I was far, far too old to catch the wave of Avatar: The Last Airbender as it made its debut in 2005. That was a world to which I felt I would never belong, a sort of symbolic generation gap that would forever define the chasm between elder Millennials and Gen Z, one which I assumed I would never cross. And then I had kids.
My stepchild was obsessed with Avatar almost from the first moment I met them. One of the first few times I met them they asked me if I’d seen it and looked disheartened when I told them I had not. “That’s for kids,” I tried to explain, much to their disappointment. That was a misapprehension I held for eight years before I finally agreed to sit down and partake in their annual Avatar/Korra rewatch earlier this year. As it turns out, I was right but, also, so were they.
Yes, both Avatar: The Last Airbender and its sequel series, The Legend of Korra, are, strictly speaking, “for kids.” This is true. What I discovered, however, is that, in the grand tradition of children’s cartoons, they’re both so much richer than I had given them credit for.
The Ultimate Aang & Korra Collection, out today on Blu-ray, is a great gift for families or for young adults who grew up watching the series and don’t already own the collections. As it stands, this set is merely a repackaging of the previously collected individual series, making it less necessary for anyone who already owns both previous sets. That said, anyone who has put off purchasing them now has the perfect excuse to add them to their home movie collection.
That said, the new packaging is gorgeous, even if the box is merely a newly printed way to hold both the previous collected editions. Additionally, it does come with a new bonus disc that features an exploration of the Avatar universe with series creators Michael Dante DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko as well as a conversation between series stars Janet Varney and Dante Brasco.
Beyond that, however, everything else is simply the previous two collected editions. Which of course includes all the bonus features and commentary tracks they were previously loaded with. All in all, it’s not a bad collection, but the new set offers nothing for fans who already own both series.
As disappointing as that is, it’s nice to be able to own both Avatar and Korra with only a single purchase. And with Christmas coming up it’s not only a great gift but also the perfect time to gather the family around for some quality and wholesome entertainment that digs a lot deeper than you might think. Both Aang and Korra serve as delightful role models for kids (and, really, understanding those characters goes a long way towards understanding the newer generation) and its easy to see why the series has endured for as long as it can.
With the upcoming Netflix live action adaptation of Avatar, now really is a great time to catch up on what might be the biggest television release of 2022. If you’re like me and dismissed it as just kid’s fare for all these years, or even if you’re a long time fan, The Ultimate Aang and Korra Collection is ultimately a great way to experience the legends, whether by yourself or with the family. The Ultimate Aang and Korra Collection is now available on Blu-ray.