The Last Airbender Question Every Fan Wants to Know: Why Ahng Instead of Aaang?


If the reader reactions to our “Last Airbender” review are any indication, there are a lot of very unhappy “Airbender” fans right now. People who have seen the TV show, real fans if you will, who are not very happy with M. Night Shyamalan’s take on the popular Nickelodeon cartoon. Besides the movie’s general lack of awesome, there was also something very noticeably wrong with the film: the movie has, for some reason, changed the pronunciation of the lead character’s name. “Aang” (pronounced pretty much the way it looks, with strong accents on the “a” and “n”, and rhymes with “bang”) had somehow become … “Ahng”, with emphasis on the “Ah”, and rhymes with “hung”.

According to Shyamalan, he did this on purpose. The director tells IndiesMoviesOnline:

And I fought like crazy to have the pronunciation of the names to go back to the Asian pronunciation. So you say “Ahng” instead of “Aaang” because it’s correct. It’s not “I-rack,” it’s “ee-Rock.” I’m literally fighting for all this.

So yes, the actors didn’t start pronouncing Aang’s name “Ahng” because they wanted to, they were directed to do so by M. Night. It seems odd that Shyamalan would go to such great efforts to, from what he’s saying above, change up the pronunciation because he thinks this is how it should be pronounced rather than how the show did it. Ego much?

In any case, here’s what some fans thought of the movie (hint: they think it sucks donkey balls). Ironically, the only fan who liked the movie was the one who wasn’t a fan of the cartoon. A “Twi-hard”, in fact. Go figure.

So I hunted around YouTube, and here’s a scene from the original cartoon that has a pronunciation of Aang’s name. At the 25-second mark Katara mentions Aang’s name, and yup, she pronounces it “Aaang” instead of “Ahng”.

Author: Nix

Editor/Writer at Likes: long walks on the beach and Kevin Costner post-apocalyptic movies. Dislikes: 3D, shaky cam, and shaky cam in 3D. Got a site issue? Wanna submit Movie/TV news? Or to email me in regards to anything on the site, you can do so at nix (at)
  • not a fan

    What would happen if the twilight series changed Edwards name to something like Edaurdo?

    • dissapointed2


  • Robert011

    Also the problem is that there are too many “white” actors in a presumably “asian” setting. Nothing seemed right in the first movie.

  • Taokaj

    I loved the tv show, they handle the martial arts and philosophy behind it well. I haven't seen the movie yet and I probably won't now, but this is the Stephen Chow produced “dragon ball Z” the movie….all over again. That sucked. the acting, the Neo wanna be white guy, playing the lead, lack of character development, bad and non-acting.
    The general rule is ; if it's not on the (scripted) page it's not going to show on the screen. So what did M. Knight start with and how bad did he go off point?
    M. Knight's Airbender name change concerned me but, If the plot worked I could have lived with it….but it is to much like Optimal Primary, (matrix vs. all spark) why not Frodu ?….. chalk this one up to just disappointed. Based on the reviews I would take 1-3 bad reviews and maybe still go see it , but every fan review ? And their is always a test audience for any major film, again was was M Knight's ego just that big?….who did he screen this for before it was released??? If its bad M. Knight had a hand in it.

  • Double-Bind

    i have a friend who just loved the movie. i think she may be the only one in the whole world.

  • Lyredragon

    Um, it was really bad. The CGI was good, and I thought the actors were well chosen, but M. Night took out everything childlike, everything funny, everything silly, and everything good about the series. The whole movie was like the result of taking all of the episode previews and lumping them together to justify the end battle. There is one thing to be said about condensing a series into a 1 1/2 hour movie, but you still have this niggling little thing called character development. It didn't happen in the movie.

  • Mother Review

    I can help but think it was suicide. M. Night comitted career suicide as far as I am concerned. One he cast all the heros as white (I could forgive Aang but the rest?) Sokka, who also had a name change and Katara along with their Gran Gran were the ONLY white family in an eskimo tribe (how did that happen) All the bad guys were indian (the fire nation is clearly of japanese influence) and every thing was created to make the director comfortable as he told almost a completely DIFFERENT storyline from the series. The fact that he himself is Indian American makes no difference to me. He decided to direct a movie that showed like a 1 hr 47 mins screener of special effects. If I have NEVER seen the series I would have been lost.

    • Belle

      Well..I was thinking it was because Gran Gran was from the Northern water tribe, since everyone there was white and she was engaged to be married to the waterbending master there before. Of course, there was no mention of this so I really have no idea.

  • blahhh

    I loved the TV series. The original teaser trailer was awesome!!! But the movie was the worst movie I have ever seen. I'm usually hard to disappoint (that's what she said HA!), but that was awful. The budget was wasted on the overhead shot of Aang bending the ocean. DO NOT SEE THIS MOVIE!!!! YOU WILL BE SORRY.

  • IcyOne


    1.) The movie was so bad that the projector light bulb in my theater was acting up every now and then, and we all got free movie tickets to see something else later.

    2.) I almost cryed when I left because of how many important aspects that were left out or changed completely…….Example……Aang is the Avatar not a winey little cupcake which in this show means he's been reborn countless times and is a prodigy of mastering all the bending abilities with ease and even a lil playful show offy ness. King Boomy & the freedom fighters were missing.Sokka & Katara fater's friend was cut which also has a great fight scene in that episode between Aang and Zuko. He even cut out Aangs first firebending teacher which was important cuz Katara got burned and found out about her rare water healing ability……..Y the hell M. Night cut out Avatar Roku out of the entire movie is beyond me cuz in the show Roku is Aang's guide in both the spirit world and earth telling him & even sometimes protecting him from upcoming dangers hints the Avatar State which unleashes his true potential as the Avatar. By the way he admitted that he filmed the scenes with the Kioshi Warriors but the movie started to just be about them so he just cut them out completely.

    3.) The Acting HELLA SUCKED!!!!!!!!

    4.) I mostly thought that all the Actor/Actresses were playing the wrong people…….Iro looked like he shoulda been Aang & Katara's waterbending teacher and the one who was their teacher shoulda been Iro The one's playing Sokka & Katara should have played Zukko & Azula and vis versa.

    5.) The Water Nations ethnicicity portaial shoulda been switched with the Fire Nations. In the show Waterbenders are more Native American/Middle Eastern looking characters, while the Firebenders are more Japanese/Chinese looking characters…….if anything M. Night should have based their ethnicities on the cultures that used the certian martial arts used in the show……Example…….Earthbenders use the Hun Gar fighting style, Air Benders use Nothern Sholin, and Firebenders use Southern Sholin…..I forget what the Waterbenders use……if ya don't bieleve me then buy season one on DVD go to the special features of one of them and they explain which Nation uses which Fighting style.

    6.) The Humor was completely gone……I felt that it was taken away on purpose and what humor was given came off as bad forced and cheesey. Momo & Oapa have this special funny rivalry they share; Uncle Iro is suposed to be fat, some what smelly, loves tea, and somewhat of a perv; Sokka in this movie came off as dry and desparate with this over serious angry Anikan Skywalker look and feel to him.

    7.) Firebenders can create their own fire which made up many great fight scenes throughout the series and on top of that the moves & bending are quick and powerful like throw a punch and there's fire or air…..stomp the ground a bolder pops up and they'd kick it forward……lift your hands and water springs up and turns to ice……I was watching how long it took for everyone to just to bend and it took everyone at least 12 moves to do something and i was thinking where the hell is Indiana Jones when a guy needs him.

    9.) I'm a hardcore fan of this show and I say don't bother making something if ur gunna change it so much that it feels like your slapping the true fans in the face with a pompus attitude and a smile. What a douche M. Night sucks!!!!

    There's so much wrong with this movie that I'm just unable to express or even convey in this Comment…….and this is just the short form.

    Word Word!!

  • Ekaulia

    its bumi, not boomy.


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