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!