Well we made it to 2020! We are a little less than two years away from Avatar 2 and I’m excited to see what’s in store for this coming year. I know to the casual observer Avatar is currently in hiatus until closer until Avatar 2 drops, but when you look back at 2019 there were several nice Avatar experiences that happened or were continuing from previous years.
Starting in January we got the first issue of Tsu’tey’s Path from Dark Horse comics. In all the series spanned 6 issues and lasted until August.
We also saw the end of Toruk-The First Flight from Cirque su Soleil, the show lasted from December 2015 until June of 2019. Some of the final show was even broadcast live on Facebook by Cirque.
For the holidays, Pandora-The World of Avatar, got into the spirit by decorating the land with lights and ornaments.
Plus most recently in December we had the 10 year anniversary celebration of Avatar. The celebration included cast and crew interviews, Pandora/Disney offering limited edition merchandise and cupcakes, and a social media celebration of the film.
So while we are all waiting for the big release of Avatar 2 on 12/17/21 (only 715 days away), there have been things to keep us in the world of Avatar and revisiting Pandora. I look forward to seeing what 2020 brings us.
Today is also an extra special day for me as it’s my personal 10 year anniversary of seeing Avatar for the first time.
Toruk-The First Flight Premiered Four Years Ago Today
Four years ago today Toruk-The First Flight celebrated it’s world premiere at the Bell Center in Montreal. It came at a perfect time for many of us Avatar fans. We were still a year an a half away from Pandora opening at Animal Kingdom, James Horner had passed away earlier that year, the release of Avatar 2 was seemingly always being pushed back one more year, there wasn’t a lot happening in the fandom. But Toruk gave us something to look forward to, something to go see. The show would last until this year, June 30th to be exact. It was different than other Cirque shows before it, it was more theatrics and less acrobatics, although it included plenty of both. By the end over 3 million people saw Toruk live across the world, and while it did have it’s detractors they were typically upset because it was a much different show than previous Cirque shows, it developed a real following among fans of the movie however. Those Avatar fans who saw it were transported to Pandora in the flesh, you got to see Toruk right in front of you, the Na’vi ran past you, we got to meet new characters and clans, it was truly exhilarating. It is a show I truly will never forget, a very emotional experience. I wanted to share a few things from the show to celebrate the premier on its 4th birthday.
Cirque du Soleil presents tonight in Montreal the world premiere of its new arena touring show inspired by James Cameron’s record-breaking movie AVATAR, TORUK – The First Flight. The show will be presented at Montreal’s Centre Bell until January 3 and will then continue touring in arenas around the world.
TORUK – The First Flight is a live immersive multimedia spectacle that brings to the stage the breathtaking world of James Cameron’s AVATAR like you have never seen it before.
Through a riveting fusion of cutting-edge visuals, puppetry and stagecraft buoyed by a soaring cinematic score, Cirque du Soleil applies its unique signature style to James Cameron’s imaginary world and “makes the bond” between two kindred artistic visions that capture the imagination.
This live immersive experience also bears the distinct signature of directors and multimedia innovators Michel Lemieux and Victor Pilon. It is a living ode to the Na’vi’s symbiotic coexistence with nature and their belief in the basic interconnectedness of all living things.
Narrated by a “Na’vi Storyteller” and populated by unforgettable characters, TORUK – The First Flight is a mythical tale set thousands of years before the events depicted in the film AVATAR, and before any humans ever set foot on Pandora.
When a natural catastrophe threatens to destroy the sacred Tree of Souls, Ralu and Entu, two Omaticaya boys on the brink of adulthood, fearlessly decide to take matters into their own hands. Upon learning that Toruk can help them save the Tree of Souls, they set out, together with their newfound friend Tsyal, on a quest high up in the Floating Mountains to find the mighty red and orange predator that rules the Pandoran sky. Prophecy is fulfilled when a pure soul rises among the clans to ride Toruk for the first time and save the Na’vi from a terrible fate.
TORUK – The First Flight comprises 13 creators under the artistic guidance of Guy Laliberté (Guide) and Jean-François Bouchard (Creative Guide) for Cirque du Soleil, and James Cameron, Jon Landau, Kathy Franklin and Richie Baneham for Lightstorm Entertainment:
Tuan Le and Tan Loc
Bob & Bill
Show Writer and Director, Multimedia Director
Show Writer and Director, Multimedia Director
Director of Creation
Set and Props Designer
Costume and Makeup Designer
Composers and Musical Directors
Acrobatic Performance Designer
Rigging and Acrobatic Equipment Designer
Creators biographies and still images are available online in our pressroom :
Photos available at:
TORUK – The First Flight is presented at Centre Bell in Montreal until January 3. To purchase tickets and for the full list of cities visit https://www.cirquedusoleil.com/toruk.
Sponsors and partners
Xerox, DHL, and ACTIVEON Action Camera are the official sponsors of TORUK – The First Flight. The show is being created through a licensing arrangement with 20th Century Fox.
In an effort to bring audience members involvement to a whole new level, Cirque du Soleil will be launching a first-of-its-kind app for TORUK – The First Flight. Working with long-time technology partner SAP, the app will enhance the overall show experience and enable audience members to be a part of the action before, during and after the performance!
The TORUK prend son envol documentary
Toruk prend son envol is a 50 minute documentary on the behind the scenes during the creation of TORUK – The First Flight inspired by James Cameron’s AVATAR. The documentary is available now only on Bell Fibe TV community channel TV1. Directed by Adrian Wills, the documentary offers an unprecedented access to the creation process of a Cirque du Soleil show. For more information about Toruk Takes Flight, visit Bell.ca/Toruk.
Follow us on Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/torukthefirstflight.
Find us on Twitter with #TORUK.
Cirque du Soleil
TORUK – The First Flight is Cirque du Soleil’s 37th production since 1984. The company has brought wonder and delight to more than 160 million spectators in more than 400 cities on six continents. Cirque du Soleil has close to 4,000 employees, including 1,300 performing artists from close to 50 different countries.
For more information about Cirque du Soleil, visit https://www.cirquedusoleil.com.
To find out more about the ONE DROP Foundation, visit http://www.onedrop.org.
Roy & Turner Communications
(514) 844-9678, extension 202
A page featuring an in-depth look at the costume design on Toruk- Tyranny of Style
Some of the first videos released promoting the production-
The final bow, directly from Toruk’s Facebook page-
Avatar takes a lot of flak online. For each person that loved the movie it feels like there are 20 who are online bashing it. But don’t fret, I’ll show you how Avatar just keeps winning.
First and foremost it is the #1 one grossing movie all time and it’s not even close. Titanic which is number two is right at 601 million behind. How big is that gap between #1 and #2 in the movie world, it’s the entire gross of Iron Man, plus 16 more million dollars.
It is the #2 grossing domestic (U.S.) movie of all time. It had a nice 6 year run at number one but ultimately The Force Awakens took that spot. Even though Avatar is behind The Force Awakens by 176 million domestically, it still finished a whopping 720 million ahead when worldwide totals are included.
It is #2 all time in Blu Ray sales. For all the internet chatter that says people only enjoyed Avatar in 3D at the theater, that simply isn’t true. Frozen is the only movie to have sold more Blu Ray copies.
The Cirque du Soleil show Toruk-The First Flight based on Avatar, and a fantastic addition to the franchise made it to the Guinness Book of World records for being the #1 grossing circus touring performance show of 2017. This showed Avatar can expand to other quality entertainment avenues and still connect with people just as the movie did.
Disney spent an estimated $500,000,000 dollars on an Avatar land expansion in Animal Kingdom called Pandora-The World of Avatar. The Avatar haters were in full force when this project was revealed, and it continued all they way up to the point that this land opened and was a stunningly huge success. The land includes Flight of Passage which has been called the best ride in all of Disney.
Avatar doesn’t just do well, Avatar comes in #1 or #2 in almost every measurable category. While it is a popular franchise to attack online I believe this is only because of the unprecedented success of the film. We are still 2 years away from the first sequel and I don’t have a solid prediction yet for if Avatar 2 can dethrone Avatar from that #1 worldwide spot, but the fact that I even think it stands a chance at this stage just shows the power and connection of the franchise to people.
Toruk-The First Flight is coming to Beijing in August
Very informative article on Cirque du Soleil’s Toruk-The First Flight. I highly recommend the show if you have not yet seen it. It won’t be around forever so if you get a chance to catch it when it comes near you, pounce on it.