Avatar: The Last Airbender is the greatest cartoon show ever made, and here's why.
What makes an animated show great? What separates a great cartoon and a mediocre animated series that fails to capture viewers, especially young kids’, imaginations and attention? Why have shows like Avatar: The Last Airbender, Spongebob, Ed, Edd, n Eddy, and Scooby Doo have had such a huge influence on pop culture and have still remained as relevant and beloved as ever?
It’s a lot of important aspects: from the animation itself and just well done and beautiful it is to look at, from the writing and characters (which applies to pretty much any move and TV show), and the worldbuilding. Avatar: The Last Airbender. But most importantly, a great cartoon has to strike the balance between being whimsical and appealing to children, while containing mature and unanced underlying themes that can teach both kids and adults some valuable lessons. Hence why a series like Rick and Morty is so popular and well received.
Having said all of that, this is exactly why I believe Avatar: The Last Airbender is the greatest animated show ever made. It works on multiple levels and is a perfect amalgamation of a lot of vital, fantastic moving parts that make one heck of a series. One the surface, Avatar is just so easy on the eyes. The crisp animation, character detail, art style, the grand and imaginative locations, and zany character and creature designs is second to none. A prime example is Appa, Aang’s flying bison. This creature is a cross between a buffalo and a manatee, and the design is simplistic but memorable. App sticks with you years after you’ve finished watching the show.
This one example applies to nearly everything visually on the series, from Aang and the way the airbenders are depicted, to the snowy landscapes and igloos the water benders occupy. Plenty of work went into the art design, with painstaking detail, and it definitely shows. It’s a world you want to live in, occupy, and read about. Each region/civilization is wildly different from one another, each with their own distinct architectures, locations, strengths, and weaknesses.
Then there’s the lore and storytelling, which is top notch as well. To put it bluntly, Avatar is epic. In my opinion, it can rival the likes of Lord of the Rings or Star Wars because of just how in-depth the show’s lore is.