Skip to content

Avatar Movie Review

January 31, 2010


I was hesitant about this movie because of the Avatar cartoons out there that my son had seen on television years ago.  In the cartoon, Avatar: The Last Airbender, Aang has a spirit guide.  This spirit guide died a long time ago and helps Aang from the spirit world.  I have no doubts that there is a spirit world, but based on the Bible, taking direction from a familiar spirit is a no, no. 

Jake Sully, Former Marine now in a wheelchair

The movie Avatar is not the same as this cartoon.  In fact, there is a different movie made based on this cartoon called The Last Airbender.  Because the word avatar was in both of these shows, I figured it was the same concept.  It wasn’t.  Avatar, according to, is “a movable image that represents a person in a virtual reality environment or in cyberspace”.  The movie Avatar is more in line with this definition than that pertaining to the Hindu religion.

The Avatar World

The Avatar World

What first alarmed me about Avatar, the movie, was when my son mentioned that the natives on the planet Pandora worshipped other gods.  This gave me the red flag, so when he asked to watch it, I didn’t jump up and say yes.  First, I did the usual.  Read a few reviews online, asked my son a few more questions, then tried to decide. 

I had read some bad reviews from non-believers saying that the script wasn’t great or that they expected more out of the movie, but I’ve read bad reviews on movies that I enjoyed, so I didn’t pay too much attention to these.  I came across positive reviews from Christian standpoints, but one bothered me.  The person gave it a positive review, and said, “There is no mother earth, and their way of praying was not correct.”  This sentence told me not to see the movie.  Then a few days later, my husband took me on a suprise date to see the movie.  Curious to get the facts, I went.  I pondered over how I would explain to my husband why I walked out on the movie.  I didn’t, though…walk out. 

I was excited to see Avatar in 3D on the big screen.  People raved about it.  It didn’t make sense to me because I had worn those flimsy 3D glasses made out of paper before, and they didn’t work well at all.  Maybe my head just didn’t fit ’em right or something.  I’ll tell ya, I was blown away by the visuals in this movie so much, that I had to refocus so I could be in tune with hearing the movie, as well.

During the movie, when the Na’vi’s prayed to a female god, Eywa, my reasoning went something like this: well, they pray to one God, come to a temple-like place to pray (which happens to be a tree), and it seems that the plant lives on that planet are more connected and able to communicate with each other to a point, more so than on Earth.  After the movie, my husband made the comment that the planet Pandora was a living organism.  His understanding was that the Na’vi’s were simply talking to the planet through the tree.  To me, this reasoning made it sound like the Na’vi’s were praying to the planet.  Although, I did see his point. 

In the Bible, no one comes to God but through Jesus.  In this movie, the Na’vi’s go to the tree to pray to Eywa.  As taught in the Bible, we don’t try seeking the dead.  In Avatar, you can sometimes hear the prayers of those in the past through the tree (I see this as the tree recording their prayers versus hearing the words of the dead).  In the Bible, God is the Father.  The Na’vi’s see Him as a female.  From this, I could only assume God hasn’t shown up in Pandora the way He did on Earth.  Or that they hadn’t actually had a visitation there from God the way we had on Earth.

Here are some things I heard in the movie that involved spirituality:

1. “They are seeds of the sacred tree.  Very pure spirits.”

2. “She’s the spiritual leader, like a shaman.”

3. “Eywa is their goddess, a deity.”

4. “She keeps talking about the flow of energy, the spirit of animals.  Like a network of energy that flows through all living things.”

5. “All energy is borrowed.  One day you have to give it back.”

6. “There’s something going on in the trees biologically.  It’s not pagan vudu.  There’s an electro chemical connection, like neurons, between the roots.”

7. “The tree of life…a place for prayers to be heard and sometims answered.”

8. “The Na’Vi can upload and download information at these locations.” (referring to the glowing trees)

8. “They live within Eywa.”

9.  “She must pass through the eye of Eywa.”

10.  “It is a demon in a false body.” (referring to the avatars)

My recommendation is to watch it if you want, and if I’m wrong, God will give me more wisdom in the future and He will for you, too.  I am going to let my son watch it, but asked for us to talk about the film afterwards.  In the past, I’ve asked him why a movie might not glorify God, and he would reluctantly give me reasons why.  The reasons out of his own mouth, helped him understand why I wouldn’t let him watch that particular movie.  From this experience, I learned a new way to help my teen apply Biblical principles to everyday life.  By simply asking him how it lines up with the Bible.

God bless.

No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: