Dojo of Fame – Michael Dante DiMartino & Bryan Konietzko (Animation Week Day 3)

These men make for an impressive duo. They studied animation together at the Rhode Island School of Design.  For a while they both worked at Film Roman helping to make shows such as, Family Guy, Mission Hill, and King of the Hill.  Bryan was also a storyboard artist and art director for Invader Zim, and Michael created a short film called “Atomic Love”.

However what makes these two men legends is the show they created for Nick, Avatar: The Last Airbender.  It was an action packed show about a world where people have the powers to control the elements around them through a practice called “Bending”.   After the Fire nation attacks, they wipe out the airbending race and try to conquer the rest of the world.  At the south pole, a young waterbender and her brother find a small boy frozen in a sphere of ice.  When he wakes up, it is revealed that he is the last airbender…and he is also the Avatar: the chosen one who can control all the elements.  The trio must travel together so that Aang may learn the 4 elements and finally defeat the Firelord.

Being greatly inspired by asian culture, Avatar felt like an American show pretending to be an anime.  However it does not really fit into either anime or western animation.  Rather, Avatar achieved a blend of the two animation styles that is uniquely its own.  The show stayed lighthearted enough for children while still dealing with dark themes to keep us older folks interested.  It never talked down to its viewers and was an amazing series.

The show kept us on the edge of our seats, it make us laugh, it even made us cry a time or two (see tales of Ba Sing Se: Part 2 – The Tale of Iroh…I cry everytime…)  It is one of the best shows TV has to offer, be it live action or animation.  If you have not watched The Last Airbender, then you are missing out.

Unfortunetly, the live action adaptation by M. Night was…well, horrible…

Luckily for us fans, Bryan and Michael are working on a new series set in the Avatar Universe. Avatar: Legend of Korra will take place approx. 70 years after the original series.  It is rumored that this new series will just be a 13 episode mini-series.  Though it is still possible it may be a regular series.  Either way, I can’t wait and I am sure the duo of DiMartino and Konietzko won’t let us down.

DiMartino and Konietzko, for creating one of the greatest series to ever grace the TV screen, I salute you!  Welcome to the Dojo of Fame!

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