Director M. Night Shyamalan returns to theaters next week with The Last Airbender, his highly-anticipated big-budget adaptation of the popular Nickelodeon cartoon Avatar: The Last Airbender.

While the most recent TV spots for The Last Airbender offered a significant look at the film’s version of Appa, the Sky Bison, this new promo reveals the design of another fantastical creature – the flying lemur, Momo.

In the original series, Aang (who will played in Shyamalan’s film by Noah Ringer) formed a particularly strong bond with both Appa (his means of transportation) and Momo (his pet) as they, like him, are the last of their kind. In The Last Airbender movie the white furry creatures will aid Aang in his quest to restore balance to the world – alongside the comical Sokka (Jackson Rathbone) and his water-bending sister Katara (Nicola Peltz).

You can get an early look at Momo in the TV spot below:

The visual effects and production design of The Last Airbender continues to look rather impressive, as do the element-based fights and battle sequences.  Unfortunately, the dialogue and acting still sounds and looks wooden at best, lifeless at worst.

You probably also noticed that The Last Airbender has officially been Rated PG for “fantasy action violence.”  Despite the dark tone of the film’s cinematography and the wartime setting of its plot, this doesn’t exactly come as a surprise for a film based on a kid’s TV show.

Will younger moviegoers be more likely to forgive The Last Airbender for its flimsy screenwriting and poor acting if it delivers some spectacular, FX-heavy action?  I wouldn’t be surprised, but here’s hoping that the thematic elements of the film are more stimulating than they’ve appeared to be so far.

Do you like the visual style of The Last Airbender?  Do you think the young actors will be more convincing when seen in the context of the film as a whole?  Sound off in the comments section below.

The Last Airbender arrives in regular and 3D theaters in the U.S. on July 1, 2010.