Avatar finally ended its stretch as America's #1 movie, but people are continuing to point out sources that James Cameron borrowed from.
Dances With Wolves
The similarities: A military man "goes native" and takes the side of the natives against his own army.
The similarities: mostly they have to do with a guy going native and falling for a native woman, while his comrades want to run the natives out. Oh, and the native woman is betrothed to a native warrior guy, but she's not into him.
Call Me Joe
The similarities: Like Avatar, Call Me Joe centers on a paraplegic - Ed Anglesey - who telepathically connects with an artificially created life form in order to explore a harsh planet (in this case, Jupiter). Anglesey, like Avatar's Jake Sully, revels in the freedom and strength of his artificial created body, battles predators on the surface of Jupiter, and gradually goes native as he spends more time connected to his artificial body.
Roger Dean's paintings
The similarities: We ran a gallery of Dean paintings that look awfully similar to Cameron's vision a while back, and it is definitely striking how much correspondence there is — the floating mountains, the dragons, the weird fauna, the arch-shaped rock formations, etc.
Judgment On Janus by Andre Norton
The similarities: There are idllyic forest people, the Iftin, who are in touch with their world and live in big trees. And they bond neurally with their hunting birds, the quarrin. A human who's part of a group looking to exploit the planet goes into the forest and gets the "green sickness," then finds that he's been transformed into one of the Iftin.
The World of Noon by Arkady and Boris Strugatsky
The similarities: The Guardian reports that Russians are up in arms about the parallels between this ten-book series and Cameron's film. They both take place in the 22nd century and feature a planet called Pandora. The aliens in the Noon books are called the Nave. Both Pandoras are idyllic forest worlds, although the Noon books feature two humanoid native species, not one.
The Fire Kind
The similarities: This comic came out in 2000 A.D., just before Cameron wrote his first "scriptment" for Avatar. There's a lush jungle world, where the blue natives ride on big dragons, and an evil corporation wants to mine the rare mineral Hexacrin. And the natives have a psychic connection to their entire world. And there are "weird floating rocks." Also, the main character is a human botanist who goes against his own kind to defend the natives.
So what do you think, did he get his ideas from these movies and books, or just a super cliched plot that has been done to death?
Either or I still enjoyed the movie enough to see it twice in the theaters.