. After waking from a 100-year sleep, Aang discovers that he is the sole survivor of the Air Nomads after the Fire Nation terminates his entire culture and sets out on a quest to defeat the evil Fire Lord.

Avatar: The Last Airbender and its sequel series The Legend of Korra have earned a passionate fanbase. The franchise continues to grow its world through novels, a tabletop role-playing game and forthcoming animated films and series. Netflix is currently filming a live-action adaption of the beloved Netflix series and while little is known about the project, actor Yvonne Chapman says fans will not be disappointed.

Ultimately, the Netflix adaptation of Avatar: The Last Airbender has a lot to live up to. The original series delivered an incredibly powerful, character-driven narrative backed up by highly skilled animators who didn't let budgetary restrictions get in the way of attention to detail. Hopefully, the Netflix live-action ATLA series will bring the same passion for Aang's story that the original creators clearly had. Until that show premieres, fans can always return to the original Avatar: The Last Airbender to relive the adventure.

Stream Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra on Paramount+ and Netflix! Try Paramount+ for FREE at ParamountPlus.com

Listen to the brand new podcast, Avatar: Braving the Elements!

Original source: ScreenRant.

Follow NickALive! on Twitter, RedditInstagramFacebookGoogle NewsTumblrvia RSS and more for the latest Nickelodeon, Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra News and Highlights!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Have your say by leaving a comment below! NickALive! welcomes friendly and respectful comments. Please familiarize with the blog's Comment Policy before commenting. All new comments are moderated and won't appear straight away.