Korra: Retrospective – Avatar, The Lost Franchise.
Note: I would like to thank everyone on making my works and everyone else here on Toon Barn great and we here all are wishing you fans of the site a merry Christmas and a Much Better and Happier New Year. I do want to say that even though I haven’t posted much here – That will change in 2015. I’m going to be posting a lot more in 2015 because I feel as though Toon Barn has the right balance that other sites do not have and are not willing to have. I also feel that there has to be a accounting for many of the misconceptions we animation fans face. And in the coming year that will be shown. There is also something new im planning but that has to be discussed. But its something I wanted to do and have an audience for. So watch for it.
Korra should have been truly amazing.
Nickelodeon was going through a misstep with the Avatar franchise. The movie many people believed, was being whitewashed. M. Night Shamalan directorial skills were on the wane, and Nickelodeon were going through some crisis with their live action work and overreliance on SpongeBob.
So it came as a shock, that Korra arrived and it was going to be something well thought out.
To be fair, I wasn’t a huge fan of Korra and only saw a smattering of episodes – I believed that they missed out on better voice actors. I also wondered why would one continue from what was already – one of the better animated series in recent decades, that wasn’t a sequel?
The first season of Korra missed the mark. But in a ironic sense I believed that the last three episodes of the first book were some of the smartest written – because their was a fear it was going to be the last episodes of the whole FRANCHISE.
So just like the Thundercats – 2011 (which aired around the same time as Korra) it was going to end with parts missing.
But Nickelodeon asked for 3 more seasons. Which was a nice surprise…until they moved it online in the middle of the Third season.
Now, Nickelodeon was showing their true colors. One part of the world was ahead of the others – part of the changing landscape of animation – and to prevent the pirates from winning – “as they stated” they moved the show online.
People were legit angry about it.
But some minds were changed – and after a while – it went back on Nicktoons Network and later the main network towards its final episode.
And for the first 3/4ths of that final episode – it was everything you wanted.
The last part – however was the issue people will be talking about for years. Unnecessary so.
What has happened is that if what the creators say was true – then it was the fundamental crux that killed Korra as a leading lady.
Where was the tragedy between these two? It was way too easy. It was too much parting glances, and shipping between both. Where was the rivalry and the things that would keep them apart?
I felt that the show lacked some of the choices even Frozen, with its bulllarkey script had. The liaison felt “tacked on”. A call to those on tumblr who in the end of the day were the only supporters of the show.
The ratings were nothing too special. Nickelodeon was moving on from its “Bad as I want to be, but in a cute way” days of the Icarly/Sam and Cat years and needed series like TMNT and the Power Rangers to do it. Those two shows were stop gaps in the plans for newer live action series which were more boring than their predecessors in the “out of place” department but their scripts are inoffensive to a fault. With two award shows for Music (pretty much sponsored by Vevo and Disney in the highest of Ironies) and its original Kids Choice now adding other series – Nickelodeon is seen as the CNN of the right/left dynamic of DisneyChannel/Disney XD and Cartoon Network/Adult Swim/Boomerang. Centrist to a fault.
Which makes the whole issue of the ending perplexing. Did Nickelodeon had a inkling this was going to be the final act? Could have it been the reason for the move to online (because other shows do air ahead of the US), and then a move back to the network in a slow burn because it would have been more controversial if it did not air?
Both Females enter a light tunnel and … nothing? The Ending music doesn’t spill to the end of the frame and beyond, to show that this relationship was too powerful enough to even have a scene?
It showed something that was wrong in the ending that didn’t happen in Avatar. The latter ending was done with care and concern. This ending shows how much things change in five or so years. Korra’s ending was such a major, major disappointment in the face of its issues with the network and the writers/producers of the show. “What you gonna do, fire me” coming from these same creators/producers of Korra is a joke compared to what John K. went through nearly a generation ago with Nickelodeon. Its almost a sniveling retort on the way the industry has been broken down into fiefdoms, and how “one needs connections with the right people” to keep the weakness of the narrative going.
There is a inherent weakness, and maybe lack of understanding and dubious grandstanding – with a lot of North American animated productions in the last five or six years. They speak to an audience that is already “shellshocked” (by our modern way of life after 9/11) by words and terms that they cannot handle – that existed before them, and they have no way of handling such idioms. They see the world in terms of trigger warnings, safe spaces, and refashioned arguments to suite their paradigm because the leaders of our country did it before when it came to handling the issues of battle. That is what has happened to the industry. Its now speaking to a culture that has all the money in the world, and since money has become speech, that audience are dictating to artists what they want in the story and not the story the artist or cartoonist wants to say. It is a five year difference – but to see the Korra Team miss the mark here, at the moment of greatest importance to this craft, those last five minutes; when everything is most desperate in action animation-if not all of animation, should scare the heck out of you if your a fan of cartoons!
If The Korra Team cant get why people are wondering why they only hear small cheers, in front of hundreds puzzled shouts – then maybe Avatar was a flash in the pan. A Miracle. The Last Great Animated Action Series of its day.
And maybe, soul searching for us fans is needed. If Hillenburg is “coming home”, but Ward is gone…what does that say about Nickelodeon/Cartoon Network, nea, the North American Animation mythos and culture as a whole?
Korra could have walked alone to the pillar of light and been the strongest of her time,
As strong as Serena was.
As strong as Jem was, as strong As Cheetara was, as strong as Brite was.
As strong as Adora was.
You folks at Korra Team missed the mark, the point and the plot.
And that, maybe the greatest tragedy our fanbase – the animation fanbase has seen.