Watch: Young Avatar cast explain moment they saw their characters on the big screen
The young stars of Avatar: The Way of Water have said they were reduced to tears when they saw their performances in all of their glory on the big screen.
More than a decade after the first Avatar movie, James Cameron's ambitious sequel follows the Sully family — which has grown since last time — as they flee their village due to the threat posed by Quaritch (Stephen Lang) and the other "sky people".
The family hole up with the aquatic Metkayina clan and have to learn how to be at one with water as well as the forest, requiring some hugely ambitious underwater filming.
Bailey Bass, who plays Metkayina clan member Tsireya, told Yahoo UK there were 'lots of tears of joy and gratitude' at the cast screening.
She added: "We were able to watch as if we weren't a part of it. Not because we didn't recognise ourselves. I think it's really easy for us to recognise ourselves because it's performance-capture and they're going into every pore of our body.
"But it has been so long that we can just sit back and enjoy and be proud of it."
Read more: How the Avatar sequel pushes CGI boundaries
Jamie Flatters, who makes his feature debut as eldest Sully child Neteyam, said: "The weird phenomenon with this one is that we've had so much time with this film that we've had many years not filming anything waiting for this thing to come out.
"We've already been able to come to peace with the filming process we had. So it's nice to now have the aftermath of it."
Flatters added that the fact Cameron is happy with the work really makes an impact on him and the other members of the cast.
He said: "With such an expansive vision like this, failure almost seems illusory when it's so big and it exists in between so many people. But things like this really can collapse, so it's great that the vision came together again."
One of the most complex and interesting roles in the film is the one played by Jack Champion as Spider — a human child who is far more at home with Na'vi than people.
The star said it was "beautiful" to see the film, having worked so hard on technically demanding scenes he had to film several times in order to incorporate the CGI elements.
He added: "I remember seeing [Stephen Lang] in his mo-cap suit pretending to reload this gun during a fight scene.
"And then you actually see it and, instead of him holding a grey endo-skeleton form of a gun, you see an actual gun. It's raining and you see the rust colouration. It just looks so amazing."
Champion threw himself into the research process when he discovered that he was auditioning for the sequel to a movie he was too young to properly remember.
He added: "When I learned I was auditioning for Avatar 2, I obsessively watched it for like a month straight. I was just locked in tunnel vision. I got to the point where I was correcting Jim about stuff. He said it wrong."
Trinity Jo-Li Bliss, at just 13 years old, is one of the youngest cast members and was born in the same year that the first Avatar took cinema screens by storm.
She said: "I was still a baby when it came out and all of my family had gone to see it. They loved it and I got to hear about all of their experiences later on, but the first time I finally watched it was auditioning.
"I just watched it over and over again. I couldn't get enough of this beautiful world of Pandora. It became one of my favourite movies and still is to this day.
"When the re-release came out, I watched it three times in one week — once IMAX, twice 3D."
Bliss added that it was "absolutely surreal" to see her character — youngest Sully child Tuk — on the big screen in full CGI form.
"Avatar will always have a really special place in my heart and will forever be a part of me," Bliss added.
She said: "I grew up on the set with all of these people. They're my Avatar family, so I'm rooting for all of us."
Avatar: The Way of Water will be released in cinemas and IMAX from 16 December.
Watch: Trailer for Avatar: The Way of Water