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! Jon Landau continues to show amazing photos of sets and the cast from the upcoming sequels. He has recently shared some great news and that is that they are headed back to New Zealand next week to resume working on the Avatar sequels which have been delayed due to the COVID-19 outbreak. He also recently shared the these photos.
The Matador, a high speed forward command vessel (bottom), and the Picador jetboat (top). Wow look at that harpoon on the Matador. I think these are RDA boats, you can even see the “Ops” from Sec Ops on the Picadors side. If you rode the Flight of Passage at Animal Kingdom you know we get to see some of the sea creatures that will most likely be in the sequels like the giant nalutsa. Also when Avatar released the first bit of concept art from the sequels we got to see two Na’vi riding ilu. It wouldn’t surprise me a bit if the RDA were hunting the nalutsa or ilu in the movie with giant harpoons like these.
Bottom row left to right, Zoe Saldana (Neytiri of the Omatikaya) and Sam Worthington (Jake Sully, Chief of the Omatikaya). Top row left to right, Kate Winslet (Ronal of the Metkayina) and Cliff Curtis (Tonowari, Chief of the Metkayina). This is fantastic to see, this is the first picture I’ve seen of Sam on set, and we get a chance to see them in the silver water mo-cap suits. We first saw the underwater suits in early 2018 when Zoe posted a video and some pictures of herself while wearing one on IG. The floating white balls were discussed by Jon on another photo, they prevent light from contaminating the underwater performance capture system while allowing anyone in the water to surface safely.
One of the first looks we got of the underwater mo-cap suits, shared by Zoe Saldana on IG in 2018.
James Cameron giving the actors direction before they dive underwater to capture performances for a scene. Here we get a blurry but good view of the white balls again. I would love to know who all is in this shot. I believe the far right could be Lea Catania.
This is such a cool behind the scenes shot of how they are doing the underwater mo-cap production. I really hope we get a great making-of book for Avatar 2. I can’t wait to learn so much more about all the new technology that’s going into the sequels.
The aft well deck section of the Sea Dragon, a massive mothership that carries an array of other sea-going craft in the Avatar sequels. It really looks like the RDA are looking to dominate the Pandoran oceans in Avatar 2. It will be very interesting to see how all of these different vessels play out.
Sigourney Weaver (Grace Augustine) and Joel David Moore (Norm Spellman) back in the Site 26 Shack set for some scenes for the new movies. Wow this picture sure brings back memories, it looks like it is straight from the original Avatar. It will have been 12 years between Avatar and Avatar 2, so I love the idea of flashbacks like this. Which brings me to the next photos that Jon shared with us in 2019, think there is any chance we get to see Trudy again in a flashback? I know she stopped by as a visitor, I think it would be pretty special if they worked her into a flashback.
Michelle Rodriguez (Trudy Chacon) with Garrett Warren (Avatar stunt coordinator).
So a quick follow up to my last post, the Pandora Wishables are sold out online and I don’t believe they will be showing back up for sale from Shop Disney. However I heard there will be more released at the parks once the Disney Parks reopen. I also found out what the two variant Wishables are. They are both color variants of the blue banshee (ikran). One is light green with blue stripes, the other is a wild combination of purple, orange, and green, and looks like it was inspired by the Night Blossom drink that is featured at the park.
Pandora-The World of Avatar releases new merchandise
While the many Disney parks may be closed that hasn’t stopped Disney from rolling out some new merchandise. To kick off April Shop Disney is releasing some Pandora figures in their Wishables line. If you are new to Disney’s Wishables, they are small plush figures sometimes available as a single figure or also in blind bags where you can open one of several in a line. The Pandora line is all between 5-6 inches and includes 5 unique figures and two variants of the figures that aren’t yet known. You can purchase either, The Shaman of Songs, who is available individually, or you can get the blind bags, which includes a chance at a hexapede, viperwolf, banshee, or Na’vi sentry, and two mystery variants. These are listed as a “Limited Release” however I don’t know exact numbers.
As you can see from the links above these seem to have all sold out on the first day. I’ll be reaching out to Disney to see if more will be available or if that was it. I’ll update the post accordingly.
Pandora-The World of Avatar empty as seen from an ikran
Check out this amazing photo of Pandora from an ikrans eye view. The only thing missing…all the guests. Disney has closed all it’s parks due to the COVID-19 virus and this photo just shows how empty Pandora is these days. If you want more information on the Disney closures check out this write up by Walt Disney World News Today. One thing I spy are the three Sagittaria in their pond. They look like they are ready to squirt some water at guests once again. Do you spy any stingbats (Na’vi name-riti) roosting on the mountains, or even a Na’vi lurking about? I for one would love to explore Pandora with a few close friends and no other guests, that would be a dream.
Photo Copyright @bioreconstruct
As always click on the photo for a full size view, and be sure to check out Bioreconstruct on twitter to see more of the epic Disney photos he has taken from the skies, including more pictures of Pandora- https://twitter.com/bioreconstruct.
I hope everyone is staying safe and healthy with plenty of supplies. Don’t forget to limit exposure to others as much as possible.
Walt Disney world along with 11 other Disney properties are closing or have already closed due to the coronavirus outbreak. For Pandora (Disney World) it will be closed at the end of business hours March 15th and will stay closed through the rest of March. At that time things will be reevaluated and we will either see the park reopen or it will continue on closed until officials think public health isn’t at a significant risk by being reopened.
Most of us are already being effected by the virus indirectly, from toilet paper and hand sanitizer being scare to large runs on food and medicines. One of my good friends in the Avatar community who is Italian already has relatives with the virus and is quarantined to their home. It may not be bad in your country or area yet but stay alert to whats going on and prepare the best you can, it is spreading rapidly. It’s a great time to help one another out, and have patience with others if you are out getting food or supplies. The virus is affecting our normal daily lives either directly or indirectly and will be doing so even more in the coming days and weeks. There is lot of great information on what you can best do, I’ll share some links and hopefully it will be of some help to someone.
To show some sobering facts, as I write this article on 3/14/20 we have 142,649 confirmed worldwide cases, 5,393 deaths, affecting 135 countries. I’ll share the current statistics from the top ten countries that visit this site. The USA currently has 1,678 cases and 41 deaths. The UK has 802 cases and 10 deaths. Spain has 4,231 cases and 120 deaths. Italy has 17,660 cases and 1,268 deaths. The Netherlands has 804 cases and 10 deaths. Germany has 3,062 cases and 6 deaths. Canada has 176 cases and 1 death. France has 3,640 cases and 79 deaths. Russia has 34 cases and 0 deaths. India has 82 cases and 2 deaths. Australia has 197 cases and 3 deaths. My thoughts and prayers are with everyone affected, hopefully we can overcome this very soon.
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.
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-
Thanks to a post by Jon Landau (Marshall Lamm) and article by WDW News Today, we get to see a preview of how Pandora: The World of Avatar is going to celebrate Christmas this year. I for one can’t wait to see what all they do. I absolutely love Christmas and it is my favorite time of the year. I’m glad to see them doing new and different things at the park to keep it fresh and fun. I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving, and a soon to be great Christmas season.