The Avatar animated series still captivates many viewers today, who fall into a deep hole after a marathon of Aang and Korra’s story. No wonder: the two series tell a grandiose mix of adventure, action, drama, comedy – packed with great effects and animations. What other series can deliver something like this? On the one hand, of course, the series The Dragon Prince, which comes from Avatar headwriter Aaron Ehasz and has just received season 4. But I would like to use this article to give you a real insider tip: Maya and the Three on Netflix.
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What is Maya and the Three about?
The fantasy series by Jorge Gutierrez (Manolo and the Book of Life – another insider tip!) takes the viewer into a Latin American fantasy world full of myths, warriors and mythical creatures. Princess Maya is the daughter of a great king, but she doesn’t want to be a princess – a story that has been heard a thousand times. But Maya needs the help of legendary figures – the “Three Golden Warriors” to stop the sinister entities surrounding the God of War. But why do you have to watch this now as an Avatar fan? There are several reasons for this.
If you are very interested in the designs, this book about the making of the series is definitely something for you!
1. A colorful world with different kingdoms
While the world of Avatar is divided into the elements, the different realms of Maya and the Three, while not defined in such succinct terms, are all unique. The Wizards of the Moon Isle. The spooky archers of the jungle. Or even the barbarian kingdom. They each have their own goals and cultures, but should work together if they are to stand against the gods.
Picturesque landscapes dominate the world of Maya. Here you can see the moon island where the magicians live. Source: NETFLIX
2. Morally Gray: Bad guys aren’t automatically bad
Because beyond this colorful world of people, the land of the dead and gods is still waiting. The inhabitants of this realm are fantastically designed and are all individual figures representing a crucial concept: gods of animals, of bats. The earthquake, the alligators or even theft and the tattoos! Not all of them are “Muahaha we are evil” villains. Some are simply opportunists. Others hate people but love the earth. Some are forced by the god of war to obey his commands. Because he wants to sacrifice Maya to complete a ritual and become the most powerful being in all realms. Only Maya and the three can stop him.
The many characters of “Maya and the Three” differ both visually and in character – whether they are mortals or gods does not matter. Source: NETFLIX
3. The Avatar team of a different kind: The Three
The heart of the series is definitely the young group of adventurers around Maya. Because as soon as she finds the three warriors, there is a great dynamic that completely reminded me of the best times in Avatar. The suspicious Chimi, who grew up away from humans, clearly reminds of misfit Toph, but also of Zuko. The talkative but tormented by his past Rico is basically Sokka. Maya herself clearly reminds of Korra with her quick-tempered but also careless manner. Only the primitive speaking, but not at all stupid Picchu is incomparable – and I love the barbarian for it. The quartet has experienced terrible things and has to live with the scars of the past, which makes the series refreshingly different from children’s series. Death and loss are just part of life.
4. The icing on the cake: This incredible animation
Basically, Maya and the Three should be understood less as a series than as a long film. Because there are “only” nine episodes, spread over 4.5 hours. Very little if you pull off the 24 hours of Avatar! But don’t worry, because the animators have been given a budget to match. Each episode is a feast for the eyes, with grandiose locations, characters, fights and magical fireworks. The editors also let off steam again and again, for example by exceeding the black bars of the widescreen format with particularly strong attacks or dramatic gestures. So if you already had fun with the coolly choreographed duels in Avatar, you’ll get your money’s worth here too.
The fights in “Maya and the Three” are always excellently staged and undoubtedly on cinema level. Source: NETFLIX But enough talking: could I convince you to tune in? Do you have any other series for Avatar fans up your sleeve? Can you recommend any other series that “scratch the avatar itch”? Tell me your favorite animated series and insider tips – the comments section is waiting for you!