Avatar: The Return of the Film that Made History

Avatar makes its highly-anticipated return thirteen years after the release of the first movie

The ground-breaking, CGI-animated film: Avatar, became the highest grossing film of all time after its release in 2009. Thirteen years later, the second movie of the ongoing series, Avatar: The Way of the Water, has become the seventh-highest grossing movie in film history at 1.7B USD. 

Computer-generated Imagery (CGI) dates back to the 1950s and has elevated the 3D film experience. Actors can voice and play characters that have been designed by computers. The first movie of the Avatar series features slightly more than fifty percent of the film in CGI, whereas the second film is made almost entirely with CGI. 

“I think that the first one was a lot more revolutionary because it was [released] at a time where [CGI] technology was a lot harder to come by. And this one is a beautiful story. The CGI isn’t as new, but it’s still amazing,” said sophomore Audrey Caldwell. 

Neytiri (Left) and Jake Sully (Right) stand fiercely in the second movie. (Photo Credit: Wallpaperbetter)

The first of the two movies introduced us to our key characters: Jake Sully, a paraplegic veteran, and Neytiri, a warrior and daughter of the head of the Na’vi tribe, Eyutkan. In the original, the characters, who were once enemies, put their differences aside and worked together to fight against scientists trying to destroy their land, all while also falling in love.

The second movie explores Neytiri and Jake Sully’s life after fighting to save the Na’vi people; we are introduced to their children: Lo’ak, Tuk, and Neteyam. In the movie, they venture out of their land in search of a new home in order to keep their people and their family safe from new technology and old disputes.

While people enjoy the Avatar sequel, there seems to be a general consensus that the original is better.

“I love the storyline of Jake and his family in the second movie. I love the new worlds being created. And I think that’s why everybody loves the first one; it was the first world created. They tried to replicate that in the second one; for the most part, they succeeded, but it’s never going to be as good as the first one,” said Emily Moore, a senior.

The first movie tends to be more of a viewer favorite because of the dynamic storyline, the development of characters, the diverse settings, and the overall plot of the movie. 

“I would say the first movie is better because of the storytelling. The narrative ended more cohesively and a lot of the loose ends were tied up. In terms of character development, they did a very good job [in the first Avatar],” said junior Bea Leavitt. 

Leaders of the Metkayina tribe, Ronal (Left) and Chief Tonowari (right), stand confidently in front of their clan. (Photo Credit: India.com)

Despite criticisms of the second movie, it continues to rise in interest and in profit.  

Avatar is the movie that shocked millions with its development of characters and addictive storyline. In just seven weeks, the movie has made over two billion dollars worldwide and continues to generate profit. Although the release of the second movie was recent, there are rumors that a third movie will premiere in 2024.