16 Mind-Bending Behind-The-Scenes Facts About 'Avatar: The Last Airbender'

You were a child when you first started watching Avatar: The Last Airbender, regardless of your age; and also regardless of your age, you had grown up with the characters when the series ended. Here we bring you some of the quenchiest facts about it.


SHAOLIN SOCCER WAS AN INFLUENCE ON AVATAR. According to co-creator Bryan Konietzko, the show drew inspiration from Hong Kong movies combining martial arts and mystical powers - or in his own words, films like Shaolin Soccer.

Source: Avatar: The Last Airbender (The Art of the Animated Series)


THE CABBAGE MERCHANT WASN'T SUPPOSED TO RETURN.The poor produce peddler was just another one-off character, but then he got unexpectedly popular with fans. James Sie, his voice actor, even got fan mail for playing him.

Source: Slate


BEHIND-THE-SCENESp FACTS APPA IS HALF BISON, HALF MANATEE, HALF MIYAZAKI TRIBUTE. Bryan Konietzko loves manatees, and studied them closely while designing the sky bison. The extra legs are a tribute to the catbus in Hayao Miyazaji's My Neighbor Totoro.

Source: Avatar: The Last Airbender (The Art of the Animated Series)


JASON ISAACS DIDN'T JUST PLAY ADMIRAL ZHAO, HE ALSO INSPIRED HIM. Mike DeMartino based Zhao on Isaacs' performance in The Patriot, and then asked the casting director to get someone like Isaacs for the part. He didn't expect to get the genuine article.

Source: IGN


BEHIND-THE-SCENESFACTS ZUKO WAS A LATE ADDITION. Fire Lord Ozai was the only villain in the original pitch, but then producer Eric Coleman suggested a younger foe who posed a more immediate threat. Prince Zuko, his scar, and his daddy issues were quickly developed after that.

Source: Avatar: The Last Airbender (The Art of the Animated Series)


MAKO DIED AS HIS CHARACTER WENT SILENT Iroh's silence at the beginning of Season 3 had long been planned - and it happened to coincide with his voice actor passing away. By the time Iroh started talking again, a replacement had been found.

Source: Anime Superhero News


GREY GRIFFIN WAS CAST AS AZULA BECAUSE SHE DIDN'T YELL. According to Griffin, she was told she was one of the only people who kept her voice down during the audition for the part. Azula was just SO powerful she didn't need

Source: Syfy Wire


A MOVIE ABOUT ZUKO'S MOM WAS PITCHED, BUT REJECTED DeMartino and Konietzko pitched a movie about the search for Zuko's mom, but Nickelodeon wasn't interested in making movies. The story was eventually told in comic form.

Source: Michael Dante DiMartino


MAKO NEVER AUDITIONED FOR UNCLE IROH. Mako was at a point in his career when he didn't do auditions, and only took parts he was invited to. His performance, combined with the writing, made Iroh a much less harsh character than initially envisioned.

Source: Anime Superhero News


BEHIND-THE-SCENES FACTS TOPH WAS ALMOST A BIG GUY. Toph was envisioned as a big, muscular dude, but head writer Aaron Ehasz insisted that the character should be a girl The creators fought him at first, but came around eventually.

Source: Anime Superhero News


THE FIRE NATION INITIALLY LOOKED TOO JAPANESE. While the Fire Nation's look and feel still has a clear Japanese inspiration, the designs were reworked to avoid the implication that a real culture was villainous.

Source: Vice


AANG GOT HIS ARROW FROM A ROBOT MONKEY. A cyclops robot monkey from the initial drafts ended up becoming the non-robotic Momo. The arrow on its head was inherited by the bald kid, as he had a good canvas for it.

Source: Avatar Spirits (via YouTube)


BEHIND-THE-SCENES FACTS AANG'S ACTOR CHANGED HIS VOICE DURING PRODUCTION. * AVATAR YHE LAST AIRBENDER. Zach Tyler Eisen was going through adolescence, and his voice deepened during Season 3. The creators weren't too concerned (it was a coming-of-ag story, after all), but his voice was pitched up all the same. CRACKED COM

Source: Anime Superhero News


EACH FORM OF BENDING IS BASED ON A STYLE OF KUNG FU. On the recommendation of martial arts consultant Sifu Kisu, the motions of airbending are based on Ba Gua, waterbending on Tai Chi, earthbending on Hung Gar, and firebending on Northern Shaolin.

Source: IGN