Meet Hannah, the only kid I know who takes notes in movies. As bad as I am now, in terms of movie nerd-dom, she’s destined to be three times worse. I recently took Hannah, who has quickly become “Avatar: The Last Airbender” obsessed, to a screening of The Last Airbender and asked her a few questions afterward to get a feel for the differences between the series and the film. You can find our conversation below and my review of The Last Airbender at The Nervous Breakdown.
Cynthia: So, what did you think?
Hannah: I really don’t like that a fish died.
C: Does a fish not die in the series?
H: He turned into that little circle of peace thing. What’s that circle of peace thing with the two parts?
C: You must mean yin and yang.
H: Yeah, yin and yang. That’s what it did in the series, but —
C: But we don’t want to give anything away for people who want to see it. So you’re saying that scene wasn’t like the series. What else wasn’t like the series?
H: Um …
C: Without giving things away.
H: Well, Prince Zuko only had a small scar. It didn’t really look burned like it looks in the series.
C: His scar wasn’t prominent enough in the movie?
C: Okay, but this sounds like you’re just finding little things that are different. What about the story, the overall story and what happens?
H: Well, usually their visits to the different villages take a bit longer. I was surprised the movie went by really fast. A lot faster.
C: And the big battle in the end – does that happen in the series?
H: No. That doesn’t happen.
C. Oh. Really? That doesn’t happen at all?
H: No …. Well. I haven’t watched it all.
C: So tell me what you’ve watched.
H: I’ve watched all of Book One except the last episode.*
C: So you haven’t gotten there yet. It could still happen.
H: Yes. Probably.
C: So what did you think of all the characters? Were they what you expected?
H: The brother was a little different than I expected.
C: Yes, he was quite serious in the movie.
H: Yeah. He was more serious. And also when he met the princess, she was engaged.
C: Oh. So there was a lot more story to it.
C: Well, sometimes they can’t put everything in because then it’d be six hours.
H: But that’d be okay.
C: What about Aang?
H: Oh, well, in the series his name is …
C: They pronounce it “ayng” in the series but “ahng” in the movie, but it’s the same name. I really liked him in the movie. I thought he was super cute.
H: Actually, I like him better in the series. I think he looked better animated than in real life.
C: Really? Why do you think so?
H: I don’t know. He just does.
C: Interesting. You know what? I liked him far better in the movie than in the series, because in the series he’s a little bit … obnoxious. A lot obnoxious. He’s not obnoxious in the movie at all. He’s really sweet. What do you think?
H: Yeah. I think he might have been sweeter in the movie, and in the series he gets fussy sometimes and I don’t really like that.
C: You were telling me something about that earlier, that you thought he could be a real big brat.
C: In the series, you said he did things like withheld information from the others that was really important. Things like that.
H: He did that several times. I think because in the series, it’s longer than the movie. If they don’t have time to explain him, then you just wouldn’t like him when he does things like that.
C: So, right after the movie, you turned to me and made the “so-so” sign with your hand. Why did you do that?
H: It was kind of iffy in some parts.
H: There were things that weren’t in the movie that were in the series that I missed.
C: A lot of things or just some things?
H: Just some things.
C: Overall, would you recommend it to someone who already likes the series?
H: Well, if I could forget about the iffy parts, then I would recommend it because it really is a very good movie. Is that it? Because I wanted to say something else.
C: Sure. Say something else.
H: I liked Appa, the flying bison. He looked exactly the same. And the special effects for Appa were really good. Okay. That’s it. Hannah out.
*Hannah watched the last episode of Book One the day after this exchange and reported, aghast, that, “There is no big wave!”