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

Murder on the Orient Express Movie Review

Murder on the Orient Express Movie Review

The latest adaptation of Agatha Christie's 83-year-old classic whodunit, this lavish, star-studded film is old-style...

Paddington 2 Movie Review

Paddington 2 Movie Review

The first Paddington movie in 2014 is already such a beloved classic that it's hard...

A Bad Moms Christmas Movie Review

A Bad Moms Christmas Movie Review

Everyone's back from last year's undemanding adult comedy, plus some starry new cast members, for...

Brawl in Cell Block 99 Movie Review

Brawl in Cell Block 99 Movie Review

Filmmaker S. Craig Zahler brought a blast of offbeat creativity to the Western genre two...

The Death of Stalin Movie Review

The Death of Stalin Movie Review

Fans of the film In the Loop and the TV series Veep will definitely not...

Call Me By Your Name Movie Review

Call Me By Your Name Movie Review

Set in northern Italy in the summer of 1983, this internationally flavoured drama is a...

Thor: Ragnarok Movie Review

Thor: Ragnarok Movie Review

The most riotously enjoyable Marvel movie yet, this action epic benefits hugely from the decision...

Advertisement
Breathe Movie Review

Breathe Movie Review

While this biopic has the standard sumptuous production values of a British period drama, it's...

The Snowman Movie Review

The Snowman Movie Review

With a cast and crew packed with A-list talent, this film seems like it should...

The Party Movie Review

The Party Movie Review

Comedies don't get much darker than this pitch-black British movie, written and directed by Sally...

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) Movie Review

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) Movie Review

Noah Baumbach (Frances Ha) is on his way to becoming the new Woody Allen, which...

6 Below Movie Review

6 Below Movie Review

Based on an astonishing true survival story, this film is subtitled "Miracle on the Mountain",...

Mother Movie Review

Mother Movie Review

Darren Aronofsky doesn't make fluffy movies, and has only had one genuine misfire (2014's Noah)....

Blade Runner 2049 Movie Review

Blade Runner 2049 Movie Review

It's been 35 years since Ridley Scott's 1982 sci-fi classic, which was set in 2019....

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.