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In 2009, Canadian-born producer James Cameron was praised for redefining film-making technology with the release of the blockbuster hit Avatar.


Another Box-Office Success

Avatar was released in London, UK on December 10, 2009 and was released on December 18, 2009 in the U.S. and Canada. The film received critical acclaim and commercial success, immediately. Within three weeks of its release it grossed over $1 billion, second only to Cameron´s, Titanic.

Re-Defining Film Technology

Development of Avatar began in 1994 and filming was to take place after the completion of Titanic. However, Cameron was not satisfied with the technology available at the time and decided to postpone filming until it became advanced enough to portray the world he had created. The result was a budget to the rumoured amount of $280-310 million not to mention another $150 million for marketing!

The latest technology in 3D-filming that Cameron uses will have you jumping off your seat. However, should you be on a tight budget, the less expensive 2D version is also more than enough to wet your visual appetite!

Setting and Themes

Avatar takes place in the year 2154 on the planet, Pandora. Humans are interested in mining Pandora´s reserves of a precious metal called unobtanium. The indigenous Na´vi resist the colonists´ expansion by not relocating to another area and thus going to war.

The themes present in Avatar are abundant and have been compared to those found in Dances with Wolves and The Emerald Forest. Culture clash, environmental issues such as sustainability, integration, and loyalty are some.

So if you haven´t yet seen this phenomenal film, put on your 3D glasses and get ready for a journey into space that you will never forget!


Here is some research you can do before watching the movie. Use the internet to learn more about the following:

  1. According to Greek mythology, who was Pandora?
  2. What was Pandora´s Box?
  3. The main Na´vi character has been compared to the American Native Indian, Pocahontas. Who is she and how is her personality described?


These are discussion questions that can be considered both before and after the movie:

1. The motive behind the journey to Pandora is the desire for a mineral called "unobtanium". What word do you think this name stems from, why is it appropriate and what does it signify?


"Unobtanium" resembles the word "unobtainable"

2. Loyalty is a theme that appears in Avatar. Being loyal to one´s group is considered a strong moral value. However, what happens when loyalty comes into conflict with what is right and wrong, personal interests or interests of those "outside" the group?

Further Work

Avatar - Trailer

Avatar on Film Education

(Right-click to open in separate window.)

How to Analyze a Film
Sist oppdatert 22.12.2017
Skrevet av Catharine Ruud


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