Fire and Ice (1983)

fire and ice poster 1983 movie
6.5 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Acting: 6/10
Visuals: 8/10

Interesting rotoscope look

Generic sword & sorcery tale

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Fire and Ice

Studio:  Producers Sales Organization

Genre(s):  Animated/Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Action/Adventure

Release Date(s):  August 26, 1983

MPAA Rating:  PG

fire and ice rotoscope animation teegra larn

Hey, I just met you, and this is crazy…but here’s my number, so call me…maybe?

Queen Juliana and her son Nekron are at war. Their icy kingdom is threatening the land, and the battle to stop them is failing. When a peace treaty is used as an effort to kidnap Princess Teegra, the plan backfires, and Teegra escapes into the jungles of the planet. Teegra finds a war survivor named Larn and tries to return to her kingdom.  Queen Juliana and Nekron will not give up that easy and the arrival of a mysterious barbarian named Darkwolf could give those opposing them the edge they need.

Directed by Ralph Bakshi in a partnership with famed artist Frank Frazetta, Fire and Ice is a fantasy sword and sorcery animated adventure film.  The movie was written by comic book writers Roy Thomas and Jerry Conway who were already known for sword and sorcery tales like Conan the Barbarian at Marvel Comics. The stylistic film received mixed reviews but has gained a cult following over the years.

fire and ice rotoscope darkwolf animation

By the power of Frank Frazetta…I HAVE THE POWER!!!

Ralph Bakshi provided a weird flipside to Disney growing up (except when the two met in Disney’s The Black Cauldron).  His art was edgy and different, and the stories were largely more adult (if not outright made for adults).  While Fire and Ice doesn’t necessarily provide something new and inventive, it feels like an underappreciated animated fantasy.

Fire and Ice plays upon the popular sword and sorcery genre that was gaining popularity at the time through movies like Conan the Barbarian.  Like Fire and Ice, those sword and sorcery movies weren’t necessarily known for their amazing dialogue but they are fun fantasy adventures.  Here, the plot is rather typical with Larn trying to save the princess with the help of a wise, mysterious warrior (which also feels a bit like Star Wars).  It isn’t deep, and kind of like a He-Man and the Masters of the Universe episode on steroids.

fire and ice animation nekron

You’re giving me a real bad hair day!

What stands out about Fire and Ice is the Ralph Bakshi style. Bakshi is the king of rotoscoping…a style that records human figures then illustrates over them to give them more natural movements. This is also where acclaimed fantasy artist Frank Frazetta comes in…he provided the illustration. As a result the film has a real style that isn’t always present in animated films. It is interesting to note that Thomas Kinkade helped with the backgrounds (so that hack has done something enjoyable instead of just pastel English cottages), and Peter Chung who went on to create the animated Æon Flux also was involved.  I don’t know that I really love rotoscoping animation, but it is different and has some strange sway over me in that I can’t look away from it.

Fire and Ice continues to gain followers and is worth seeking out for fans of fantasy and animation.  With the rise of Game of Thrones (which also happens to really be titled A Song of Ice and Fire), I would hope that this movie would gain some more attention and fans.  The rotoscope style isn’t for everyone and the story is rather generic, but it is a fun retro trip into cheesy sword and sorcery style films.  There has been talk of a Fire and Ice live action remake and Robert Rodriguez got the rights to do the film before Frazetta’s death.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

One Comment on "Fire and Ice (1983)"

  1. Mastuh OSCG 8845 February 2, 2018 at 3:47 pm -

    this does look good & bad.