Happy 3 years to Pandora-The World of Avatar. I can’t believe it’s already been three years, in that short of time the park has been directly hit by hurricane Irma, subsequently closing for two days, and is currently closed do to the COVID-19 pandemic. However there is some promising news which I’ll get to shortly. I wanted to send a big irayo to all the cast and crew who’ve worked at Pandora and helped bring the area to life. I enjoyed watching the online updates in the years leading up to the Pandora addition and when I got the chance to visit it didn’t let me down. In fact it took all my expectations and blew them out of the water. Here is to many more birthdays for Pandora, and less disasters in the future.
Also I wanted to mention, starting July 11th Pandora/Animal Kingdom will begin a phased reopening process. According to CNN, Disney is implementing several measures to reopen safely and prevent the spread of the coronavirus at its parks, including the following-
Employees and guests will be required to wear face coverings and undergo temperature screenings before entering the parks.
Disney will reduce capacity at the parks and the resort will temporarily suspend parades, fireworks and other events that create crowds
The resort will also enable cashless transactions by expanding contactless payments.
Disney will also increase the number of available hand-sanitizing stations.
Hey everyone, just a friendly reminder that Eana Mokri has put out a new podcast this week, Episode 22. If you’re sitting around stuck inside or like me and love to listen to podcasts while you’re mowing I highly recommend giving it a listen.
I applaud the decision makers at Lightstorm for doing the right thing. They want to get Avatar 2 and all the sequels out more than anyone, this is how they stay in business after all. However it sounds like they are making the best decision for the whole team staying in LA and working from there. I think it’s great they considered everyone families as well. After all these are just people, they may be struggling finding food or supplies just like the rest of us, they may be dealing with friends and family who have the virus. How can one pour their whole self into a movie when your family is thousands of miles away quarantined or even worse. If you follow any of the cast and crew on the various social media platforms send them a thoughtful message, they’ll probably appreciate it. It’s a great time to share love and compassion with one another, everyone has a lot on their plate to deal with right now.
Jon Landau spoke to the New Zealand Herald about the live action filming delay,
“If I told you we are going to know something in two weeks I’d be lying. I might not be wrong – even a broken clock is right twice a day. But I would be lying because I don’t know.
“We’ve delayed it. We had plans to come down Friday night with a group of people and start back up and we made the decision to hold off and continue working here [Los Angeles], and come down there a little bit later than we’d planned.
“We’re in the midst of a global crisis and this is not about the film industry. I think everybody needs to do now whatever we can do, as we say here, to flatten the [coronavirus] curve.”
Jon also went on to say that they would be reassessing the delay daily, and that they are trying to do whats in the best interest of the crew. He also said that even though there is a delay they will be working on getting as many minutes of film as possible to WETA who is working on all the digital effects.
Also unveiled at CES 2020 by James Cameron is our first official images of concept art for Avatar 2 by artist Dylan Cole. We’ve been hearing that Avatar 2 will be heavily featuring the oceans of Pandora, and these images only reinforce that. They are quite stunning and I am more excited than ever to travel back to Pandora.
I am certain this first image is of Jake and Neytiri. Jake being an Avatar has a different body build than the Na’vi males. Here you can see how muscular this male is, who also seems to be wearing Jake’s warrior outfit. This also looks like a Neytiri model that’s been used before, and is also the one Sideshow collectibles used to create a statue of (they used the image reversed, bow in the left hand). The biggest difference being they altered where her left arm is, putting it behind Jake in this instance. I’ll include a picture of the sideshow statue I’m referencing at the end of the post. Also I really like those trees we see in the top left, I love the huge exposed roots.
This image is my favorite of the 4 we received. I’d love to know what clan this is. My first thought was this is the Tayrangi, and I’ll share why. Per www.avatar.com “Like the Kekunan, the Tayrangi are expert banshee riders. What sets them apart, however, is how the clan has adapted this relationship to its coastal surroundings. Rather than hunt game from the air, Kekunan-style, the Tayrangi will ride their banshees out over the waters of the Easter Sea to catch aquatic animals. This means they have a deep knowledge of both the air and the sea, including underwater migratory and feeding patterns. As masters of their coastal territory, they are also some of the strongest swimmers on Pandora, and revere many of the large aquatic predators in their midst.” From only having a single picture to go off of this seems like it could be the Tayrangi clan. Again this photo shows the trees I really liked in the first picture, the color of the sea is so beautiful.
Again we see that same model of Neytiri as the first image overlooking what appears to be rock type formations that go into the sea. We see two Na’vi possible spear fishing, I wonder if these are two of Jake and Neytiri’s children or members of the Metkayina reef clan. I really look forward to seeing the sea’s of Pandora all lit up with bioluminescence at night time.
I think this is my second favorite picture of the new art. Again I feel like that male on the right is Jake, with the extremely muscular torso and I believe a Na’vi male opposite of him. What is super cool is seeing them riding an ilu. If you are unfamiliar with the ilu, I’ll share what little information we have on it so far at the end of the post. This makes me think this is Jake with a member of the Metkayina clan. I love seeing the floating coastal rocks, they are a little different than the floating mountains we’ve seen, but very cool regardless.
This is the LSF Neytiri statue from Sideshow, which was based on concept art from the original Avatar and has the same pose as Neytiri in these pictures, with the image reversed.
As of now this is the only official information we have on the ilu creatures, it comes from an Avatar guide that was given out at Pandora-The World of Avatar.
I thought these were fantastic, they show where some of the inspiration for particular pieces of the Mercedes Benz AVTR Vision came from. I especially like the atokirina (woodsprite) inspired wheel design. Even though this is a one off design we won’t be seeing on the road there are some fascinating things that went into this car that I hope to see carry over to production models in the future.
At the 2020 Consumer electronics show Mercedes Benz unveiled the Vision AVTR. Mercedes partnered with Avatar to create something very much from Earth that is inspired by Pandora. It has some truly unique features such as, “for the first time, the revolutionary battery technology is based on graphene-based organic cell chemistry and thus completely eliminates rare, toxic and expensive earths such as metals. Electromobility thus becomes independent of fossil resources. An absolute revolution is also the recyclability by composting, which is 100% recyclable due to the materiality.” While we will never see this particular car on the road, it sounds like it is helping Mercedes progress towards a more sustainable e-car in the future. I think we can all benefit from the technology gained in creating this beautiful car. Check out the link for even more information, and enjoy the video and pictures. Mercedes AVTR Vision
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 Anniversary Live feed direct link and broadcast schedule