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4.0 out of 5 stars
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4.0 out of 5 stars
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on 13 August 2015
Actually saw this at the cinema as a support feature to something or other when I was about ten. I absolutely loved it at the time and was curious to see it again as it's one of those forgotten cult movies that never seems to turn up on TV.
Ralph Baski's reputation has taken something of a kicking over the last few years as his animated Lord Of The Rings (which was highly thought off at the time) seemed to have been thrown into a very poor light by the Peter Jackson movies. However at a time when animation was extremely unfashionable (even Disney had more or less given up on it) he deserves credit for at least trying to persevere with the form and he certainly brings a great deal of imagination and style to this curious dystopian view of a post apocalyptic earth. Some of the themes (the evil rise of technology) are consistent with Lord Of The Rings and in a way this could be seen as a dry run for his adaption. Unfortunately like his ,LOTR he seems to have run out of cash so the end feels rather sudden and rushed apart from that though there is a great deal to enjoy here. The use of rotoscope (essentially tracing over real film footage to give the appearance of animation) is a controversial technique and while ti can look impressive in small doses is rather overused here.
Wizards really reminds us of a time when 'adult' animation was seem by some people (although to be fair not many) as a viable genre but I guess the costs of any apart from the most basic Saturday morning cartoon variety means that without mass market success it's just not a commercial goer and never has been.
It is shonky in places but utterly beguiling in others and if you have any interest in the history of cinematic animation or a fan of SF/Fantasy worlds I'd urge you to seek it out.
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on 18 July 2017
It's a little dated now I suppose but I enjoyed the film. really if you're looking for a proper review I'm the wrong person to ask, for me it was partly a nostalgia thing buying this anyway.
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on 19 April 2017
Hadnt seen this in years and forgot how weird it was
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on 27 April 2017
All is well. Great blu-ray.
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on 28 June 2017
Trippy artwork - great film
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on 6 August 2017
Saw this as a teenager
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on 13 July 2010
There are a lot of faults with this film, particularly in comparison with Bakshi's later Lord of the Rings; the use of stock footage, narration over stills, awkward dialogue, inconsistent art and animation styles, and grotesque lapses of taste.

None of which matters. This is the fan-boy film par excellence, a tour-de-force of trippy creativity.

If you're an amateur animator yourself, you will find this movie inspiring. If like me you're old enough to remember fantasy before the polish and commercialism of CGI blockbusters, you'll appreciate the reminder that some people once made films for fun. Because they could.

If you enjoy the better amateur animations on YouTube, the parodies and pastiches that're exercising the next generation of movie-makers, you'll like this film. And if you like this film at all, you'll love it.
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on 16 November 2013
Two sons are born to a magical enchantress and fairy queen. One good, Avatar, and one not so good, Blackwolf.
As they grow up to be wizards in their own right, their personalities inevitably clash, and on hearing of the death of their mother, they end up fighting for supremacy of the fertile homelands, with the outcome being that Blackwolf gets his tail kicked and is banished into the cursed wastelands for ever..
3000 years have passed however and the vengeance driven Blackwolf has been amassing an army of evil fiends, so that he might destroy Avatar and conquer the happy places (filled with democracy, hippyness, love and other sickly sweet cuteness!) for himself, but every time he attempts a military coup, his feeble minded, wretched armies are beaten back by the heroic wholesome armies at Avatar's disposal.
That is until one day, when Blackwolf finds some ancient technology, in the form of Nazi war machines and Nuremberg rally, Third Reich ideology footage, which he uses to kill everything good that stands in his way, with devastating effect...

I have a certain amount of history with this particular animated/live action, Bakshi fantasy effort and am therefore unashamedly biased as to how utterly great I think it is.
Some of the animation is lousy, the jokes and humour are poorly timed and it's 'Lord Of The Rings' borrowed storyline, with added themes of Nazism, technology versus nature and kinky symbolism is questionable for any 'family film' to say the least, but with that said, that is what makes it so enjoyable. The sum of it's imperfections and the total of it's inappropriateness.
Any kids movie that features heaving bosomed fairies, in see through clothes, fighting evil Nazi mutants, elf prostitution, drug references, psychedelic visuals, wigged~out music, Tyrell's husky voiced narration, and a hippy luddite sentimentality, is definitely okay in my book!
Meaning that when I watched this again the other week with a few friends, for my birthday (I hadn't seen it since I picked up the pre~cert VHS in the early/mid 90s ~ some of the others there had never seen it), we just sat back, mostly in amazement! Admittedly we were trashed, but mostly amazed nontheless.

Now don't get me wrong, I really don't have time for Disney or Manga, or any of that modern day cartoon stuff, for the most part, but like 'Little Nezha Fights Great Dragon Kings', this I will always have time for, because it's simply just ace!
The film was given an airing on Sky tele in the mid nineties, but was cut.
Bakshi's interview on the Eureka dvd was a bore and went off after about 30seconds (better viewed when I'm more together methinks!), but the guy excelled himself when he made this..

Don't get me wrong, it's trashy, with much done badly, but with the addition of mutant swastika brainwashed sunrises, raunchy love fairies and head spinning psychedelia for 70s kids, means you can't go wrong if of the right age, or leanings!

5/5
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on 3 May 2015
Disappointingly unfinished movie. I felt sorry for the creators of this film. It could have been brilliant. It had some good ideas, some good scenes, and some good art, but it changed from narration over stills to colour bleached imported footage to quirky cartoon. The narrator was badly cast and sounded like she was bored. The whole felt like it hadn't been thought through properly and was finished in a rush.
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Ralph Bakshi's boho fantasy Wizards, like Richard Williams' doomed Thief and the Cobbler, is a reaction against Disney animated features and shares few of its strengths and many of its flaws, as well as coming up with many of its own. For all his talk about wanting to show Disney how to tell a real story with real passion, there's a real lack of story and worse, a real lack of feeling that the dull characters and disinterested vocal performances only draw attention to. But perhaps most fatal of all is the largely uninteresting animation that often seems pitched somewhere between Filmation and underground comics, with the more interesting (and potentially expensive) sequences played purely as two-tone still concept images with Susan Tyrell's flat narration giving the film an uncompleted work-in-progress look. The use of crudely rotoscoped footage from El Cid, Alexander Nevsky and Zulu for the choppy battle scenes is also rather too awkward to work, especially since it is never properly integrated with the genuinely animated characters. At its heart there's a vaguely interesting notion (it's certainly not developed enough to be called an idea) about the war between technology and magic - embodied by two brother wizards at each others throats for thousands of years - coming to a head when the bad one discovers the motivating power of Nazi propaganda, but too often it's simply clumsily reacting against the Disney formula rather than telling a story and you can see all too clearly the early signs of just how badly Bakshi would mess up The Lord of the Rings here.

Still, Fox's Region 1 NTSC DVD boasts a nice widescreen transfer and a good selection of extras - an audio commentary by Bakshi and a 35-minute documentary on him and the film, various stills galleries, TV spot and two trailers which have been carried over for Eureka's UK Bluray release.
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