Wizards

"Extraordinary"

Wizards Review


If you dread the day your child asks you where babies come from, then you definitely don't want them watching Wizards. If you're looking for an animated classic to watch with the kids on Sunday afternoon, revisit Bambi or The Fox and the Hound. Don't let the PG rating fool you -- Ralph Bakshi's 1977 Wizards will have your kid asking you about stuff that is far more difficult to explain than "the birds and the bees." However, if your kids are old enough to understand nuclear war, Adolf Hitler, the holocaust, assassinations, prostitution, terrorists, and the apocalypse, then they're in for quite a thought-provoking treat.

Director/writer/producer Ralph Bakshi first made a name for himself when he created the first X-rated cartoon Fritz the Cat (1972) and its followup, the R-rated Heavy Traffic (1973). Ever since, Bakshi has continued to make seemingly anti-Disney films that offer consenting adults speculative -- although unappetizing -- food for thought. Wizards is rather tame compared to Bakshi's previous animated features, but that's not the say it isn't just as disturbing.

Wizards opens as terrorists devastate Earth via nuclear war. Two million years later, radiation causes the remaining survivors to mutate into races of elves, dwarves, fairies, and other strange beings. The elves gather together and create a kingdom called Morganthar. The queen gives birth to two sons who become powerful wizards with opposite agendas; Avatar uses his magic for the good of others and becomes ruler of Morganthar, while Blackwolf does horrible things with his magic and exiles himself to a nuclear wasteland called Scortch.

Blackwolf desires world domination -- of what little world there is left -- and gathers mutants and demons from hell to serve in his army of darkness. However, the creatures have nothing to gain from their service, and do not work well as a team. Therefore, Blackwolf digs into world history and discovers information about war weapons and strategies, and finds that he can unite his troops through old film footage of Adolf Hitler.

The film's dark themes are further developed through Bakshi's fascinating -- albeit gloomy -- animation style. He paints a vivid portrait of the post-apocalyptic depression with a bleak palate of dark purple, black, gray, blood red, and navy blue, and seldom gives the audience relief from the disheartening atmospheric colors. At times, Wizards is even superimposed on doctored film (i.e. the animation plays against live action footage; rotoscoping is also used throughout the film), which gives it an exhilarating and frightening temperament. Although the film is never a joyous experience, thanks to Bakshi's daring experimentation, Wizards is an animation maverick.

Nowadays, animated movies are crafted stunningly and entertainingly, but seldom have the courage to challenge our thoughts and uncertainties through avant-garde speculation. It is refreshing to experience films like Wizards that remind us how animated films can fill a niche in the filmmaking community. Wizards may not be everyone's cup of tea, but it is an audacious refreshment that deserves appreciation and respect nonetheless.



Wizards

Facts and Figures

Run time: 80 mins

In Theaters: Wednesday 9th February 1977

Box Office Worldwide: $9M

Budget: $1.2M

Distributed by: Eureka Entertainment Ltd

Production compaines: 20th Century Fox

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 4.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 61%
Fresh: 14 Rotten: 9

IMDB: 6.5 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer:

Starring: as Avatar (voice), Jesse Welles as Elinore (voice), as Weehawk (voice), as Peace (voice)

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Finnish artist Tuoko Laaksonen used the name "Tom of Finland" as he drew explicit illustrations...

A Ghost Story Movie Review

A Ghost Story Movie Review

Filmmaker David Lowery reunites the stars from his offbeat Western Ain't Them Bodies Saints for...

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

From the co-director of John Wick, this similarly styled action romp puts Charlize Theron front...

Girls Trip Movie Review

Girls Trip Movie Review

This movie's premise basically sounds like The Hangover with added black girl power. But it's...

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

There's so much manic energy in this animated action comedy that it can't help but...

The Big Sick Movie Review

The Big Sick Movie Review

It may be rather long for a romantic comedy, but this film has such a...

The Emoji Movie Movie Review

The Emoji Movie Movie Review

There's no reason why this animated comedy adventure needed to be this pointless. Solidly entertaining...

Advertisement
England Is Mine Movie Review

England Is Mine Movie Review

While this is billed as a film about The Smiths' singer-songwriter Morrissey, it's actually an...

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets Movie Review

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets Movie Review

It's been 20 years since French filmmaker Luc Besson shook up the sci-fi genre with...

Dunkirk Movie Review

Dunkirk Movie Review

Britain's epic 1940 evacuation of Dunkirk has been dramatised on film before, but no one...

Killing Ground Movie Review

Killing Ground Movie Review

From Australia, this dark and edgy thriller is skilfully made by writer-director Damien Power to...

City of Ghosts Movie Review

City of Ghosts Movie Review

This award-winning documentary plays like a thriller as it traces the work of a group...

Cars 3 Movie Review

Cars 3 Movie Review

It's been six years since the last Cars movie (there were two Planes movies in...

The Beguiled Movie Review

The Beguiled Movie Review

In her inimitable loose style, Sofia Coppola remakes the 1971 Clint Eastwood movie from a...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.