While we were watching Avatar, I came to realize that I had seen this story before… it’s Pocahontas. With a little bit of Fern Gully and the Mission, though which a much happier ending all around. I enjoyed it more than I expected, though I am still not a fan of CGI movies. I think part of the reason is that there was a certain cheese factor inherent in the old puppet and animatronic movies that made it easier for me to suspend disbelief and go with it, while there is an expectation that, as a viewer, CGI will blow me away with its life-like qualities. They just look a little too much like rubbery dolls to me.
Visually, the movie was a dreamy cerulean saturated fantasy land, like something from those Magic the Gathering cards that all the boys used to play with when I was in high school. The plot was very basic: Colonial Powers X arrive in unconquered new land filled with potential source of riches enter coveted substance here, Idealistic Group A wants to befriend native population but their efforts are thwarted by the evil powers that be… enter the hero who will be torn between loyalty to powers that be and desire to learn more about the natives, particularly their winsome princess.
In the end, Avatar was entertaining, though a little too long and predictable.