A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Though the show is intended more to entertain than to educate, kids might learn something about martial arts traditions.
More thoughtful than your average action cartoon, this show includes themes that touch on bigger-picture issues like spirituality and duty, as well as courage and integrity.
Positive Role Models
Aang is a happy-go-lucky hero who receives lots of help on his quest. The narrator is a female whose powers initially bring Aang back to life. Elders are present and generally revered, but the teenage males sometimes act irrationally and often aggressively.
Violence & Scariness
This is a martial arts-themed cartoon. Tribes are at war, though traditional Asian concepts of honor and respect are integrated into the action as well.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Avatar: The Last Airbender isn't a one-dimensional display of cartoon violence. The well-developed fantasy material includes a spiritual aspect that underlies much of the plot, making it an epic martial arts tale, rather than a bang-'em-up show. As long as you're OK with the show's level of action, it's a fine pick for grade-schoolers.
Is It Any Good?
An epic fantasy about mythological tribes of people were represented by the elements water, earth, air, and fire, this may look like a video game send-up, but it's really closer to Japanese-style anime. Mixing magical fantasy and comedy, martial arts challenge sequences with Godzilla-style monsters, Avatar: The Last Airbender goes beyond the everyday action cartoon, bringing an interesting mix of Asian mysticism and epic fiction to the small screen. Take note -- adults may enjoy this one as much as the kids do.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.