Eye For Film >> Movies >> Wizards (1977) DVD Review
Reviewed by: Anton BitelRead Anton Bitel's film review of Wizards
For all the shortcomings of Wizards, Eureka! has certainly laid on the plush treatment for its simultaneous release on DVD/Blu-ray. The film is presented in a new high-definition transfer that shows all the colours of the original animation at their hallucinatory finest. There are also (optional) SDH subtitles, as well as a collection of original trailers and an unusually exhaustive stills gallery of lobby cards and character sketches – including early designs for Elinore that make her look like a softcore Princess Leia, right down to the 'cinnamon bun' hairstyle.
Ralph Bakshi himself has also been brought in to give an extensive interview that forms the basis of the featurette The Wizard Of Animation (34 minutes). Here, the writer/director/producer/animator reminisces at length about his career, his many artistic collaborators, and his experiences making Wizards itself. He concedes that he resorted to using stock footage and rotoscoping "because I didn't have the money to finish my film", and that the rotoscoping was ultimately a "failed experiment", but still concludes that Wizards is "as good as anything Disney did, but doesn't put kids down".
In his full director's commentary, Bakshi stresses the artistic freedom that came with so low a budget, and reveals that his grizzled protagonist Avatar was based on the actor Peter Falk, while Avatar's centuries-younger love interest Elinore was drawn from Bakshi's own first girlfriend. There is also some talk of the never-made sequel that he had originally planned.Reviewed on: 24 May 2010