The Last Airbender Boss Discusses The Show’s Tough Combat Animation Style

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Director Giancarlo Volpe shares that animating Avatar: The Last Airbender’s iconic fight scenes was difficult due to the authentic nature of the series.

Director Giancarlo Volpe revealed that the animation Avatar: The Last AirbenderThe fight scenes of were a difficult task due to the show’s accurate depiction of martial arts.

During The Boys Presents: Devilish Panel at WonderCon 2022, Volpe, who directed nineteen episodes of the beloved Nickelodeon series, was asked about the biggest hurdle he faced while working on animated shows like Avatar: The Last Airbender and Star Wars: The Clone Warss. Volpe revealed that the fight choreography of Avatar: The Last Airbender was by far one of the toughest challenges he faced due to his ambition. “Avatar was very unique in that we had very precise kung fu on the show, which was a totally unheard of thing on TV at the time,” Volpe said. “I think there was also this fantasy that if we finally had a budget and did a martial arts show, we’d hire a martial arts instructor and film him and rotoscope him. It was all those aspirations but not extra budget, so it was very strappy.”


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Volpe then shared that the technological constraints of the time also played a role in the complexity of the animation process. “It was a time shortly before smartphones existed, so we used all the digital cameras that existed at the time, filming Sifu Kisu on the Nickelodeon basketball court to capture this very precise kung fu”, he explained. “We developed four different styles for each bending style, so we were very technically crazy on the show.”

Sifu Kisu was the combat instructor and consultant for Avatar: The Last Airbender which assigned actual fighting styles to the four bending arts. Tai Chi formed the basis of waterbending while Hung Ga inspired earthbending due to its use of grounded stances and strength. The martial arts master has also taken elements of Northern Shaolin and reworked them to create firebending, similarly channeling the principles of Ba Gua, which involves light circle walking techniques, into firebending. the air.


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Set in an Asian-inspired world where certain people have the power to bend an element to their will, Avatar: The Last Airbender focuses on Aang, a powerful individual with the ability to control all four elements. After waking up from a 100-year slumber, Aang finds he is the sole survivor of the Air Nomads after the Fire Nation shut down their entire culture and embarks on a quest to defeat the Air Nomads. evil Fire Lord.

Avatar: The Last Airbender and its series sequel The Legend of Korra have gained a passionate fanbase. The franchise continues to expand its world through novels, tabletop role-playing, and upcoming animated films and series. Netflix is ​​currently filming a live-action adaptation of the beloved Netflix series and while little is known about the project, actress Yvonne Chapman says fans won’t be disappointed.


Avatar: The Last Airbender is available to stream now on Netflix.

KEEP READING: Avatar Legends: What Was Wan Shi Tong’s Library Like Before Aang?

Source: WonderCon 2022

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