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Saturday, January 1, 2011

Wizards (DVD) by Ralph Bakshi

My opinion is all over the place with this movie

Another reviewer described Wizards accurately when he said it was "a weird, horrible, funny, enthralling cartoon movie". That is dead on. The animation is both bad and wonderful. The plot is epic, wonderful and poorly thought out and petty.
Ralph Bakshi

So, here are some random thoughts: 

The animation:

I LOVE the fact that Bakshi used a variety of animation styles and techniques. It made the movie visually interesting and some of the animation is great enough to rival Disney animation at its very best.

Sometimes, however, the animation is of such poor quality that it distracts from the action. At times, the animation is worse than SeaLab 2021 on Adult Swim - and they intentionally make the animation bad! Money became an issue as the movie was being animated and it is, at times, quite obvious that they cut corners in some segments.

The characters and plot:

Avatar putting the moves on Elinore
Well, you clearly have good guys and bad guys. However, you have muddled motivation for the mutant bad guys (led by the evil wizard Blackwolf) to attack the good guys. At first, it seems like Blackwolf's mutants are attacking because they are envious of the prosperity of the good humans and their allies, the elves and fairies. Then, about halfway through, we find out the mutants are forced to live in irradiated territories that the good wizard (Avatar) never quite got around to cleaning up with his good magic even though he comments that he could easily do it. Why didn't he? Well, apparantly, he's too concerned with drinking scotch and lusting over his young, lusty, busty apprentice.

Blackwolf showing his movies
This throws the whole plot into a twist - are the bad guys really evil mutants? Or, are they victims of repression on the part of the non-mutants. If that is the case, than what is Bakshi trying to say by having the mutants being whipped up by Nazi propoganda movies? Is he trying to excuse the Nazis by making a parrallel with the Peace of Versailles and the terrible terms imposed on the Germans that led to the rise of the Nazis?

No, I think he's just got a really, really sloppy script, as evidenced by the fact that half of the lines of his lead elf character (soon to be king) are incoherent battle screams - even when they're not appropriate. He must be a hoot at the dinner table!

Blackwolf's mutants on the attack.
And I wonder, why do Nazi propoganda movies turn on non-German-speaking mutants and inspire them to fight? They can't understand Hitler - they just get excited by the pictures, I guess. Was Bakshi trying to say that cinematic violence inspires more violence? That is an interesting sentiment, considering the amount of blood spilled in the movie.

Once again, I don't think he was trying to say anything, I think he was just sloppy.

One more thought: was it just me - or were some of the battle scenes from this movie spliced into Bakshi's version of "the Lord of the Rings?"

I rate this movie 2 stars out of 5.

This DVD can be found on Amazon.com here: Wizards

Reviewed in February of 2005.

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