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Wizards (35th Anniversary Edition) [Blu-ray] [Import]

4.1 out of 5 stars 114 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Format: AC-3, DTS Surround Sound, NTSC, Widescreen, Import
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Dubbed: Spanish
  • Region: Region A/1
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: PG
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment
  • Release Date: March 13 2012
  • Run Time: 81 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars 114 customer reviews
  • ASIN: B006WNMI0Y
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Product Description


Although Ralph Bakshi's reputation as a figure in animation history has declined over the years, Wizards (1977) has long enjoyed a cult following. The plot follows a long-prophesied postapocalyptic battle between twin brothers: Blackwolf, an evil sorcerer, and Avatar, a good wizard. Drawn into the conflict are overendowed fairy princess Elinore, elf Weehawk, and Necron 99/Peace (a minion of Blackwolf's whom Avatar has converted to good). The story wanders and stumbles aimlessly: although the fate of the world lies in the balance, Avatar dithers like a borscht-belt comic doing shtick. Visually, the film is a mishmash of cartoony animation (much too cartoony for a dramatic narrative), processed live action, still artwork, and old newsreel footage of Adolph Hitler. Before 1977, the only American animated film that offered fantasy fans the period conflict they sought was Disney's Sleeping Beauty: Wizards filled a gap. Decades later, countless anime series, from Dragon Ball to Fullmetal Alchemist and Bleach, have presented epic battles between the forces of good and evil with more effective animation, better stories, more sophisticated visual styles, flashier effects, and more skillful direction. Baby boomers who remember watching Wizards as kids may derive a nostalgic pleasure from revisiting it; other viewers will find a dated oddity, as passé as a Nehru jacket. (Rated PG: violence, violence against women, tobacco use, potentially offensive religious and Nazi imagery) --Charles Solomon

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Ralph Bakshi has his admirers and his detractors, as any good filmmaker should. Wizards is an important film for many reasons, but mostly, in my opinion, because it really began the experimentation of melding of rotoscope, traditional animation and live action. Bakshi masterfully mixes the three techniques in ways never before done, and seldom since. His powerful use of Nazi propaganda films melds perfectly with high contrast rotoscoping of Eisenstein's Alexander Nevski to give birth to a new and disturbing world. His use of traditional animation techniques then colors the fairy lands in another light and we see the contrast between these two worlds brought together in a terrifying realization. The melding of various methods of filmmaking might be too much for some who have become accustomed to Disney animation, Saturday morning cartoons and anime, but it gives us a rare glimpse into what might have been in an artform which never fully developed into its own right.
Finally, we have DVD which treats master filmmaker, Ralph Bakshi, with the respect he deserves. After the atrociously inadequate release of Bakshi's Lord of the Rings Part One a few years ago, with it's incredible lack of special features and horrific overdub in the middle of the closing score (though thankfully finally released in widescreen format), I couldn't be happier with the treatment Fox has given to this film. The transfer is gorgeous and the colors are far more vivid than I have ever seen before - an element that is critical to the film.
The real treat, however, is the feature length commentary by Mr. Bakshi as well as the "documentary" on him and his work.
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Format: DVD
Ralph Bakshi's Tolkien-esque animated film WIZARDS (1977) is a surreal depiction of life on Earth hundreds of thousands of years following a devastating nuclear holocaust. Humanoids are now divided into two groups, one a vast race of multifarious mutants who embrace the remnants of science and technology, the other a loose society of peaceable elves, dwarfs, and fairies who abhor pre-holocaust technology and instead practice a lifestyle based on magic and wizardry. The mutants are governed by the depraved, warmongering mutant Blackwolf; the elves and fairies look to the wizard Avatar, Blackwolf's dwarfish fraternal twin brother, for leadership. Hatred and resentment towards his happy-go-lucky brother spurs Blackwolf to amass his mutant subjects into a great army, and he invades Avatar's kingdom with a Nazi-like fury. The fate of the Earth and its inhabitants, then, will ultimately be decided in a violent bout of sibling rivalry.
Writer/director Bakshi started his career in animated films at the age of 18, at which time he was hired by the Terrytoons Studio to paint or opaque animation cels. He quickly worked his way up through the ranks, ultimately helming episodes of made-for-TV kiddie cartoon series like DEPUTY DAWG (1959-1972) and SPIDER-MAN (1967-1970). But Bakshi longed to create films with more substance, films for a more mature audience. So in 1972, he and producer Steve Krantz put together the low-budget film FRITZ THE CAT, a semi-pornographic feature-length cartoon--the first to earn an "X" rating--based on Robert Crumb's popular "underground" comic.
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Format: DVD
From the time I first saw Ralph Bakshi's animated film "Wizards," I was hooked on him. I was in college and discovered a VHS copy of the film at a local video store. I was so blown away, I continued to try to watch all of his films including "Fritz the Cat," "Heavy Traffic," "Coonskin" (aka Streetfight) etc. What I realized was that Bakshi is an artist using a medium that traditionally has been set aside for Children. "Wizards" is a great example of his creativity and his no "BS" approach to film as art. The dialogue is natural and to the point. The style is jarring and varied. The characters are always interesting, and the story is actually more complex than it seems. Magic is a metaphor for the "soul" and the human spirit which is in contstant war with technology.
This long awaited DVD presentation is nothing short of spectacular. It is presented in an enhanced widescreen format and the picture is brilliant. It has never looked so good. What I really enjoyed about this DVD is the fantastic stories that Ralph Bakshi tells. One truly appreciates his passion for animated film and his great character. I think it is about time he got the respect and acknowledgment he deserves. Thank you FOX for releasing a wonderful film on DVD by a wonderful director. Any movie fan (especially avant-garde fans) should check this out.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
There is no dispute that Ralph Bakshi is one of the early innovators who proved that animation is not a medium that should be used strictly to tell stories to children with his 'R' and 'X'-rated films. When "Wizards", his first attempt to make a family friendly animation (getting a PG rating despite a fair amount of nudity) opened, it set box office opening records for an animated film that dwarfed Disney and was poised to make his studio a force to be reckoned with until "Star Wars" opened a few days later and "Wizards" basically disappeared except for the occasional appearance on late-night TV.

You have to be a true fan of animation history to enjoy this film which feels very dated more than three decades later, but if you fall into this category you will really enjoy the interviews with Bakshi in the extras talking about his career, including stories like how he bypassed the animation industry's decade-long apprenticeship system and went from cell-polisher to animator at Terrytoons simply by moving his desk upstairs during a lunch break.
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