Newest Reviews
Great White
Spy Who Came in from the Cold, The
Raya and the Last Dragon
Letter from Paris
Behind the Mask
Matrix, The
Fried Barry
Once Upon a River
We Still Say Grace
Enfant Terrible
Playboy of the Western World, The
Bike Thief, The
Virtuoso, The
Here are the Young Men
Beast Beast
Labyrinth of Cinema
Justice Society: World War II
Artist's Wife, The
Truman & Tennessee: An Intimate Conversation
Pusher III
Palm Springs
Devil Commands, The
Oak Room, The
Pusher II
Forget Everything and Run
Secrets & Lies
Red Moon Tide
Man with Nine Lives, The
Pot Carriers, The
Black Bear
Don't Cry, Pretty Girls!
Newest Articles
Let Us Play: Play for Today Volume 2 on Blu-ray
Before The Matrix, There was Johnny Mnemonic: on Digital
More Than Mad Science: Karloff at Columbia on Blu-ray
Indian Summer: The Darjeeling Limited on Blu-ray
3 from 1950s Hollyweird: Dr. T, Mankind and Plan 9
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Tarka the Otter and The Belstone Fox
Network Double Bills: All Night Long and Ballad in Blue
Chew Him Up and Spit Him Out: Romeo is Bleeding on Blu-ray
British Body Snatchers: They Came from Beyond Space on Blu-ray
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
Somebody Killed Her Husband: Charade on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Maroc 7 and Invasion
Network Double Bills: The Best of Benny Hill and The Likely Lads
Network Double Bills: Some Girls Do and Deadlier Than the Male
Absolutely Bananas: Link on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Hawk the Slayer and The Medusa Touch
The Price of Plague: The Masque of the Red Death on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Seance on a Wet Afternoon and Ring of Spies
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
  Wizards Myths Of The Far Future
Year: 1977
Director: Ralph Bakshi
Stars: Bob Holt, Jesse Welles, Richard Romanus, David Proval, Steve Gravers, Christopher Tayback, Jim Connell, Mark Hamill, Susan Tyrrell
Genre: Animated, Science Fiction, FantasyBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 2 votes)
Review: Many years ago there was a huge scale war on planet Earth which nearly wiped out the human race completely. From the ashes of that conflict rose two distinct groups of people: the evil Mutants, who used technology, and the good Fairies, who used magic, and they have been at loggerheads ever since a young Fairy woman gave birth to twin Wizards, Avatar (voiced by Bob Holt) and Blackwolf (voiced by Steve Gravers). Avatar grew up to be a force for good in the land of Montagar, but evil Blackwolf ruled over the blasted land of Scortch where he drew up armies for the invasion of Montagar. Now, using technology he has found from centuries before, Blackwolf will bring war to the planet once more...

After the social and urban themes of his previous films, writer, director and producer Ralph Bakshi turned his attentions on a more family oriented project, and the busy fantasy Wizards was the result. But there are few family cartoons that feature fairy prostitutes or images of Adolf Hitler, so Bakshi evidently had the edge he had shown before, only this time he was more concerned with myth and legend, apparently seeing the atrocities of the Second World War as something that would become the legends of the future. Looking ahead to his adaptation of The Lord of the Rings (well, half of The Lord of the Rings), this film certainly follows the pattern of Tolkien's quests and warfare.

The characters on the quest to stop Blackwolf in his tracks are led by Avatar, a diminutive, red-bearded sorcerer who has lived for hundreds of years and may well live for hundreds more, unless Blackwolf has his way. Then there's elfin warrior Weehawk (voiced by Richard Romanus) and curvaceous fairy Elinore (voiced by Jesse Welles), who doesn't look anything like the kind of heroine you'd get in a Disney cartoon. Finally, an assassin sent to kill Avatar is "reprogrammed", named Peace (voiced by David Proval), and set up to provide security - although Avatar admits the killer may still be under Blackwolf's spell.

While colourfully realised, the animation shows signs of a low budget. Quite often scenes will be represented by detailed drawings accompanied by a voiceover (provided by an uncredited Susan Tyrrell) to fill the gaps in the narrative. Then, as is so often the case with Bakshi's work, there's the rotoscoping, which helps in the battle sequences, and even contains actual footage from World War II overlaid with animation; the explanation for this is the powerful projector which Blackwolf uses to confront his enemies. Otherwise, the characters are recognisably from Baskshi's imagination, yet still appearing oddly juvenile.

Some of the people Avatar's company meet on the way might as well be Smurfs, such as the tiny fairies who imprison Elinore at one point. Others are more sinister looking, adorned in gasmasks or toting rifles and machine guns, but they act like idiots. The anti-war theme gives Wizards a muddled feeling rather than a focus, and Bakshi seems more at ease creating the grotesque denizens of this future Earth. The nature (or magic) versus technology battle might as well have been forgotten about judging by the latter stages, and the grit and violence is out of place for a supposed family audience, meaning the film is best suited to adolescents or animation fans who will enjoy seeing Bakshi's undeniable talent tackle this strange mixture of influences. The ending, presumably ironic, is a bit of a letdown. Music by Andrew Belling.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


This review has been viewed 15357 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film


Ralph Bakshi  (1938 - )

American animator of edgy, often adult-oriented cartoons. He spent a few years directing shorts for TV before branching out on his own with the R. Crumb adaptation Fritz the Cat. He continued in this frank approach for Heavy Traffic and the controversial Coonskin, and then switched to fantasy with The Lord of the Rings, Wizards and Fire and Ice. American Pop and Hey Good Lookin' also had fans, and he returned to TV to revive Mighty Mouse in the 1980s.

When the 1990s comeback Cool World was a flop, Bakshi's directing work wound down, and he now concentrates on his paintings, with occasional returns to animation.

Review Comments (0)

Untitled 1

Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
  Desbris M
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf


Last Updated: