Need to Realize What You're Seeing
This show is not at all intended for kids 5 and up, or anywhere near that age range. I liked it quite a bit, but I also noticed the scary images, which didn't affect me, but would easily affect a say... toddler, or young kid. This isn't PBS Kids, it's Nick, which show's programs that have content appropriate for kids 10, 11, or older. Not younger (even SpongeBob has adult humor and things that might not display good values to younger kids. Also, what's the educational value? That's another matter.) Avatar displays good role models who persevere, and show positive morals. One of the main villians turns good, and we are taught about judging people. This isn't a Japanese "anime." So many characteristics common of such (such as innapropriate content) are not there. Most episodes are suitable for younger kids, but some things would need to be explained. There is much violence in some scenes, and very violent or frightening concepts in the end episodes. If you don't want your child watching particular episodes, it'd be difficult, as they're shown at random (as the show has already finished, but continues quite frequently, since I last checked). So, generally, considering the final episodes, this show is suitable for 11+. Perhaps 12-13+ if you consider the episode where Zuko's (bad-guy-turning-good) mother is killed by the firelord. It may not be picked up by younger kids, but it's a frightening episode, nonetheless, even without a clear understanding of the concepts. It's not "THE BEST" thing of all time, but for it's complex storyline, complications, and story set-up, I give it 5-stars.
What other families should know