Wizards (movie)

From Academic Kids

An animated post-apocalyptic Science Fiction/Fantasy epic movie written, produced and directed by Ralph Bakshi in 1977.

Contents

Overview

This epic tale follows the adventure of Avatar, a kindly, old, mildly cantankerous wizard and ruler of Montegar (a utopian land of elves and faeries set in a post-apocalyptic era on Earth).

Avatar engages in a struggle against his evil twin brother, Blackwolf, who rules Scortch (a desolate wasteland) and has unearthed destructive holocaust technologies to use in his campaign to conquer the lands of the faery. Avatar is drawn into this conflict by an attempt to assassinate him. He subdues the assassin and dubs him Peace. Then Avatar, his faery princess, an elf warrior, and Peace undertake their trek to Scortch.

Cast

Features the voices of Mark Hamill, Peter Hobbs, Bob Holt, Barbara Sloane and many others. Narrated by Susan Tyrrell. Also includes the voice of Adolf Hitler from historical archive footage of Nazi propaganda.

Commentary

Wizards is an allegorical comment on the neutrality of technology and the potential destructive powers of propaganda. Blackwolf's secret weapon is propaganda, used to incite and motivate his legions and terrorize the good faerie folk. However, in the end it is Avatar's willingness to use a technological tool (a handgun pulled from "up his sleeve") which saves them all.

There is some irony in the effort of this movie to warn of the dangers of propaganda while, at the same time, using propaganda techniques to promote responsible use of technology.

The references to Hitler and the Nazi war machine are poignant, though somewhat unsubtle.

Although the animation is crude, a variety of inconsistent artistic styles are used throughout, and the production relies heavily on extensive narration, it is an compelling story with enough levity and humor to amuse and even captivate a wide range of viewers. Some have criticized Bakshi's use (or over-use) of rotoscoping in this and his other films.

The low-budget production values are considered campy and charming by many viewers, especially in the demographic Bakshi seems to have targeted in his marketing.

Although it was written and produced in the mid-seventies, considerable hippy influence from the sixties is evident throughout the story. The faeries are depicted as peace-loving Luddites.

Artists

Notable artists involved in the production of Wizards include Ian Miller, who produced the gloomy backgrounds of Scortch, and Mike Ploog, who contributed likewise for the more arcadian lanscapes of Montegar.

External links

(IMDB is the Internet Movie Database)
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