Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Wizards!

If you have not seen the movie Wizards then you are probably not alone. This overlooked 1970s masterpiece of animation was recommended to me by a friend who had seen the film as a child and would always remember how goddamn cool it was. Well he was right. I was not as fortunate to view this animated film in my childhood, but picking up on it today, I can honestly say that Wizards is an animation for all ages. Don't let its fairytale style throw you off, this film is packed full of violence and sexual innuendos. The darker side of the film even depicts allusions to Nazi war crimes. The adult content will leave you asking "who was this movie actually intended for?" The story finds itself somewhere between J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle Earth and World War II, where the existence of fairytale magic is being threatened by who else, but The Third Reich and their evil tools of destruction. As the 1977 predecessor of FernGully, Wizards warns its viewers to beware the threat that technology has on the harmonious balance of the natural world. Instead of pollution, technology wielding Nazis serve as the villainous force against nature.
Now to the point of the film that I really wanted to cover, the animation! There are several different kinds of animation used in Wizards and they are mixed together flawlessly. From the detailed watercolored illustrations, to the bright and minimal cartoons, to the heavily stylized live-action footage, Wizards created an eclectic source of animation worthy of praise. It is also worth mentioning the movie's unique character designs and the application of cool little illusions and special effects throughout the frames. If you are into animation like I am, then do yourself a favor and go check out this film. Below are some samples from the movie and examples of the film's unforgettable character designs.

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