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Why Dionne Quan Is The Perfect Voice For Toph In The New 'Avatar: The Last Airbender' Movie

Toph may sound familiar.

By Kristy AndersonPublished about a month ago 4 min read
Credit: Nickelodeon/Avatar Studios

It's going to be an exciting few years for fans of the Avatar: The Last Airbender franchise. Aside from the live-action Netflix series, which has renewed for a further two seasons (thus confirming a full adaptation of the original animated series), an animated film is currently slated for releasein October 2025.

Little is currently known about the film, tentatively titled Aang: The Last Airbender, except that it will be set around ten years after the events of the animated series, when the characters are in their twenties. Somewhat controversially, the majority of the original voice cast will not be returning for the new film, aside from Dante Basco, who will return to voice Zuko. There are two major reasons for the recasting: one, some of the actors have aged out of their roles, and two, the creators hoped to attempt more racially/culturally accurate casting.

K-Pop star Eric Nam has been cast as the adult Aang, with Jessica Matten as Katara, Roman Zaragoza as Sokka, and Guardians of the Galaxy star Dave Bautista voicing the as yet unnamed villain of the film. There has been some concern over the fact that none of those chosen are known voice actors. So, it was a welcome surprise for some fans to discover that Dionne Quan, the actress chosen for the character of Toph Beifong is not only a seasoned voice actress, but, also an existing Nickelodeon legend, which is fitting, considering ATLA's status as one of Nickelodeon's flagship franchises.

Here's everything you need to know about Toph, her new voice actress Dionne Quan, and why she is perfect for the role.

Who is Toph Beifong?

Newer fans who have come to the Avatar: The Last Airbender universe through the Netflix series won't know who Toph Beifong is just yet, so here's a quick rundown. In the animated series, the GAang first meet Toph in the season two episode 'The Blind Bandit', where they encounter her as the titular bandit, emerging victorious in an underground Earthbending fighting ring. While blind, Toph is a highly gifted Earthbender, having learnt directly from the first Earthbenders, the Badger Moles. Toph has also developed the ability to 'see' via the vibrations of the Earth, so long as she walks upon it with bare feet.

Unfortunately, Toph's wealthy, overprotective parents, Lao and Poppy Beifong, believe their daughter's blindness renders her helpless. They are unable to accept her great skill even when they do become aware of it, instead declaring she needs even stricter supervision. Toph opts to run away and join Team Avatar, becoming Aang's Earthbending Master. She later creates the art of Metalbending. Toph is voiced in the original series by Michaela Jill Murphy.

Toph reappears in the sequel series, The Legend of Korra. At first, she is mostly seen in the form of statues around Republic City, and flashbacks to her time as Republic City's Police Chief. A now elderly Toph appears in person in the show's fourth and final season, where she delivers aid and special training to a PTSD stricken Avatar Korra. She reappears in the latter part of the season, joining a mission to rescue her daughter, Suyin, and her family from enemy captivity. The elderly Toph was voiced by the late Philece Sampler.

Dionne Quan, Nickelodeon Legend

In the upcoming unimated film, set decades before Legend of Korra, Toph will be in her early twenties. Republic City is most likely in it's early stages of construction, if it yet exists at all, but Toph will likely be busy with the Metalbending Academy she founded in the ATLA comics. As mentioned above, this incarnation of Toph will be voiced by Dionne Quan.

For many fans, Quan is best known as the voice of Kimi Watanabe-Finster in the beloved Nicktoon, Rugrats. Kimi was introduced in the franchise's second big-screen movie, Rugrats in Paris. By the end of the film, Kimi's Mother, Kira, marries Chas, Chuckie's Father, making Kimi and Chuckie stepsiblings.

Kimi is initially described in the series as a female Tommy Pickles. She is fearless, gutsy, throwing herself eagerly into most of the babies' adventures. Some fans believe these shared character traits place Quan in good stead to transition into voicing a tough-girl character such as Toph. However, there are other factors that makes Quan the perfect choice to voice Toph Beifong.

Dionne Quan is Legally Blind

As a Chinese American, Quan fits the preference for more Racially accurate casting in the upcoming film. She also shares another notable trait with her new character. Like Toph Beifong, Dionne Quan is Blind, having been born with Optic-nerve Hypoplasia. Like Toph, Quan has had to work harder in her profession, to show Casting Directors that her talent is worth the extra effort (such as specially made Braille scripts, and avoiding last minute dialogue changes) that comes with accomodating her Disability.

Dionne Quan can relate to Toph on a level no sighted actor ever could, as she has faced similar struggles. This makes her the perfect choice to voice the character, and may even become the best Toph yet.

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About the Creator

Kristy Anderson

Passionate About all things Entertainment!

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