"Wizards" (1977, Ralph Bakshi)

Discussion in 'Reader Reviews' started by Uncle Jay, Nov 21, 2008.

  1. Uncle Jay

    Uncle Jay Member

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    I'm a big fan of Ralph Bakshi, one of the pioneers of adult animation. He's definitely an acquired taste, but a visionary nonetheless. You may know him best for creating the first X-rated cartoon film Fritz the Cat, based on Robert Crumb's infamous underground comic, or maybe even the animated Lord of the Rings from 1978, but most likely from his last and probably weakest film, Cool World. One of Bakshi's gems is a sci-fi fantasy called Wizards, a story about two wizard brothers, who battle each other in the far distant future.

    On a post-apocalyptic Earth, the world now consists mostly of elves, fairies, and mutants. The evil wizard Blackwolf, seeks to control the world with his army of mutants by digging up Nazi propaganda and simulating the works of Adolf Hitler. He sends out a band of Bounty Hunters, led by the assassin robot Necron 99, to wipe out all the wizards or users of technology of any kind...people that could stand in his way of world domination.

    Meanwhile, the good wizard Avatar, is a down-to-earth, Peter Falk-like guy who is madly in love with the young fairy princess, Elinore. After Necron 99 tries to assassinate him (obviously failing), Avatar knows that he most confront his evil brother as he did many years ago, this time to the death. Avatar, along with Elinore, a noble elf named Weehawk, and a reprogrammed Necron 99 now named "Peace," travel to put an end to this war his brother created.

    Wizards, like most of Bakshi's work, is a very avant-garde film. It's smart, strange, funny, violent and quite remarkable. Definitely worth a look...it's unlike any fantasy you've ever witnessed...unless of course you're familiar with Bakshi's work. It's among his better efforts. Look for Mark Hamill's voice, he portrays a fairy named Sean (very brief, he gets shot right away - yeah, it's that kind of flick).

    ***1/2/****


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    -UJ
     
  2. Novosibirsk

    Novosibirsk Member

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    I remember seeing this as a child, and being simultaneously enthralled and confused. I'd never seen anything like it before.
     
  3. inkmachine

    inkmachine Member

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    As great as the movie Wizards is, you must understand that it's not truly Bakshi's vision. It's a rather blatant ripoff of a character called Cobalt 60 by the late great artist Vaughn Bode'.

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    Do some goodle research and you'll find alot of info on how Bakshi really ripped off the Vaughn Bode universe.

    I still loved the movie though :)
     
  4. Erick H.

    Erick H. Well-Known Member

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    I haven't seen that film since an arthouse screening many years ago.Anybody have the DVD,how's the quality ?
     
  5. MorallySound

    MorallySound Mad Mutilator

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    "Wizards" is easily my favorite animated film. Love all of Bakshi's work, but this is my fav.
     
  6. Shock Waves

    Shock Waves New Member

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    Wow, that's a flashback for me. I remember reading Cobalt 60 in issues of Heavy Metal magazine.

    As to Wizards, I think it's a wonderful peice of animation. It seems a bit disjointed story-wise, but I don't think it detracts from the overall effect.
     
  7. Uncle Jay

    Uncle Jay Member

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    Yeah, I read Cobalt 60 too back then. The resemblance is pretty uncanny, but different enough for Bakshi to put his own stamp on it. I won't say that he blatantly ripped it off, but more along the lines of inspired.

    On another note, I hear Zack Snyder is tackling a Cobalt 60 movie for 2011.

    -UJ
     

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