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There are lots of (adorable) hybrid creatures in both Avatar cartoons; Legend of Aang and Legend of Korra.

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What inspired the creators of the show to include these hybrid creatures, as opposed to regular (i.e. boring) creatures?

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    see tvtropes – ratchet freak Aug 13 '12 at 23:32
  • AFAIR, the only occurence of a normal animal was the raven in 3.15 where Zuko and Kitara have an adventure together. – apoorv020 Aug 14 '12 at 10:34
  • That and, noticed by the characters themselves, the earth king's bear. "Nope, just 'bear'". "... This place is weird." – Clockwork-Muse Aug 14 '12 at 20:22
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Besides the obvious reasons related in TV Tropes, Mix and Match Critters, the creators wanted to ensure there was a way to show without constantly saying "you're not in Kansas, anymore Dorothy." With our adventurers constantly on the move, nothing reinforced the sense of strangeness like noticing a duck with a turtle shell. Or a dog-bear. Or a badger-mole. You get the idea.

Many of the episodes revolve around the existence of the strange creatures such as the episode "The Great Divide" which featured the Canyon Crawler, a curious mixture of crocodile and spider. They were challenging to defeat and nearly whole episode revolves around learning what they were capable of doing. Not something you can do with conventional animals found on National Geographic.

Canyon Crawler in action

Canyon Crawler looking for a meal, in "The Great Divide."

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    Not to mention you get the added benefit of humor when you introduce normal animals! Like Bosco! :) Everyone was confused when he showed up. It's another way of immersing yourself in a universe and then making you contrast it with reality. – ardent Aug 14 '12 at 0:29
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    So it's mainly for the sense of otherworldliness? – AncientSwordRage Aug 14 '12 at 20:25
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    Not just for other-worldliness, if that were the case they would not feature so many strange animals as primary events in the story. They really wanted to experiment with creating their own realm, their own mythology, complete with an ecosystem. – Thaddeus Howze Aug 15 '12 at 1:08
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Well I'm guessing, for example, Appa was inspired from the Air Nomads seeing that he has a tatto just like Aang. Momo the same reason. I think Naga was suppose to be inspired from the waterbenders because it's like a polar bear dog. So basically it's a mixture of things.

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    Sorry, I've tried to clarify my question some more. What inspired the writers to include these hybrids at all? – AncientSwordRage Aug 13 '12 at 23:34
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    Ohhh ok well I guess they just thought it would really fit into the series. I really liked all the animals in Avatar. I can get how they would want to put in the Air Temple animals. They were very helpful during the gangs deadly situations. I mean come on, you always need an animal to help you get you out of dangerous problems.... it's just normal. – Danielle Aug 13 '12 at 23:59
  • And since Appa can airbend he is very unique. Better than any other boring animal. And Momo is small and can fly so he's pretty helpful. – Danielle Aug 14 '12 at 0:01

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