The Ultimate Aang and Korra Blu-ray Collection Review – Beloved Nickelodeon Series Are Two Of The Best Animation Has To Offer

The Ultimate Aang and Korra Blu-ray Collection features over an hour of all-new and exclusive bonus features including an Auditory Exploration with the Avatarverse Creators; a conversation with Janet Varney and Dante Bosco, hosts of the Avatar: Braving the Elements podcast; and 8 collectible art cards!

Experience the complete Avatar saga with Aang and Korra. From the discovery of Avatar Aang in the iceberg in Avatar: The Last Airbender to Korra’s heroic journey to set things right in Republic City through The Legend of Korra, relive all the epic air, earth, water and firebending in the ultimate Avatar collection.

For thoughts on Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend Of Korra, please see my previous article here.

Video Quality

Both Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend Of Korra have been released on Blu-Ray previously in “complete series” configurations. Those releases are the exact same as what you will find here, as you just have those two individual packages inserted into the outer slipcase with the gorgeous new artwork. Below you will find an overview of both of those releases. 

Avatar: The Last Airbender comes to Blu-Ray in a 9-Disc set with a 1080p transfer that looks great despite being upscaled from standard definition elements. The episodes retain their original 1.33:1 aspect ratio which ensures the beautiful animation is not messed with in the slightest. These episodes do not wow as much as some more modern animated properties, but it does serve as a significant step up from the old DVD versions. This is a show bursting with lively colors throughout most of the run, but it cannot quite reach the vividness you might want. The discs provide fairly deep black levels for a clean viewing experience free of crush. The animation style is one of the standout aspects of the series, and line detail remains appropriately strong throughout with only occasional instances of blurring along edges. The biggest issues with the set include some aliasing, ringing and macroblocking that pop up throughout. Given the source elements of the show, you cannot complain too much about what Paramount delivers with this set. It is a solid presentation. 

The Legend Of Korra honestly looks (mostly) stunning on Blu-Ray with its 1080p transfer presented in its original 1.78:1. Paramount allows plenty of room for these 52 episodes as they are spread over eight discs. This means little in the way of nasty compression artifacts or digital nuisances of that nature. There are the occasional brief instances of blocking and artifacts, but it is infrequent enough to not be a major distraction. Seasons two and three are the worst in this regard as some unsightly macroblocking and banding pop up more frequently. Colors are incredibly vibrant and bold throughout the entire set. When comparing this to some of the standard definition clips in the special features, this presentation blows it out of the water. The animation style lends itself to giving some extra texture to character outlines, but this is a stylistic choice rather than an issue with the disc. There are a few elements that could have been tightened up a bit, but overall this set delivers a really nice presentation. 

Audio Quality

Avatar: The Last Airbender comes with a DTS-HD 2.0 Master Audio mix that is really lively and exciting. The series theme intro always fills your speakers with memorable notes that get you into the perfect headspace for the show. Dialogue is rendered crystal clear at all times without ever being clipped by sound effects or score. Sound effects carry a real weight within the mix with some decent activity in the low end. For a Nickelodeon cartoon show, it is pretty dynamic sonically. Fans of the series should be pleased with the audio presentation. The discs provide optional English (SDH) subtitles for all episodes. 

The Legend Of Korra boasts a DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio track that more than gets a workout during this action-heavy series. There is an immense amount of activity in the low-end which will cause your room to rumble pretty consistently throughout this presentation. Dialogue is often accompanied by a moving score from Jeremy Zuckerman or all manner of sound effects, but all of the information comes through clearly without getting muddied. The track engages all of the channels with panning effects and sounds of destruction that really makes you feel like you are in the thick of the action. Paramount. knew what they were doing with this track, so those with a good surround sound setup should have fun with this one.

Special Features

Avatar: The Last Airbender

Disc One

  • Behind The Scenes Kung Fu Featurette: A five-minute featurette in which Martial Arts Expert Sifu Kisu discusses different martial arts styles on the show and how they impact the different elemental bending styles. 
  • Credits: A 50-second end credit scroll from the series. 
  • The Making Of Avatar – From Real Life To Animation: A four-minute piece which shows creators Michael DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko acting out moments from the show for the animators to create for the series. 

 

Disc Two

  • Behind The Scenes – The Voices Of Avatar: A nearly five-minute piece in which the voices behind your favorite character discuss their role on the show and the process of bringing them to life. 
  • Ask The Creators Featurette: A three-minute piece in which DiMartino and Konietzko answer various questions about production time, animation style, meanings behind certain symbols and more. 
  • Original Uncut Animatic – Episode #15 “Bato Of The Water Tribe”: An option to watch this episode in its earliest form with a picture-in-picture frame of the final version in the corner. 

 

Disc Three

  • Audio Commentaries
    • The Northern Air Temple: Sound Designer Benjamin Wynn and Voice Actor Dee Baker
    • The Waterbending Master: Co-Creators Mike DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko and Head Writer Aaron Ehasz
    • The Siege Of The North, Part 1: Co-Creators Mike DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko and Head Writer Aaron Ehasz
    • The Siege Of The North, Part 2: Co-Creators Mike DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko and Head Writer Aaron Ehasz
  • Behind The Scenes With The Avatar Cast & Crew: A three-minute piece in which the cast and crew discuss the plot and characters after the normal episode prologue recapping events. 
  • Avatar Pilot Episode with Audio Commentary: A 15-minute test animation pilot with audio commentary from Mike DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko. 
  • The Making Of Avatar – Inside The Sound Studios: A six-minute look at the process of designing sound for the series beyond the dialogue. 
  • The Making Of Avatar – Inside The Korean Animation Studios: A 26-minute featurette in which Konietzko guides you through the animation house which creates the show we know and love. 

Disc Four

  • Audio Commentaries
    • The Blind Bandit: Co-Creators Mike DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko and Director Ethan Spaulding
    • The Chase: Co-Creator Mike DiMartino, Writer Josh Hamilton, and Director Giancarlo Volpe
  • Original Uncut Animatic – Episode #21 “The Avatar State”: An option to watch this episode in its earliest form with a picture-in-picture frame of the final version in the corner. 

 

Disc Five

  • Audio Commentaries
    • Journey To Ba Sing Se, Part One – The Serpent’s Pass: Co-Creators Mike DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko and Co-Writer Josh Hamilton
    • City Of Walls And Secrets: Co-Creators Mike DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko and Background Layout Supervisor Elsa Garagarza

 

Disc Six

  • Audio Commentaries
    • Lake Laogai: Co-Creators Mike DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko and Writer Tim Hedrick
    • The Earth King: Co-Creator Mike DiMartino, Writer John O’Bryan, and Storyboard Artist Joaquim Dos Santos
    • The Crossroads Of Destiny: Co-Creators Mike DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko
  • Interview With Creators And M. Night Shyamalan: A ten-minute piece in which Co-Creators Mike DiMartino and Bryan Konietzko sit down with Shyamalan to discuss the animated show and his feature film adaptation. 
  • The Essence Of Bending with Bryan Konietzko And Sifu Kisu: A nine-minute featurette in which the participants discuss how the martial arts are integrated into the show. 
  • Avatar Super Deformed Shorts: Bending Battle (3:56), Swamp Skiin’ Throwdown (4:06), and School Time Shipping (4:10) are provided here to show off some min-adventures in a childlike way. 
  • Escape From The Spirit World – Animated Graphic Novel: A 13-minute text-based animated depiction of an Avatar story is presented here with accompanying music. 

Disc Seven

  • Audio Commentaries
    • Sokka’s Master: Co-Creators Bryan Konietzko and Mike DiMartino and Martial Arts Consultant Sifu Kisu
    • The Beach: Co-Creators Bryan Konietzko and Mike DiMartino, Director Joaquim Dos Santos, and Writer Katie Mattila
    • The Avatar And The Firelord: Co-Creators Bryan Konietzko and Mike DiMartino, Sound Designer Benjamin Wynn, and Composer Jeremy Zuckerman

 

Disc Eight

  • Audio Commentaries
    • Day Of The Black Sun: Co-Creators Bryan Konietzko and Mike DiMartino, Sound Designer Benjamin Wynn, and Composer Jeremy Zuckerman
    • The Western Air Temple: Co-Creators Bryan Konietzko and Mike DiMartino
    • The Southern Raiders: Co-Creators Bryan Konietzko and Mike DiMartino, Voice Director Andrea Romano, and Actor Dante Basco

 

Disc Nine

  • Audio Commentaries
    • The Ember Island Players: Co-Creators Bryan Konietzko and Mike DiMartino and Actors Jessie Flower and Jack De Sena
    • Sozin’s Comet, Part 1: Co-Creators Bryan Konietzko and Mike DiMartino 
    • Sozin’s Comet, Part 2: Co-Creators Bryan Konietzko and Mike DiMartino
    • Sozin’s Comet, Part 3: Co-Creators Bryan Konietzko and Mike DiMartino
    • Sozin’s Comet, Part 4: Co-Creators Bryan Konietzko and Mike DiMartino
  • The Women Of Avatar – The Last Airbender: A 19-minute piece in which the creative team, cast and passionate fans delve into various aspects of the powerful women featured on the show. 
  • Book 3 Finale Pencil Test Animation: An 11-minute piece in which Bryan Konietzko and Mike DiMartino introduce some early pencil tests guiding how the show will look. The opening animation of the creators themselves is pretty amusing, as well. 
  • Into The Fire Nation At San Diego Comic-Con: A nearly 37-minute panel in which the cast and creative team discuss the show. 

The Legend Of Korra

Book One: Air

  • Audio Commentaries
    • Welcome To Republic City: Co-Creators Bryan Konietzko and Mike DiMartino and Actor Janet Varney
    • A Leaf In The Wind: Co-Creators Bryan Konietzko and Mike DiMartino and Actors Janet Varney and David Faustino
    • The Revelation: Co-Creators Bryan Konietzko and Mike DiMartino, Co-Executive Producer Joaquim Dos Santos and Actor Steve Blum
    • The Voice In The Night: Co-Creators Bryan Konietzko and Mike DiMartino and Actors Janet Varney and Seychelle Gabriel
    • The Spirit Of Competition: Co-Creators Bryan Konietzko and Mike DiMartino and Actors Janet Varney and David Faustino
    • And The Winner Is…: Co-Creators Bryan Konietzko and Mike DiMartino and composers/track team Jeremy Zuckerman and Benjamin Wynn
    • The Aftermath: Co-Creators Bryan Konietzko and Mike DiMartino and Actors Janet Varney and David Faustino
    • When Extremes Meet: Co-Creators Bryan Konietzko and Mike DiMartino and Actors Janet Varney and Seychelle Gabriel
    • Out Of The Past: Co-Creators Bryan Konietzko and Mike DiMartino and Actors Janet Varney and Seychelle Gabriel
    • Turning The Tides: Co-Creators Bryan Konietzko and Mike DiMartino, Co-Executive Producer Joaquim Dos Santos and Actor Steve Blum
    • Skeletons In The Closet: Co-Creators Bryan Konietzko and Mike DiMartino and composers/track team Jeremy Zuckerman and Benjamin Wynn
    • Endgame: Co-Creators Bryan Konietzko and Mike DiMartino, Co-Executive Producer Joaquim Dos Santos and Actor Steve Blum
  • The Legend Of Puppetbender Presents “The Making Of A Legend – The Untold Story”: A six-minute silly piece in which puppet versions of the characters take playful jabs at one another while discussing the creation of the show. 
  • Creators’ Favorite Scenes – Animatics: A 53-minute collection of some favorite scenes from throughout the season in their earliest form with a picture-in-picture frame of the final version in the corner. 

Book Two: Spirits

  • Audio Commentaries
    • Rebel Spirits: Co-Creators Bryan Konietzko and Mike DiMartino, co-executive producer Joaquim Dos Santos and writer Tim Hedrick
    • The Southern Lights: Co-Creators Bryan Konietzko and Mike DiMartino, co-executive producer Joaquim Dos Santos and writer Tim Hedrick
    • Civil Wars, Part 1: Co-Creators Bryan Konietzko and Mike DiMartino, and co-executive producer Joaquim Dos Santos
    • Civil Wars, Part 2: Co-Creators Bryan Konietzko and Mike DiMartino, and co-executive producer Joaquim Dos Santos
    • Peacekeepers: Co-Creators Bryan Konietzko and Mike DiMartino, and writers Tim Hedrick and Josh Hamilton
    • The Sting: Co-Creators Bryan Konietzko and Mike DiMartino, and writers Tim Hedrick and Josh Hamilton
    • Beginnings, Part 1: Co-Creators Bryan Konietzko and Mike DiMartino, and Track Team Jeremy Zuckerman and Benjamin Wynn
    • Beginnings, Part 2: Co-Creators Bryan Konietzko and Mike DiMartino, and Track Team Jeremy Zuckerman and Benjamin Wynn
    • The Guide: Co-Creators Bryan Konietzko and Mike DiMartino, co-executive producer Joaquim Dos Santos and supervising producer Lauren Montgomery
    • A New Spiritual Age: Co-Creators Bryan Konietzko and Mike DiMartino, co-executive producer Joaquim Dos Santos and director Ian Graham
    • Night Of A Thousand Stars: Co-Creators Bryan Konietzko and Mike DiMartino, co-executive producer Joaquim Dos Santos and director Colin Heck
    • Harmonic Convergence: Co-Creators Bryan Konietzko and Mike DiMartino, co-executive producer Joaquim Dos Santos and supervising producer Ki Hyun Ry
    • Darkness Falls: Co-Creators Bryan Konietzko and Mike DiMartino, co-executive producer Joaquim Dos Santos and supervising producer Lauren Montgomery
    • Light In The Dark: Co-Creators Bryan Konietzko and Mike DiMartino, co-executive producer Joaquim Dos Santos and Track Team member Jeremy Zuckerman
  • Scene Bending: A 81-minute collection of some favorite scenes from throughout the season in their earliest form with a picture-in-picture frame of the final version in the corner. 
  • Kindred Spirits – Tenzin’s Family: A five-minute piece in which the creators discuss the family dynamics within Tenzin’s family and the relationship he has with his children. 
  • Inside The Book Of Spirits: A nine-minute piece in which the creators discuss crafting the arc of the season, getting deeper into the spirit world, new characters and returning favorites and more. 
  • The Re-Telling Of Korra’s Journey: A 34-minute recap special which details Korra’s journey from the first season as narrated by Tenzin. 
  • Feuding Spirits – Korra’s Family: A five-minute piece in which the creative team discusses meeting Korra’s family in the second season. 

Book Three: Change

  • Audio Commentaries
    • A Breath Of Fresh Air: Co-Creators Bryan Konietzko and Mike DiMartino, and co-executive producer Joaquim Dos Santos
    • Rebirth: Co-Creators Bryan Konietzko and Mike DiMartino, and co-executive producer Joaquim Dos Santos
    • The Earth Queen: Co-Creators Bryan Konietzko and Mike DiMartino, co-executive producer Joaquim Dos Santos and and writers Tim Hedrick and Josh Hamilton
    • In Harm’s Way: Co-Creators Bryan Konietzko and Mike DiMartino, composer Jeremy Zuckerman and writer Josh Hamilton
    • The Metal Clan: Co-Creators Bryan Konietzko and Mike DiMartino, and composer Jeremy Zuckerman
    • Old Wounds: Co-Creators Bryan Konietzko and Mike DiMartino, and writer Katie Mattila
    • Original Airbenders: Co-Creators Bryan Konietzko and Mike DiMartino, and director Melchior Zwyer
    • The Terror Within: Co-Creators Bryan Konietzko and Mike DiMartino, Sound Designer Benjamin Wynn, and Foley Mixer Aran Tanchum
    • The Stakeout: Co-Creators Bryan Konietzko and Mike DiMartino, and director Ian Graham
    • Long Live The Queen: Co-Creators Bryan Konietzko and Mike DiMartino, and supervising producer Lauren Montgomery
    • The Ultimatum: Co-Creators Bryan Konietzko and Mike DiMartino, and director Colin Heck
    • Enter The Void: Co-Creators Bryan Konietzko and Mike DiMartino, and co-executive producer Joaquim Dos Santos
    • Venom Of The Red Lotus: Co-Creators Bryan Konietzko and Mike DiMartino, co-executive producer Joaquim Dos Santos and composer Jeremy Zuckerman
  • The Spirit Of An Episode: Each episode is given a short featurette which delves into various elements such as character designs, story elements, difficult production moments and more that offer insight into the series. 
    • A Breath Of Fresh Air (4:11)
    • Rebirth (5:07)
    • The Earth Queen (4:53)
    • In Harm’s Way (3:49)
    • The Metal Clan (4:52)
    • Old Wounds (4:51)
    • Original Airbenders (4:13)
    • The Terror Within (5:33)
    • The Stakeout (5:13)
    • Long Live The Queen (5:19)
    • The Ultimatum (5:24)
    • Enter The Void (5:35)
    • Venom Of The Red Lotus (5:33)

Book Four

  • Audio Commentaries
    • After All These Years: Co-Creators Bryan Konietzko and Mike DiMartino, and writers Tim Hedrick and Josh Hamilton
    • Korra Alone: Co-Creators Bryan Konietzko and Mike DiMartino and Actor Janet Varney
    • The Coronation: Co-Creators Bryan Konietzko and Mike DiMartino, and writers Tim Hedrick and Josh Hamilton
    • The Calling: Co-Creators Bryan Konietzko and Mike DiMartino, Director Colin Heck, and Writer Katie Mattila
    • Enemy At The Gates: Co-Creators Bryan Konietzko and Mike DiMartino, and Actors Janet Varney and John Michael Higgins
    • Battle Zaofu: Co-Creators Bryan Konietzko and Mike DiMartino, and Actors Janet Varney and Zelda Williams
    • Reunion: Co-Creators Bryan Konietzko and Mike DiMartino, Sound Designer Benjamin Wynn, and Foley Mixer Aran Tanchum
    • Remembrances: Co-Creators Bryan Konietzko and Mike DiMartino and Actors Janet Varney, David Faustino, PJ Byrne and Seychelle Gabriel
    • Beyond The Wilds: Co-Creators Bryan Konietzko and Mike DiMartino and Actors Janet Varney and David Faustino
    • Operation – Beifong: Co-Creators Bryan Konietzko and Mike DiMartino, and composer Jeremy Zuckerman
      • Kuvira’s Gambit: Co-Creators Bryan Konietzko and Mike DiMartino, and writers Tim Hedrick and Josh Hamilton
    • Day Of The Colossus: Co-Creators Bryan Konietzko and Mike DiMartino, co-executive producer Joaquim Dos Santos and supervising producer Lauren Montgomery
    • The Last Stand: Co-Creators Bryan Konietzko and Mike DiMartino, co-executive producer Joaquim Dos Santos and supervising producer Lauren Montgomery
  • Kuvira Vs. Prince Wu: A two-minute Nickelodeon promo for the series. 
  • Republic City Hustle: A 3-part animated short totaling ten minutes about Mako and Bolin’s childhood.
  • Legend Of Korra – 2014 Comic-Con Panel Featurette: The complete 35-minute Legend of Korra panel from the 2014 New York Comic-Con including guests DiMartino, Konietzko, Varney, Faustino and Byrne.
  • The Legend Of Puppetbender Presents “The Making Of A Legend – The Untold Story, Part II”: An eight-minute silly piece in which puppet versions of the characters take playful jabs at one another while discussing the creation of the show. 

Bonus Disc

  • Auditory Explorations with the Avatarverse Creators: A new 39-minute virtual conversation with Co-Creators Bryan Konietzko and Mike DiMartino and composer Jeremy Zuckerman. During this piece the creators discuss bringing Jeremy in very early in the creative process, the evolution of the score from The Last Airbender to The Legend of Korra, the musical moments that they respond to most and more. Later Sound Designer Benjamin Wynn, Foley Mixer Aran Tanchum and Foley Artist Vincent Gazetti jump in to discuss the creation of foley effects and the environmental elements of the show. There is so much great information to dig into here and it is nice to hear the creators be able to discuss this series in depth again. 
  • A Conversation with Janet Varney and Dante Basco – Hosts of the Avatar – Braving The Elements Podcast: A nearly 47-minute conversation with the voices of Korra and Prince Zuko in which they discuss the process of coming together for a podcast revisiting the show, the fan response to the show, how dense the themes of the series can be, dissect arcs of different characters, their favorite character dynamics, the evolution between the two series, what this franchise has meant to their lives and more. These two are just great and are so much fun to listen to. 
  • Art Cards: Not on the disc, but this new collection includes eight exclusive art cards that are really cool to check out in person. 

 

Final Thoughts

Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend Of Korra are two of the greatest animated shows of all time. The emotional journey that each series takes you on is one you never want to leave, as this creative team brought such thoughtful storytelling to the process. These are both shows that make you want to revisit them time and time again which is usually the sign of something special. Paramount Home Entertainment has released The Ultimate Aang & Korra Blu-Ray Collection which features both shows with the same solid A/V presentations and special features as previously released but now packaged together. The real draw of this set is the exclusive new bonus disc with new substantial interviews with the creators and stars of the shows along with stunning new package artwork. It would probably not be necessary for those who already own both shows on Blu-Ray to upgrade to this package, but those looking to add these series to your collection should find this to be the top option. Highly Recommended 

The Ultimate Aang & Korra Collection is currently available to purchase on Blu-Ray.

Note: Images presented in this review are not reflective of the image quality of the Blu-Ray.

Disclaimer: Paramount Home Entertainment has supplied a copy of this disc free of charge for review purposes. All opinions in this review are the honest reactions of the author.