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The Adventures of Nuktuk: Hero of the South

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The Adventures of Nuktuk

The title screen for The Adventures of Nuktuk: Hero of the South features Bolin as Nuktuk and Ginger as Nuktuk's girlfriend, also named Ginger.

The Adventures of Nuktuk: Hero of the South is the first mover developed for public screening. Idealized by Varrick, the mover features footage of the Northern Water Tribe's occupation of the South cut with a series of shots of a fictional Southern hero fighting against the invasion. The purpose of its production was to sway the United Republic's opinion in favor of the Southern Water Tribe during the Water Tribe Civil War, and more specifically, to persuade President Raiko into sanctioning United Forces military intervention.[1]

Plot

Nuktuk (Bolin) is a waterbender from the Southern Water Tribe, whose girlfriend was taken by Unalaq during the Northern Water Tribe's occupation of the South. With the help of his trusted animal companions Roh-Tan (Naga) and Juji (Pabu), Bolin must defeat the evil Unalaq and overcome obstacles such as explosions, anti-bending nets, and giant drills in order to save his girlfriend, Ginger (Ginger) and the rest of the world.[1] 

Nuktuk is abducted by Unalaq's dastardly pet bird, but he manages to escape using his whistling abilities. Unaware of how to prevent Unalaq from detonating a doomsday device that would freeze the entire planet, Nuktuk consults a wise sage, who advises him to travel to Republic City in order to gain the support of President Raiko.

Nuktuk destroys automatons

Nuktuk used waterbending to destroy two of Unalaq's automatons.

After securing the United Republic's support, Unalaq sends automatons to destroy Nuktuk, but the waterbending hero is able to stop them with the help of Roh-Tan and Juji. However, Juji dies in the ensuing conflict, shortly after helping free Nuktuk from his bonds using laser vision.

In an effort to thwart Unalaq's plans, Nuktuk engages him in combat. The doomsday device is triggered during the altercation, and the resulting energy surge causes a shift in the planet's polarity, causing Juji to come back to life.[2]

Cast

  • Bolin as Nuktuk, the hero of the South
  • Ginger as Ginger, Nuktuk's girlfriend
  • Naga as Roh-Tan, the arctic panda
  • Pabu as Juji, the snow raccoon

Production

Mover production set

Although the film's set was simple in its construction, the mover employed advanced technology, such as pyrotechnics and mecha tanks.

Having developed the technology to record and project moving pictures, Varrick Global Industries was at the helm of the mover industry. Initially only interested in telling stories,[3] Varrick soon shifted his focus to the Northern invasion of the Southern Water Tribe, which included a harbor lock-down, effectively grounding his ships and hurting his business.[4]

After being branded as a fugitive, Varrick fled the South with Team Avatar to Republic City.[5] After being denied military help by President Raiko, who was determined not to interfere in internal Water Tribe matters and only willing to help in facilitating a diplomatic ceasefire between the tribes, Varrick decided to cast Bolin as the protagonist of a propaganda film along with Ginger as a kidnapped Southerner.[1]

Production began right away, with numerous films being directed simultaneously. Using his resources, Varrick even developed the technology to create remote-detonated explosives for use as pyrotechnics and enlisted the help of trained animals to act in the mover.[6]

Reception

President Raiko and the press

President Raiko, First Lady Buttercup Raiko, and Varrick posed for the press outside the Pro-bending Arena during the mover's final showing.

The first mover was released theatrically in Republic City shortly after production. It was met positively by the public, with young children comprising the major demographic. Each mover ended with a cliffhanger, and subsequent episodes were scheduled for release the week after the previous installment's showing.[6]

The final showing attracted widespread attention from the Republic City press and extensive media coverage by Shiro Shinobi. No expense was spared for the red carpet event, with renowned entertainers brought in from Ba Sing Se, decorations imported from the Fire Nation, and food brought in from all over the world.

The screening of the finale was held at the Pro-bending Arena and was filled to capacity, with attendees from all demographics as well as President Raiko and First Lady Buttercup Raiko as honored guests.[2]

The movers had also been distributed outside the borders of the United Republic of Nations; however, the true message of the movers was not always retained, as some citizens in Ba Sing Se regard them as comedies.[7]

Trivia

Nuktuk promotional poster

A promotional poster for the mover features Nuktuk holding an unconscious Ginger.

  • In addition to political propaganda, Varrick also used the mover to promote his other ventures by way of product placement. For example, he had Ginger use Varri-dye, his company's brand of hair dye, before her kidnapping. Varrick expected to sell a million cases during the first week following the mover's premiere.[1]
  • The scene in which Nuktuk punches Unalaq in the face is similar to World War II propaganda imagery that depicted popular fictional characters Captain America, Superman, and Daffy Duck punching Adolf Hitler. Similarly, the musical number of the show directly parodies the Captain America theme song.
  • The serial nature and overall look of Unalaq is very similar to that of Ming the Merciless, a villain in the serial film, Flash Gordon.
  • The name of the mover (Chinese: 努篤南方英雄) and the main character bear resemblance to those of the early silent film documentary Nanook of the North.
  • The final installment of the mover displays similarities to the finale of Book Two: Spirits:
    • In the mover, Unalaq claimed the world would be covered in ice, much like the real Unalaq claimed it would be covered in darkness.
    • Juji's death and subsequent resurrection mirrors Raava's demise and resurrection.
    • In the mover, a doomsday device would shift the polarity of the world, whereas the Harmonic Convergence brought forth a shift in the world's energy.

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Hedrick, Tim (writer) & Heck, Colin (director). (October 4, 2013). "Peacekeepers". The Legend of Korra. Season 1. Episode 17. Nickelodeon.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Hamilton, Joshua (writer) & Heck, Colin (director). "Night of a Thousand Stars". The Legend of Korra. Season 1. Episode 23. Nickelodeon.
  3. Hedrick, Tim (writer) & Heck, Colin (director). (September 13, 2013). "Rebel Spirit". The Legend of Korra. Season 1. Episode 13. Nickelodeon.
  4. DiMartino, Michael Dante (writer) & Heck, Colin (director). (September 20, 2013). "Civil Wars, Part 1". The Legend of Korra. Season 1. Episode 15. Nickelodeon.
  5. DiMartino, Michael Dante (writer) & Graham, Ian (director). (September 27, 2013). "Civil Wars, Part 2". The Legend of Korra. Season 1. Episode 16. Nickelodeon.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Hamilton, Joshua (writer) & Graham, Ian (director). (October 11, 2013). "The Sting". The Legend of Korra. Season 1. Episode 18. Nickelodeon.
  7. Hedrick, Tim (writer) & Graham, Ian. (June 27, 2014). "The Earth Queen". The Legend of Korra. Season 2. Episode 3. Nickelodeon.

See also

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