Appa in the Last Airbender, CG or Puppet?

I’ve been curious about how they are going to create Appa for The Last Airbender. Growing up on The NeverEnding Story, I imagined him as a Falcor type giant puppet. Perhaps he would be created by the Jim Henson Creature Shop?

I decided to go straight to someone who would know, and asked Frank Marshall, via Twitter. Here’s what he said:

Appa will be a combination of mechanical and visual effects…

This is pretty much as I thought. Because in The NeverEnding Story, Falcor never fought anybody or really interacted with his environment all that much. Appa, on the other hand, is a very interactive character. He’s in the thick of things from square one.

Having him be a mix of Mechanical and visual effects reminds me of how Aslan was created for The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Especially for the Stone Table sequence, when they used a combination of things.

I don’t know about you, but I’m up for a picture with a giant mechanical Appa!


  1. That's very cool to know, thanks for ask it to mister Marshall ! And thanks for the site too! I'm french and a great fan of Avatar, your site is really interesting !!! it is in my favorite now … 😉 see ya !

  2. Oh yey! I've been wondering for quite a while how they would go about handling Appa (and the other animals of Avatar for that matter). I'm glad they decided to use a mixture of elements, rather than strictly digital. I think it offers more realism and makes Appa a more realistic, tangible and relatable character…as he should be!

    I'm curious to see the end results C:

  3. Hi! I'm new over here… I like this web, thank you! ^^

    About Appa hows going to be make, I think (or I would like) they are preparing something like what has been made for the next movie 'Where The Wild Thing Are' (directec by Spike Jonzen)… The body is a puppet and the face (to make more real) is CGI… Find the trailer if you did not see the result…

    Sorry for my english, I'm from Spain 😛


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