Wizards (1977)

wizards poster 1977 movie
6.5 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Acting: 4/10
Visuals: 7/10

Interesting visuals near the end

Some bad animation, voice acting, and dull story

Movie Info

Movie Name: Wizards

Studio:  Bakshi Productions/Dong Seo Animation/20th Century Fox

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

Release Date(s):  January 1977 (Avoriaz Fantastic Film Festival)/February 9, 1977 (US)

MPAA Rating: PG


Command…and conquer!

Nuclear war has destroyed the Earth and magic has returned to rule.  Blackwolf seeks the throne but finds his brother Avatar is poised to take control.  Blackwolf turns back to the old technology combined with magic and begins building a Nazi army to take over the planet.  Avatar is assigned to train Elinore to become a fairy, but Elinore’s father is killed by an assassin from Blackwolf.  Avatar saves the assassin (named Peace) and sets out with Peace, Elinore, and an elf named Weehawk to stop the magical projector being used to create Blackwolf’s army.

Directed by Ralph Bakshi, Wizards was more of a mainstream attempt by Bakshi who previously directed the cartoons of Fritz the Cat, Heavy Traffic, and Coonskin.  It was a limited release in theaters but became very successful world wide and helped establish Bakshi’s style of animation.


My power is to warp children’s minds

I’m not a big fan of Wizards.  The voice acting is pretty irritating, and the story falls flat.  Avatar sometimes seems to be comic relief and other times feels heavy handed…plus it gives off that dirty old man vibe (that is actually realized at the end of the film).  The storytelling segments aren’t bad, but the space between is what kills it for me.  The adventure with the fairies just goes on and on and it never feels like the danger is real.  The rather interesting imagery involving the Nazis at the end of the film, and the idea of a new Nazi army is interesting, but not worth the wait.


If the style in the last 10 minutes was throughout, it would be interesting.

The art for most of the movie is a combination of rotoscope and some traditional animation, but also mixes real video in with the animation.  Once again, the story telling portions of the film with narration have interesting animation, but the parts where Bakshi tells a normal fantasy, are pretty weak.  It sometimes look like a bad TV cartoon.  The best part, like in the story, is the ending in which news real is mixed with rotoscoping and traditional animation for an interesting product.

Wizards definitely is a polarizing film.  I can see why some became enamored with Bakshi because it is unusual and very un-Disney.  It also still just has a creep factor.  Wizards just feels dirty, but it isn’t dirty enough to be something like Heavy Metal, which makes it almost worst.  Wizards is rated PG, but I can’t imagine showing it to a kid and a kid enjoying it, but most of the story isn’t smart enough to be enjoyed by someone much older.  If you are a fan of Bakshi or animation, check it out to see all the different styles, but if you are on the fence, you probably won’t enjoy it.

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.

2 Comments on "Wizards (1977)"

  1. Warren January 5, 2012 at 8:58 am - Reply

    I enjoyed this movie as a kid. However I must say that I saw alot of films I shouldn’t of growing up. I recently rewatched this movie and was…kind of impressed? It could’ve been so much better, I believe. I love some of the animation and the idea behind the story, but I hated the whole “Battle footage” parts. I just thought it looked kind of fake and cheesy. I also think it’s interesting how the female companion is basically half dressed the whole movie… You are right – not for kids but not exactly for adults either.

    • hellrazaa January 21, 2012 at 4:28 am - Reply

      I thought the battle footage was really bad. this movie is a definite tweener…not for kids not for adults. thanks for stopping by.

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