Avatar

So my sisters and I are brilliant. I don’t know if I’ve ever told you that before, but let me illustrate for you a little slice of our genius. Picture it, Christmas 2009: my sisters and I are assembled at my mom’s house, with our various boyfriends. We got rid of them by sending them off to see Avatar together, which meant that we had time together to bitch about them, but more importantly, it meant we wouldn’t have to see it ourselves. See? Genius!

And that is the story of how I got out of watching a super nerdy movie about blue people called Avatar. I guess it was a pretty big deal that year or something, but it’s amazing how much I didn’t care.

Anyway: cut to February 2019. Whoa, we just fast-forwarded through a whole decade, during which the four sisters from above actually went on to marry all four of those dweeby boyfriends from above. One such couple has had two adorable sons and Sean and I are lucky enough to be joining them for a family holiday in Disney World. Disney World, y’all, where you can now explore the world of Pandora, which turns out to be the world in Avatar. You get to ride a banshee, whatever that means, and take a journey up the river Na’vi, if that means anything to you. There are floating islands and a really big tree and I have no idea what any of that means. Do I need to watch this damn movie in order to properly enjoy my vacation? I asked the Internet for their opinion, and Jeffy responded with a “Nah, you’re fine” which I immediately decided to follow because it’s what I wanted to hear. But then Chris, the little bitch, chimed in with a valid point: I’d also managed to avoid Burlesque for a long time, but succumbed in the name of vacation. Point Chris. So I folded.

And at first I’m like: wow this script is astonishingly heavy-handed. And then I was like: oh, of course it is, it’s plagiarized. THAT’s why Pandora is in Disney World. It’s a 100% direct rip-off of Disney’s Pocahontas, which I’ve also recently reviewed in the name of mv5bmtyxmdg1nzk1mv5bml5banbnxkftztcwmdk0mtuzna@@._v1_sx1500_cr0,0,1500,999_al_this vacation. Sam Worthington’s John Sully is John Smith. Same initials even. He’s part of the white people invasion party. They’re going to plunder the land looking for resources, natives be damned. Sound familiar? And then Sam Worthington/John Smith actually gets to know the natives, who are very wise despite having more primitive weapons. He falls in love with the Chief’s daughter, Pocahontas/Zoe Saldana and basically joins the natives, fighting against his own side. There’s even an ancestor tree and an egomaniac in charge. James Cameron admits that he got the idea for this film while watching Pocahontas but I think what he means is, this movie IS Pocahontas, only with tails.

Did I like this movie? No I did not. But am I psyched to ride a banshee? Well, psyched might be overselling it a bit. But I’ve got a FastPass, and if you’re reading this, I might be doing exactly that right now. Maybe check out Twitter and see.

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21 thoughts on “Avatar

  1. J.

    Up there with The Phantom Menace as one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen. Though I guess that’s a bit unfair on The Phantom Menace, now that I think about it. But aye, there’s a few funny bits and pieces on the internet about the Pocahontas thing… enough to make me chuckle (I’m a simple man who laughs at simple things).

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  2. Christopher

    Having never seen Pocahontas I thought Avatar was a cheap very expensive ripoff of Dances With Wolves with a happy ending tacked on. I stand corrected. Also deduct more points from the film for presenting the Na’vi as a matriarchal culture where all the great accomplishments are performed by men.
    I’m sorry you were subjected to this.

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    1. Jay Post author

      I don’t care for the movie but I am mega impressed by the entire Pandora section of the park – and Animal Kingdom was already a favourite of mine because of the safari

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  3. Matilde Mbulo

    I ejoyed reading this article. I read somewhere that the Banshee is a very cool ride but not for people who fear heights. I hope you had a fantastic experience riding one. Have a great week. And please keep writing and sharing your wonderful experiences😊!

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  4. ninvoid99

    I saw the film on New Year’s Eve 2009 as I enjoyed it though I found the 3D to be jarring. Through re-watches, it had some flaws I would notice but I still think it’s an awesome film. I don’t know if I’ll be on board for the sequels.

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  5. curious•pondering

    Yeah, it is a definite rip off, but all of the beautiful shades of blue force me to return again and again. Have fun on your trip!!!

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  6. Liz A.

    I did like this. I didn’t realize it was Pocahontas… Well, they say there are only so many stories. It’s all in the execution.

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  7. Often Off Topic

    Have an amazing time at Disney World!
    I remember really enjoying Avatar when it came out – I think it was my first IMAX experience, but that said, I have had zero interest in watching it again in 10 years!

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  8. selizabryangmailcom

    Haven’t been to Disneyland (I live in L.A.) since 1995. Kinda jealous…have fun!
    As for Avatar…the special effects were a new, awesome thing for sure. But that did nothing for the story. There are very few stories and we do just sort of have to re-wrap them in different paper, but one story I’m sick of is “underdog” ethnic folk and the sympathetic “Westerners” that come to the aid of the ethnic folk, who can’t save themselves on their own. Vomit. SNORE ! ! !

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  9. Sam Simon

    I think that Jim Cameron’s point was about the special effects and what the technology permitted at that time, rather than the story. That’s why I’m very surprised by his making four or five more movies in such a Universe which offered zero original stories so far…

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