According to Dante Basco, Mike and Bryan Disliked The Last Airbender Movie and Warned Him to “Never See it”

Remember the movie that talked about the life of some kid named Ahng and how he was destined to be the Uhvatar? It had decent special effects, but when it came to dialogue and plot integration, it looked like the works of a 10 year old. Maybe you remember it. I wish I could forget, but that would only be possible if someone gave me the address to Lake Laogai.

Brain washing, anyone?

Anyways, The Last Airbender, by M. Night Shyamalan turned out to be an epic flop that was liked by a small population and hated by the rest of the world. Mike and Bryan, the creators of the animated series, always declined to comment about the film publicly, but that didn’t stop them for sharing their opinions with others such as Dante Basco.

Dante Basco, best known to the Avatar Community as the voice of Zuko and General Iroh II, recently held a Reddit AMA a few days ago in which he responded to fans’ questions on a comment board. One fan asked him what he thought about “m night shaymalamadingdong’s” movie, and he responded as followed:

Basco

If you’re having trouble reading the image, here is a text based version of the conversation:

Ry: What did you think of The Last Airbender movie by m night shaymalamadingdong?

Dante Basco: believe it or not… i’ve never saw it! i had lunch with mike and bryan, the creators of avatar… they told me to never see it! hahaha… i don’t know, i’m still curious. i think i should get together with some fans, either in real life or online and watch it together…

Basically, Dante Basco is saying that he’s never seen the movie because Mike and Bryan told him not to. This is just about the best advise a man could give.

All in all, it’s pretty awesome to know that the creators’ hatred for the movies is about as strong as ours – if not stronger. I think it’ll be tough for any Avatar fan to defend the movie now.

  • http://gravatar.com/noodletool Chrispix

    I think I enjoyed someone lighting a match in front of me more than watching someone fire bend in that movie. I actually warned people on the day Nickelodeon aired the movie of the first time on television. I specifically said for them to not accidentally land on the channel during its showing if they wish to not hang themselves in the end.

    • http://avatarthelegendofkorra.wordpress.com AdminAvatar

      Haha. I remember when I went to the theaters to go see this with my two cousins, 11 and 6 years old at the time.

      Half way through the movie, I looked at them and they looked at me and we immediately agreed that the movie sucked without saying a word.

      We stayed through the whole movie until the end, but man, it was rough. Thanks for commenting, Chrispix!

      • http://gravatar.com/noodletool Chrispix

        You're welcome! And I'm sorry you had to go through something like that. My favorite part of the movie was when a fat guy farted right in front of me on his way to the bathroom. What was your favorite part?

        • http://avatarthelegendofkorra.wordpress.com AdminAvatar

          Honestly, when the Fire Nation soldier talked about Heru throwing stones at him and said, "It Really Hurt!" I died of laughter because it was the worst acting I'd EVER scene. I don't even pay much attention to that kind of stuff.

  • May

    Here's my expereince with the Last Airbender movie:

    The series was different than many other shows on TV. My freinds an I were excited when we heard a live action movie was being made. (I was in highschool at the time) At first, when I heard that M. Night was going to make the movie, I thought , "hey, he's made some interesting yet different from the norm movies before, maybe he'll be able to pull it off." Then I heard about the casting controversy and figured, "he could still find good casting for Ang and Zuko, as long as he doesn't mess with their personalities I guess I'll be fine." This was followed by disappointment when I first saw Sokka and Katara in advertisements, but I decided to be positive because the costumes looked good. I got excited again when I saw the commercials, those looked good, until I noticed something was off about the fire bending. I finally saw the movie and was really disappointed. No matter what people say in defense of M. Night, like how some things are out of a directors control or it was his vision, he flat out made a lot of stupid mistakes.
    1. He changed fire bending! For those who say this movie was okay because of the special effects, wouldn't it have been way cooler if the fire benders could shoot fire out of their hands like they did in the show? For those that say it makes more sense the way M. Night did it, sorry, he made the overall plot of the movie make no sense. How could the fire nation carry on a hundred years war by themselves when their firebending is so wimpy? In the movie all the water benders have to do is splash some water on their source of fire, or earth benders can dump some dirt on it. Look, no more firebending! ( of course this doesn't happen in the movie. Remember the earth bender concentration camp?)
    2. Sokka isn't funny. He's the responsible big brother. Come on. He's the comic relief and plans guy. Katara takes care of him.
    3. Katara's a wimp. When they get to the north pole and she masters water bending, Kataras awesome, in the show. She and Zuko have an awesome fight scene I was looking forward to. She had practically won before the sun came up. In the movie she does hardly anything before Zuko beats her.
    4. Where's Zuko's scar? Oh, there it is, kinda. I figured the make up people would tone it down a little bit to make it look less cartoonish, but not nearly that much. Come on, its only one of his most defining features, both physically and mentally.
    5.Iron isn't funny. Yes, he is actually a totally awesome fire bender, but he's also funny! At first you think he's just Zuko's goofy, fat old uncle, who's obsessed with tea. Then you find out how cool he is, and that makes him even more awesome. Not so in the movie.
    6. The earth bender concentration camp. In the show it made perfect sense. Put a bunch of earth benders on a ship in the middle of the ocean, and hey, now they can't earth bend. Now they're not a threat. In the movie, it makes no sense. Let's put a bunch of earth benders in a normal camp, with earth everywhere. Then we'll leave hardly any firebenders there to guard them with only a little, easy to knock over, stand thing they're burning something on as a fire source. (See, that wimpy firebending again.) Really, no one thought to put out the tiny little fire and deprive the fire benders of a bending source?
    7. The "racebending". At first, this actually didn't bother me that much, except for the fact that most of the actors don't look even close to the characters on the show. ( I thought Ang wasn't too bad, and if you ignore sokkas skin color, his facial features are close.) What really made me decide this was an issue was when fans of the movie called me racist for not liking it because M. Night is a minority. Guess what, that's being hypocritical. He made Zuko and a lot of the fire nation dark skinned, I thought a lot of the actors looked Indian, maybe some were from the middle East too. In the show, most of the fire benders are very pale. Some have said they specifically look east Asian. The fire nation definitely makes me think of Japan, but if you ignore the buildings and clothes and just look at the characters, many of the fire nation citizens could be white too. Then Soka and Katara were cast as white actors, when they look native american to me in the show, even when they're not wearing their water tribe clothes. Wasn't it kind of racist of M. Night and whoever else was involved in casting to switch the bad guys to minority actors and two of three of the main good guys to majority actors? I grant my interpretations of some of the hand drawn characters may be different than other peoples, but I feel as if some very basic casting was messed up. There may have been a better argument for the casting if the acting had been better, like they really captured the personalities of the characters or something, but that certainly didn't happen.

    Wow, that ended up much longer than I thought it would. Thanks to anyone who actually reads the whole thing, no matter what your opinion is. Sorry if there's typos, this was done on a touch screen.

    • http://avatarthelegendofkorra.wordpress.com AdminAvatar

      Wow, thanks for writing all that out, May. I agree completely with what you said. You pretty much outlined everything I disliked about the film.

    • X

      i totally agree with the fire bending part that's what made me the angriest when i saw the movie if they need fire on the side to us it why even bother giving them "powers"!!!???

    • Charlie

      I agree with the firebending part. And ALSO to the people who say M.Nights version of firebending works better and makes more sense NO IF EFFING DOESN'T! ITS RUINS THE BALANCE! think about it!

      When it comes to how a bender can bend due to being seperated from his element or being able to directly create it. There are 4 elements and Water and Earth are the elements that you can be seperated from. This was displayed many times in the show with toph and katara. Air and Fire you CANNOT be seperated from because you create them. You dont create the oxygen, but you create the air CURRENTS. Just like you create fire currents. Fire and airbending are similar in that respect because fire really is air, just combusted, and perhaps comprised of a different gas. IF you make it so firebenders can only bend fire AROUND them then you throw the whole elemental scheme out of balance. Plus in addition to that, if you make firebenders only able to bend fire around them then what is going to happen during SOZIN'S COMET!? All firebenders can create their own fire?! So what were going to just forget about lightning bending and the giant ass bending battle? And what about the firebenders who (in the movie) already can create their whole fire?

      No what pisses me off most about Mnight Shammafucks rendition of Avatar, was that he had the fucking AUDACITY to think he could IMPROVE the series.

      • momorita

        Really though…. Mike and Bryan are geniuses and m.night whatever should have stuck to the original plot and story structure. A lot of what's in the series is incredibly well planned out and thought of; like what you said about the balance in the elements by fire and air bending (and their ability to be created not just manipulated). I'm hoping they just find a completely different team of writers/director/even actors if they ever plan on making a second film.

        • http://avatarthelegendofkorra.wordpress.com AdminAvatar

          Well M Night wrote and directed the movie so if they get rid if him, everything would be pretty solid.

      • bob

        EXACTLY! THIS IS WHAT I HAVE BEEN TELLING EVERYONE! OMG THANK YOU

    • Tumas-Muscat

      The whole 'racebending' thing is symptomatic of the majority of the Hollywood system per se rather than merely M. Night Shyamalan's own devices. Unfortunately, there just aren't enough recognised good available Asian actors to play all the roles required for this film. Even the source material itself does not offer exclusively Asian voice acting (which, I admit, while perhaps making the Asian aspect less 'authentic' in this regard, is still stellar nonetheless).

      That being said, though, Shyamalan did make it a lot worse by his choice of actors and their respective roles. The non-minority actors were either bad or not directed properly, while minority actors were mainly cast as bad guys, or were weirdly placed in situations in which viewers had to believe they're of the same race as obviously-white actors (like the film's Southern Water Tribe).

      Other than that little addition, I agree with you 100%.

  • Mike

    I wonder if the person that asked him this question told him not to watch this.

    • http://avatarthelegendofkorra.wordpress.com AdminAvatar

      It was a long thread of conversation in the message board. I'm pretty sure someone told him that, but he never responded in that specific thread.

  • Drace

    Man, why always "hatred"? Is it so difficult to just dislike a movie, without hating it and anything connected to it, including its fans, with all the burning fires of hell?

    This is so childish. No, scratch that! The children I know doesn't have such stupid behavior. It's just a movie, guys! I didn't like it, too, But that's all. I watched it. I disliked it. I'll never watch it again and then I'm done with it. That way, I don't have to waste my time unleashing pointless anger and spreading propaganda-like stories in the internet, to either way "wash the brains" of everyone who actual likes the movie, or to fuel even more of their anger. I guess, that's something people just can't get enough of. Anger.

    And by the way: Yes, with "propaganda-like stories" I kinda mean things like this article. Dante Basco never said, that the producers "hated" the movie. He said, they told him to never watch it. That *might* mean, they are dissappointed with the produt, but like I said: Hatred is something else. That should be reserved for the really BIG bad things in the world.

    Just my opinion.

    • http://avatarthelegendofkorra.wordpress.com AdminAvatar

      Thanks for sharing your opinion, Drace. I think I'm more of the culprit for all the Last Airbender hating recently.

      It's just been a topic of discussion since its been brought up so much lately with the showing on Nick and all.

      I'll do my best to keep the hatred on the down-low. And again, thank you for expressing your thoughts.

  • X

    doesn't surprise me the creators hate it too
    its hilarious when i go back and watch "the ember island players" because that's exactly what the movie was- a crappy watered done version of everything the heroes went throw and they even left the play house saying the same things!! "well the special effects were decent" LMAO!!

    • http://avatarthelegendofkorra.wordpress.com AdminAvatar

      That's brilliant. I've always heard the comparison to the Ember Islands play, but I never noticed the "good special effects" bit. That's hilarious! Thanks for sharing.

      • http://gravatar.com/digidestinedoftrust Digidestined of Trus

        haha, yeah! I think if the Ember Island players had strayed away from Katara constantly giving a speech, Aang being a prissy girl and kept the original beginning correct, it would far surpass the movie. It certainly was far better than the movie though

    • http://gravatar.com/toriraymusic toriraymusic

      The ember island players were even better than this version lol! At least they had all the characters and events in sequence!

    • Sabrina

      Lol, that is good! Though the Ember Island players were better… they got Sokka being funny right and Toph was pretty darn close. :D I'm glad there isn't going to be a second movie so they can't butcher my favorite character.

  • coolman229

    I'm not surprised. I think anyone involved in the creation of the show would avoid it.

    But that's pretty funny because Bryke bring screwed up The Legend of Korra almost as bad as the movie.

    • http://avatarthelegendofkorra.wordpress.com AdminAvatar

      I can almost picture all the creators cringing at the very sight of the commercial!

      • http://goodnewsforgeeks.wordpress.com kellyvoytcabbage

        Haha! I agree. I'd love to know if Basco ever watches the movie. Post about it if he ever does. ;)

    • bob

      how did they screw up Legend of Korra? It was a 12 episode miniseries that was a completely rushed production. Also the animation was TOP NOTCH. You can only do SO MUCH in 4 1/2 hours of showtime. Also LoK ISN’T COMPLETED YET. The series is only finished its FIRST season. It has 3 more seasons to GO! stop comparing to a FINISHED series. A MUCH MUCH fairer comparison is comparing books Air, to Water. And if you look at the animation, characters, and dialogue LoK MORE then holds up its own.

  • TLA fan

    You got this 100% right, especially the racebending. M knight should really apologize to all of us…I can’t even continue to discuss this. If I do I won’t be done venting till the SERIES finale of korra

  • Greenfire32

    I was so stoked for that movie. I remember seeing the trailer for it, and you could hear EVERYONE in the theater go, "Oooohhhhhh!" and right when it said, "Directed by M. Night. Shamylan" everyone (in complete unison) let out a, "Gaaaahhhhhhhh…"

    It was the single greatest moment of my life.

    Of course, being the outrageously huge fan that I am, I had to see this movie, despite it's…..unfortunate director. Needless to say, I was unsurprisingly let down.

    God I was so excited for that movie….

  • Tumas-Muscat

    While I respect your feelings evoked by the film (which I know we share), I don't think it's fair to say that Mike and Bryan said they 'hated' it at the end of the article. From what Dante Basco said, 'hate' in relation to the film is just too big a word for them, in my opinion, and should be reserved to us avid 'Avatar' fans. With their stellar work on continuing the animated series and fans' positive response to it, I'm sure they have more important things to move on to than giving a toss about the film which did not affect their personal success.

    I will admit, though, that even if they may just have been joking about their advice to Basco, it does still make me respect them more for having said it. Not (just) because they share a good portion of fans' opinion, but because they love their actors and colleagues enough to want them to avoid seeing all their hard work sort of being crapped on by this shambling mess of a film.

    That being said, I still do understand the urge to project our own feelings on the show's creators perfectly. In fact, I personally just loved your last comment. I understand that to a non-fan the film might have been ok (or just 'meh') and that it has its own fans (limited in number as they are), but I see it closer to an abomination. I may be speaking with lack of objectivity as a fan of the original show, but seeing the show's own creators behave this way just proves that something objectively went very wrong in the adaptation from small to big screen. Creators of fiction have been known for not liking adaptations of their work, but very few would actually advise against seeing them or indicate the film itself isn't good despite the differences from their personal vision.

    So even if they they don't 'hate' it, Mike and Bryan gain extra respect points in my book for having the integrity of not endorsing the film and advising against watching it, even if in private and/or with colleagues.

    • http://avatarthelegendofkorra.wordpress.com AdminAvatar

      Thanks for sharing your opinion.

      I suppose saying Mike and Bryan hated the movie could be seen as a bit irrational. Thanks for pointing that out :)

      • Tumas-Muscat

        Glad to help. :P I will also say, though, that I really wouldn't mind if they ever say that they outright hated it. It's just too bad we would seem so irrational to just assume they think so, but that's how life works.

  • hatersgonnahate

    Why did it take "Ong" five minutes of dancing to bend anything? and since when was Zuko an indian scarface?

    • http://avatarthelegendofkorra.wordpress.com Keval

      Since Slumdog decided to leave India.

  • http://gravatar.com/toriraymusic toriraymusic

    My friend (not the most educated of souls unfortunately) was forced to watch the entire series with me (muahahaha) and she ended up loving it. She texted me the other day telling me how she'd just watched the movie and absolutely loved it…
    ..
    .
    no.
    I went on pinterest and found every single hillairious picture that bashed the movie and sent them all to her. Hopefully she has learned her lesson.

  • Catherine

    That is so comforting to know Bryke hates it as much as we do! XD I remember when I went to go see it, I went with my sister who is now 25, and is just as obsessed with avatar as me. The number of people who got up halfway through and left was so high we lost count! We stayed the entire time, and immediately after we got home we tucked ourselves under a blanket and pillow fort and marathoned on the series, reminding ourselves of how amazing it actually is and trying to forget our horrific experience. My favorite part of the entire movie? When they're fighting the Fire Nation soldiers with the earthbenders for the first time in that camp, and it takes like 5 men to do this elaborate super long move to summon up one little pebble! We laughed so hard! Or maybe the part when "Iroh" makes his own fire, and everyone freaks out. Or pretty much every time "Sohka" speaks and looks like he's about to cry…OH MY GOODNESS there's just too many fails to type out. Haha!

    • http://avatarthelegendofkorra.wordpress.com Keval

      The moving pebble scene was ABSOLUTELY classic! Best part of the movie by far.

  • Justin

    Me and my brother HATE that scene where the gang is at the first village they go. Mostly because of this; I hated the earthbenders. They were THE WORST benders I have ever seen. It tool like 10 benders to move a rock that moved SO SLOW. Me and my brother laugh at the part a lot but at the same time we are super furious with it. Surprisingly, my father actually likes the movie, but had never seen the animated series… Weird… And he also asked if there would be another movie where he would master earth which is basically book 2, and I replied not really because the actor of aang is way to old now… So yeah that's my feeling about that…

  • Giant Mushroom

    I don’t think they wanted to talk about it because like the rest of us they wanted to forget it ever existed.

  • chris

    i advise anyone has not seen this the last airbender movie to save themselves, i thought about commiting suicide while watching this rubbish, it took what made avatar so great and i would say completely destroy it but that would be the biggest understatement of the century. worst 2 things about this is

    1 the storyline is not in the correct order to the cartoon
    2.the guy who plays sokka is absolutely crap

  • Jason Christmon

    any true avatar fan wouldnt try to defend that movie. so when you say that i dont know wtf your talking about