The Legend of Korra : “Beginnings” is a masterstroke!!
(Exerpt) First, let’s talk about the gorgeous new art style that the animators used in Wan’s flashback sequences. As we learned earlier this summer, these scenes were inspired by Asian ink wash paintings and woodblock prints, which we saw brought a completely different feel to the animation, not just in the environments and character design, but the elemental components as well (kind of an ukiyo-e quality).
It helped that these two episodes were done by Studio Mir, the same company that did all of Korra: Book One, and will be sticking around after episode nine. Overall, I think this style really captured the wonder and mysticism of Wan’s time period, making it seem almost surreal, like a legend or fable, which I think was fitting for this story.