Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Ralph Bakshi's Wizards

I saw Ralph Bakshi's animated feature Wizards from 1977 couple of weeks ago, but haven't had time to write about it. It was more interesting than good, and most of the time it was pretty boring.
It wasn't bad - the animation was good throughout and there were some striking scenes in which the animators brought together wholly different styles. My main concern was that there was too much of that interplay with different styles - it seemed that Bakshi never really knew what he was doing. He never quite manages to bring his characters alive and they are too different from each other. You never believe they are characters in a fantasy story, reminiscent of Lord of the Rings or some such. And they are too much in the vein of Terrytoons of Bakshi's early career. The same thing with the gags in the film - they are never good enough, only getting somewhere close. The idea of wizards of the future using Nazi propaganda films may have been a good idea to begin with, but it gets pretty abrasive in the end.

It's been said that this is closer Lord of the Rings than Bakshi's dreadful attempt to animate it in 1979. Well, maybe - nevertheless, Bakshi used some of the footage of Wizards in his LoTR. The latter film suffered from financial troubles and Bakshi's visions never come truly alive, but even in here, his better-liked film, he has to resort to voice-over and stills. (Some of the stills must've gained the attention of the Winis and influenced the outlook of their Elfquest graphic novels.)
One thing I really liked in the film were some of the drawings by one Ian Miller who did similar drawings for A Tolkien Bestiary which David Day edited in 1979. He must've gotten the job via Wizards.

No comments: