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.
Strange near psychedelic fantasy cartoon for- Adults? Kids? Somewhere in between? The animation is cheap despite the 1.2M budget, some humor is out of place, but I can't say it wasn't likable. The fusion of Hitler propaganda films as "dream machines" was, as Elinore would have said, bold.
This film needs more praise. Mixed media bank overdraw with face-kicking Brooklyn attitude locking your melted brain into a magic duel with fantasy tropes in heat, all wetly grinding the loosest color pallete (un)imaginable. Rotoscoped Eisenstein battlescene stock footage? So tastee. Bakshi, his balls, and his patience for the manic make me proud.
His output pinpoints a time when mainstream animation was exploring more sinister themes. Here he reigns in his audacity compared to the Coonskin/Street Fight project before it. He has his flaws for sure...every movie looks like it was done quickly. I love his work because he just put's it all up there. Animation is supposed to be a limitless medium and he is definitely pushing the boundaries with what can be shown.
Family film this is not, it's too dark of a story for children and I can't understand why it was given a PG rating. It's clearly animation for adults, kids would think it scary. Bakshi's animation was clearly ahead of its time but now it just looks dated, but I did enjoy certain aspects of it. Cool story and even though its only 80 minutes long, it could have been shorter.
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.
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!
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.