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  • Award Snub: Many consider that The Hurt Locker winning out over Avatar in the 2010 Oscars and the BAFTAs was in a magnitude comparable to Annie Hall winning out over Star Wars back in 1977. There was a running joke among both fans and haters that voters supported The Hurt Locker and Kathryn Bigelow as an explicit means of snubbing James Cameron. Talk about a Take That!.
  • Dancing Bear: The whole fuss about the technological achievements necessary to pull this movie off: 3D digital film cameras, motion capture refinements, etc. Arguably the never-fully-disclosed but definitely astronomical budget and the marketing-induced hype contributed to this.
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  • Draco in Leather Pants: Colonel Quaritch has a veritable legion of apologists and defenders who play up his pre-existing Benevolent Boss traits and exaggerate him into a hero to humanity attacking the "savage" Na'vi. Quaritch isn't bereft of admirable traits, but he's an unforgivably militant and racist warmonger who is more proactive than anyone else in the film about slaughtering the Na'vi—whom he provokes in the first place.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Grace, the compassionate doctor who taught the Na'vi English, played by Sigourney Weaver. Probably the movie's most genuinely sympathetic and noble character. Her avatar has got to be the single most incredible achievement in CGI technology ever. Sadly, she's also the designated casualty meant to pull at our heartstrings. But at least she becomes one with Eywa, a truly worthy final fate for her.
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  • Evil Is Cool: Quaritch. Has a large fandom who admire him for being such an ultimate Colonel Badass. He is, in fact, a villain. The villain.
  • Fandom-Enraging Misconception: Calling anyone in the film "Avatar", or calling the Na'vi "Avatars".
  • Growing the Beard: For the 3-D Movie trend; this movie may mark the turning point where 3D versions are no longer just a gimmick to charge movie-goers extra.
  • He's Just Hiding!: Plenty of fans continue to speculate that Trudy survived her apparent death in the final battle, even after the casting announcements for the sequels makes her return unlikely.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • One of Stephen Lang's (Quaritch) earlier roles was in Tall Tale, where he played a farmer standing-up to a mining company from developing a fertile valley.
    • Before the Memetic Badass Quaritch became Lang's most notable role, his previous famous role was Ike Clanton, who is the flipside of Quaritch as a completely cowardly villain.
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    • An often criticized aspect of Avatar is that they felt like it was a Disney movie. Then Disney bought Fox and, by definition, holds the rights to the movie.
  • It's Popular, Now It Sucks!: Once this movie became the highest grossing film of all time (not counting re-releases or adjusting for inflation), it pretty much became the definitive example of this trope on the internet.
  • Misaimed Fandom: Quaritch is understandably subject to this, being an example of both Evil Is Cool and Colonel Badass. It is when people try to defend destroying the Na'vi home and killing several Na'vi in the process that the extent of said fandom gets disturbing.
  • Older Than They Think:
    • People would accuse Avatar of being a ripoff of something fairly recent when James Cameron had publicly stated that he had been inspired by something far older. Oddly enough, no one would have said John Carter of Mars. Though it does not contain the environmentalism aspects Avatar has. (Cameron also reportedly said the film was sort of a sci-fi King Lear.) The script also predates many of the stories that people complain are 'too similar'.
    • Strugatsky Brothers' Noon Universe had a similar planet, complete with wildlife and the native tribes. The planet's name was... Pandora! Russian readers have drawn much attention to this, and Boris eventually commented: "The Americans borrowed our idea. That's quite unpleasant, but we wouldn't sue them for that, now would we?"
    • The The Word for World Is Forest , by Úrsula K. Le Guin, has a plot very similar to that of avatar, only without the annoying elements Mighty Whitey.
    • In the Walls of Eryx (1939) is a story where greedy humans invade the planet Venus in search of a powerful source of energy in the form of crystals, and come into conflict with the planet's native race.
  • Rooting for the Empire: Being that the villains are humanity, a number of viewers found themselves rooting for the RDA.
  • Tainted by the Preview: The anticipation, to date, went something like this: "A new movie by James Cameron? The guy who directed Aliens? All very hush-hush? It could be anyth—oh the teaser trailer's out? It's Space Marines vs. Native American alien cat people? That's it? Screw you, James Cameron, screw you." When some people have seen the ads on Cartoon Network, they're convinced that it'll be too kiddish for them. Then the movie came out, and the preview turned out to be a fairly complete plot summary.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome:
    • There had been lots of motion-capture characters in film, but the Na'vi are probably the first ones anyone would want to have sex with.
    • The holographic maps Parker uses and all the other screens in the base.
    • And the forest, particularly at night in a world full of bioluminescence, and the flying machines and creatures, and Sam Worthington's convincingly atrophied legs.
    • One of the most impressive things about the effects was the way the CG characters interacted with the live action ones. In particular the sequence between Jake and Neytiri when she sees Jake's human body for the first time. Jake touches Neytiri's Face and Neytiri holds Jake's hand, and it looks perfectly seamless.
    • The 3D was simply revolutionary. This was the first 3D movie with a truly progressive depth of field to fully exploit the effect as opposed to a succession of fairly flat layers with a few gimmicky objects being waved in the audience's face. Easily the biggest leap forward in Visual Effects (and, arguably, film-making in general) since 1977, if not 1939.
  • Vocal Minority: While perhaps few people really loved the movie, both critical and audience responses were favorable overall. Despite this, a few very loud internet reviewers absolutely hate the movie and give the impression that everyone hates the movie.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not for Kids?: The film is PG-13 rated and by no means for kids, but due to the McDonald's Happy Meal promotion and other toys being made, parents still took their kids to go see it...Because the Na'vi look like a little blue alien from a certain Disney film. In response, James Cameron made a censored audio track for the DVD releases.

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