For those of us who loved the 2005 animated series Avatar: The Last Airbender and have been waiting for a live-action remake that truly does it justice, the time appears to have finally come. Netflix has a live-action series is coming, and it looks really incredible, full of the same magic and lore and inspiring heroism as the original, but with the added bonus of seeing real live actors take on the roles of 12-year-old airbender Aang and his friends. It’s sure to be a hit with kids, but the real question is, what age is the live action Avatar: The Last Airbender appropriate for?
The Avatar needs to save the world.
As the story behind Avatar: The Last Airbender goes, every generation an Avatar is born to one of the four nations — the Earth Nation, the Water Tribes, the Air Nomads, and the Fire Nation — who is meant to bring balance to elements and the world. There are many people, called “benders,” who can control one of the four elements, but only the Avatar can control all four of them.
Aang, played in the 2024 version by Gordon Comier, was his generation’s Avatar, but he was frozen in ice for a century. Since he wasn’t dead, a new Avatar could not be born and the cycle of balance was paused. In this time, the Fire Nation became ruthless and began to take over the other civilizations. Chaos descended without an Avatar to create balance. When he returns, he must enlist the help of water bender Katara (Kiawentiio) and her brother Sokka (Ian Ousley) to stop the Fire Nation from taking over their world.
The live-action Avatar: The Last Airbender is rated TV-14.
While the original animated series on Nickelodeon was appropriate for kids, Netflix’ new series Avatar: The Last Airbender is rated TV-14, which is the same rating as (for example) Stranger Things, so rather a far cry from the 2005 series Common Sense Media described as appropriate for kids over the age of eight and “a fine pick for grade-schoolers.” Despite the fact that Netflix initially referred to the new eight-part series as an “authentic adaptation,” it sounds like it’s a tweens and up kind of show.
When can you watch the 2024 version of Avatar: The Last Airbender?
Avatar: The Last Airbender debuts on Netflix on Feb. 22, 2024. If you want to watch the original series with your younger kids to give them a little taste of the adventure, it’s available on Netflix now as well. Just maybe hold off on showing them the new version until they’re old enough to handle it.