Ralph Bakshi, director of the iconic FRITZ THE CAT and THE LORD OF THE RINGS, created this animated oddity in 1977, the first animated film by 20th Century Fox. An allegorical epic about war between two wizard brothers for control of a post-apocalyptic Earth populated by elves and fairies, WIZARDS is an occasionally compelling psychedelic curiosity that is both beautiful and fatally unfocused.
Pretty awful. It has it's moments but it's a mess. Unfunny, annoyingly crude, disturbingly sexual (for what he's stated that he wanted to be a kids movie), and just plain ugly almost completely throughout. Hugely disappointing.
The movie was a lot of fun to watch back then. Don't know how well it has held up over time. He also took a turgid stab at Lord of the Rings, pasting his animation over live action, which didn't come out very well.
Ralph Bakshi's really bizarre animated feature is difficult to describe. The animation is crude, the voice work stilted, and the story often near incomprehensible, but somehow it all melds together into something strangely compelling despite its glaring flaws. Not a great film by any means, but a fascinating oddity of animation.
Some abhor static still-frames in animation. It's consumerism cutting crnrs. Texhnolyze and Serial Experiments: Lain used it to great effect. Here of course it's the prevalent rotoscoped backgrounds that push the piece beyond its limits.
Bakshi is not a great nor particularly talented filmmaker. But seeing his flat, crudely drawn, late-style Hanna Barbera looking animated characters matted on top of deliriously detailed, psychedelic, "Heavy Hurlant" inspired backgrounds is some kind of visual miracle. The characters are forgettable and the story is nowhere in the galaxy of being original, but Wizards looks drop dead amazing!
Not exactly the most original story, but it is very entertainingly delivered and uniquelly animated by Bakshi over a surrealist, psychedelic backdrop that helps bring vivacity to the narrative. Watching it I kept thinking: "this would've made for a great tv show", and I very much feel like it could've been at least an extra hour long; that would help bring some much needed balance.
The art, animation, music, and the atmosphere created are the center of the show here. Clearly the story is not, with shallow characterizations and an erratic plot. Quite akin to a bad trip like many of Bakshi's 70s films, but the unique experience is visually dazzling with the vast color palette and rotoscoping of WWII footage. A must see for any who alter their states regularly or are dedicated animation fans.