Episode 15: Mastering the Elements of AVATAR

Flameo, Hotman, and welcome to our podcast inspired by the animated awesomeness that is Avatar: The Last Airbender. Join us as we hop on the backs of badgermoles and dig deep into the acclaimed series created by Michael Dante DiMartino, Bryan Konietzko, and Aaron Ehasz, about a pre-teen nomad and his friends, who must use their super “bending” skills to heal a war-torn society.

The show originally aired on Nickelodeon from 2005-08, grew a following, then achieved mass popularity this year via Netflix and CBS All-Access (also home now to the sequel series, The Legend of Korra).

Here we tackle some of the cartoon series’ surprisingly mature themes, such as leadership, multiculturalism, colonialism, class division, war, genocide, ecology, spirituality, disability, family dysfunctionality, and general imbalances in the world.

Warning: spoilers ahead. In case you’re not already a part of the ATLA universe, this article from The Guardian does a good job explaining the show and why it’s so worth talking about right now.

The podcasters:

  • Jordan Polk, University of Cincinnati (Rhetoric & Professional Writing Program)
  • Abby Doench, School for Creative and Performing Arts
  • Jiahao Guo, William Mason High School
  • Alex Bentley, University of Cincinnati (Transitions & Accessibility Program)

Fan art illustration by Abby Doench; show art and logo provided by Nickelodeon