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Wizards
Cult / Animated, 1977
Starring: Animation starring voices of: Jim Connell, Steve Gravers, Angelo Grsianti, Mark Hamill, Bob Holt, David Proval, Richard Romanus
 
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This film was Bakshi's test-run, of sorts, for his upcoming version of 'Lord of the Rings'. Supposedly he originally wanted to make a fantasy based on the Holocaust, but settled for a more traditional fantasy. The story deals with wizards and elves in the distant future who dig up long-forgotten Nazi propaganda films and old war machinery, which are used by evil creatures to try and conquer the good creatures. The demons and evil creatures are obviously symbols of Nazis while the elves (with one being the voice of a young Mark Hamill) representing the Jews. It's almost disturbing at times watching old WWII war movie footage with German soldiers fighting alongside animated demons against psychedelic-colored backgrounds. The film is worth viewing for the still-drawings alone that appear throughout the film, with excellent artwork by Michael Ploog. The animation doesn't strive for realism (why bother, since Rotoscoping is so heavily used) but captures the dynamic motion depicted in comic book art. Very good. Highly recommended.
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