Monday, February 18, 2013

Tuesday's Overlooked Film: Wizards

This week's Tuesday's Overlooked Film may not be overlooked by most animation fans, but it's brand new to me--it's Ralph Bakshi's 1977 fantasy Wizards.

I learned of this film's existence thanks to the pop culture blog The Retroist, which today celebrated the announcement of an impending soundtrack release. I've known of Bakshi of course, first by hearing of this more adult-oriented animated films such as Fritz The Cat, then learning of his involvement, much to my surprise, with the classic '60s cartoon TV series Spider-Man and The Mighty Heroes, two of my favorites.

Wizards is the story, set in a dystopian future Earth (is there any other kind of future Earth?) about two elderly wizard brothers, one good, one evil, who are at war with each other. Along the way, there are fairies, elves, a half-ostrich-half-camel, and trippy animation so far out it makes Nelvana's 70s output look like 60s Hanna-Barbera.

According to an interview quoted in Wikipedia, Bakshi made this film to be one of his more "family oriented" films. In Bakshi's mind, this is family oriented:

Joel Schumacher would be proud.

Thanks to the blessing that is YouTube, I can see this film for the first time in its entirety, and so can you. Enjoy!


Todd Mason said...

As you probably know, this led up to his wildly unloved by most THE LORD OF THE RINGS...and, I guess, by the standards of HEAVY TRAFFIC, this is comparatively kid-friendly fare. (You recall the hassles over his work on MIGHTY MOUSE, no?)

Phillyradiogeek said...

I do indeed know of his Mighty Mouse troubles. I only saw it here and there, but it certainly wasn't the Mighty Mouse I knew at the age of 5.

After re-reading my post, I sound too condemning of Bakshi with my family-oriented remark than I intended to. I found the idea of it being a family movie more amusing than shameful. I'm looking forward to seeing this when I can!

RkR said...

I well remember when this was released, following FRITZ, and I saw it in the theater. At the time, I thought it was very cool. Now, not so much, but still entertaining.

Brad said...

I never understood why mere footage of marching Nazis would paralyze the elves. It's not like they showed the liberation of Auschwitz...


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