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Avatar: The Last Airbender


Matt Koeske:

I just finished watching the first season of Avatar: The Last Airbender with my son Leo.  Anyone looking for a kids' show with archetypal/Jungian/Eastern-spiritual themes should definitely check this out.  It's an anime style series made for Nickelodeon (in its 3rd season now).  Very well done . . . really one of the best kids/fantasy shows I've ever seen (although I hardly qualify as an expert on the genre).

It reminds me of Star Wars (the original trilogy) for its epic, archetypal plot line.  Although Avatar lacks the glossy, big-budget special effects, it's plot and characterization is really vastly superior (and its animation is certain well done).  The two-episode finale of the first season is especially "Jungian".  The show can be watched by pretty young children (my son is a few weeks away from turning 3), but doesn't overly annoy adults.  In fact, after you (the adult) get sucked in to the plotline, you might end up just as enthralled as your kids.

I would even recommend it for adults without kids if you like fantasy, anime, Harry Potter, or archetypal themes.  There is a strong Miyazaki influence on the show's artwork and nature-spiritual themes.  So lots of stuff about harmony, respect for nature, union/conflict of the Opposites, and hero/heroine journeys.  Even though the show seems to overtly cater to younger children, the psychological complexity of the characters' relationships and personal struggles is adult-worthy (and Jungian analyst-worthy, I might add) . . . and the fact that the show makes these comprehensible for young children (by adeptly weaving them together in archetypal fashion) is one of its cardinal marks of genius.

The shows Nickelodeon home page:

Remarkable film. This best that I saw in a life. I with huge impatience wait film continuation.


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