Monday, July 5, 2010

Tale of Iroh

I think most of you know how I feel about the new Last Airbender movie. Do I feel vindicated that it has one of the worst ratings with both critics and viewers alike? Hell yes! But the movie still did surprising well in the box office. Does that make me feel good? Hell no!

The thing is, I don't want this film to do well. I don't want Shamalama to make another Avatar film. Does that make me mean and vindictive? Well, I don't really care. Whitewashing is racist. The fact that the whitewashing was done by a minority director doesn't make it any less racist. It makes it just sad. And the fact that he rests his laurels on the fact that the movie has one of the most diverse casts of any Hollywood movie? Well sir, I hate to point out that you are still confirming the Hollywood idea that a minorities in main character roles cannot carry a film. And everytime someone says "Well it's anime and the eyes are definitely not Asian and Aang looks white and it's an American production..." I just want to punch them in the face and shove bamboo slivers under their nails. Guys - when the show opens, it uses Chinese characters in correlation with the themes of Air, Fire, Water and Earth. They use Asian sounding names. They wear Asian clothing. They live in houses with hanji or shoji - paper covered windows and doors. They use chopsticks when they eat. Need I go on?

But I'm tired of all this crap. Let's celebrate the original series which is an extraordinary animated series that will go down in history as one of the best ever created. Here is a clip from my favorite episode with my favorite character voiced by the fabulous Mako Iwamatsu who passed away after the second season. You don't need any backstory to be touched by this scene. And it makes me cry every time I watch it.


Charles Gramlich said...

Unfortunately, I've never seen the original. I don't plan to see the movie.

yuan said...

argh I'm so sick of arguing with people about how Avatar wasn't actually an Asian fantasy blabity blah. I just want to put up a sign whenever this happens and go UR ARGUMENTS R INVALID. But whatever. I hope this movie drops off the top 10 list by next week. One can hope, at any rate.

*watches Tale of Iroh* Wah, I miss this show SO FREAKIN MUCH OMG. *sobs and clings*

Caroline Tung Richmond said...

Oh, I love this post so much!

The white-washing of this movie makes me livid. LIVID!

And do you know what gets me really mad? How Shyamalan changed the pronunciation of Aang's and Sokka's names in the movie to reflect their Asian roots. What?! If you want this movie to reflect its Asian roots, then you should cast Asian actors! Gah!

*Takes deep breath* Sorry about that rant. As an Asian-American, I'm just so disappointed by the casting of this film. And I'm really frustrated by all of the excuses that dismiss my concerns.

Bisi Adjapon said...

I had no idea the movie was based on an Asian story. That is such a crying shame. Unless we changed attitudes, minorities will continue to have a hard time breaking into both the movie and publishing business.

ArtSparker said...

Not a Shyamalan fan generally - there is something so dumbed down about his loftiness, if you catch my drift.

Aniket Thakkar said...

I love the series. In fact the only animes I love more than Avatar are Full Metal Alchemist and Hunter X Hunter. And I haven't seen the movie, after such uber crappy reviews.

Thanks to Cameron that he didn't allow Shyamalan to use Avatar as the name.

Sherrie Petersen said...

Oh, man, I totally agree with you. The kids and I agreed that we wouldn't watch the movie because the people in the cast just look wrong. We were SO disappointed with the casting because we LOVE the tv show. They had amazing writers working on there. They put so much depth into that cartoon and infused it with humor. There are so many talented actors they could have chosen. They ruined a good thing.

Anonymous said...

That episode makes me cry every time! I've been rewatching the original series as a sort of personal protest of the film, and to reassure myself that the show was awesome and stands on its own. Hopefully the movie will bomb so bad that they won't make a second one, and then they'll never get the chance to ruin my PRECIOUS TOPH, OMG. From what I've heard the movie has terrible dialogue, and most of the funny moments from the show are gone. And as I'm watching this wonderful show again, I keep thinking, "how could ANYONE think these characters are white?!" Sigh!

laughingwolf said...

like charles, other than what you post, el... i know nothing of this

the animation clip is fab!

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