Friday, December 11, 2009

Avatar: Not another teen movie

Sometimes when I start to get all mad about something, I think about starving kids in Africa and it kind of puts things in perspective. Someone compared Carson Reeves to a rapist.

Anyway, today I polled my classes about whether or not they'll see Avatar because I was curious as to whether or not the film appealed to the teenage audience since they were a huge part of Titanic's draw. Generally, the answer is no. Only a smattering of hands went up.

Here's what surprised me. Several of the students asked me why the aliens are blue. "Because they're aliens," I said, making a mental note to read that article I saw where James Cameron talks about why he chose blue.

"But then how come in the cartoon they're orange?"


Apparently - and parents may know this, but it came as a complete mystery to me - there is a Nickelodeon cartoon called Avatar: The Last Airbender. All the kids thought this Avatar was that Avatar. But as you know if you've paid attention to previews lately, The Last Airbender is M. Night's latest project.

I was kind of surprised to learn this, since The Last Airbender sounds retarded. He bends AIR? Really? Is that how far down the superpower list we have tumbled? But when you realize it's a Nick cartoon, I guess it makes more sense. Kids like that kind of stuff.

At any rate, apparently the aliens on this show are orange, and since Avatar is also about aliens, the kids are confused. They seem to have liked the cartoon, but most of them aren't interested in seeing Avatar because it doesn't look like the cartoon so they're not sure what to expect.

Teenagers are the most desirable of markets in the film industry. I wonder if anyone in marketing thought about that?


  1. You should Netflix the first season of Avatar: The Last Airbender. It's one of the best animated series of the last ten years.

  2. I don't know. But Cameron is a very popular filmmaker and has a HUUUUGE fan-base of fanboys who are mostly older high school students, in college, and in their 20s and early 30s.

    I really have no idea if AVATAR will be a huge flop or a hit...and I do plan to go see it.

    but yeah, the title mix-up is confusing. The Airbender movie will be strictly called THE LAST AIRBENDER, I think.

  3. Avatar: The Last Airbender, is actually a very good Anime'ish TV series. I am currently Netflixing the series and my six year old son and I are watching it. We are enjoying it very much.

    I think Cameron's Avatar is going to be huge. The more footage I see in trailers makes me think that it's going to rock.

    As a side note I think The Last Airbender will be fun as well.


  4. Well you guys taught me a lesson today. I had assumed the Airbender thing was super stupid. Maybe I'll check it out.

  5. I saw the trailer for the Airbender live-action and said, "bwuh?" Not familiar with the anime. (And I was confused between Cameron's Avatar and Airbender, too).

    Off-topic if you don't mind - I'm looking at Blogger vs. WordPress. Any advice? Thank you.

    Patrick Sweeney

  6. And, honestly, I don't think your kids are what the marketers are thinking about when the talk about teens. Marketers aren't the most inclusive lot.

  7. I can't stand James Cameron's dialogue, but I'll see that movie because it looks so damn EXPENSIVE.

  8. Avatar, awesome looking though it is, may disappoint at the box office in the way King King did a few years back. Movies such as these cannot simply be hits - they must be MONSTROSITIES. Unfortunately, I'm not getting a lot of "Avatar" buzz from the young people I work with.

    Oh, and forgive me, but the new trendy "disgust" with Carson is nothing short of sickening to me, especially when so much of it comes from people I saw posting on his site mere days ago.

  9. Please let us know if you notice their opinions and awareness change during the last week of blitz marketing. It'd be funny if the movie they didn't even know about last Friday became the must-see pic in less than a week.

  10. I was a bit surprised about the ScriptShadow uprising. I though it was silly and only served to bring attention to his site.

    The internet is here folks. Adapt, overcome or be left behind.


  11. I think AVATAR is a crap title. I'd have called it INTO THE WILD... except that title has also been used.

  12. @wcmartell

    Bill, they might want to call it "Hangover II", lol.

    Saw the trailer at the movies, interesting, but almost too long, I almost felt like I had seen the whole film.

  13. With all due respect to Harry, Eric made me watch the first season of 'Avatar'. I watched it with my summer school class as a 'treat' for them.
    Wow. Big-ass anime eyes, philosophy as deep as an ashtray and grudges based on nothing. It annoyed the fuck out of me.
    So I see Cameron's doing 'Avatar' and I think, huh. I thought it was M. Night's turn to ruin something again.
    It was a dumb screw-up. They coulda gone with 'Blue Flying Things Nobody Will Identify With Or Pay To See.'

  14. I have to respectfully disagree with Vanilla Chunk. I thought the cartoon succeeded at creating a fictional version of eastern philosophy that speaks to the spirit if not the letter, gentle enough for children. In later seasons, we learn more backstory and psychology of the grudges. I found that show brilliant:


Please leave a name, even if it's a fake name. And try not to be an asshole.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.