Directed by Ralph Bakshi
Voices: Bob Holt, Jesse Welles, Richard Romanus, David Proval
"An illuminating history bearing on the everlasting struggle for world supremacy fought between the powers of Technology and Magic."
Step off Bakshi Haters! One of the most controversial American animators ever, Ralph Bakshi doesn't skimp on the violence, nudity/sex, or language. Expect sharp social commentary that the general public finds offensive or embarrassing. Seeing what is normally adult subject matter in animated form is usually jolting, but Bakshi takes it to a whole-'nother-level. He's simply a genius. Wizards is one of his best.
Post nuclear holocaust, Delia, Queen of the Fairies, gives birth to twin sons. Both boys are powerful wizards. Avatar is benevolent and wise, while his mutant brother Blackwolf is cruel and merciless, as twisted and deformed in mind as he is in body. When Delia dies, the brothers fight. After his ass-kicking, Blackwolf declares that he will turn the earth into a planet where mutants rule, then skulks away.
3,000 years later, from his base of operations (known as Scortch) Blackwolf launches his final evil master plan. Using technology, Nazi doctrine, dark arts, and his mutant army, he will make war on the Magic folk. Avatar makes a stand to oppose his twin once more. In the final confrontation between Avatar and Blackwolf, the outcome is so ironic and wickedly funny that you'll be cackling with glee.
There's a lot being said in this film, and Wizards is worth several viewings to take it all in. Forget Disney, for real innovative cult classic animation, Ralph Bakshi is your go to guy.
Directed by Clive A. Smith
Voices (US Version): Don Francks, Susan Roman, Paul LeMat, Catherine O'Hara
"Remember, 'evil' spelled backwards is 'live', and we all want to do that!'
Rock superstar Mok wants to open the gateway to another dimension. The missing piece to complete his sinister plan is a very special voice.
This animated feature has one of the best soundtracks EVER. Lou Reed, Iggy Pop, Blondie, Cheap Trick, and Earth, Wind, and Fire- a music lover's dream come true.
Since no soundtrack album was ever produced, you gotta own this one. The release of the double DVD set was a major event for fans, who'd been lobbying for years for the film to be re-issued.
Fascinating from the opening credits onward, Rock and Rule instantly captivates with its post-apocalyptic world of mutant characters, intriguing cityscapes, futuristic technology, and the AWESOME music.
Mok is a brilliant hybrid of legends David Bowie, Iggy Pop, and Mick Jagger. This maniacal, drug ingesting trickster is complex and riveting. Definitely on my top ten list of best bad guys of all cinema. Our naive protagonists, Angel and Omar, are fully fleshed out and you care about what happens to them and their band.
If you don't rise up and start shaking your moneymaker during the Nuke York Club 666 scene, you need to crawl to the nearest graveyard, because you are obviously dead. Go now and get this flick for your collection!
Directed by Ralph Bakshi
Voices: Ron Thompson, Mews Small, Roz Kelly, Frank DeKova
"It's about the music."
This is the tale of an immigrant family and their multi-generational involvement in the music industry. Bakshi strikes gold again with this one, and has created a stunning animated history of American popular music.
Music is the soundtrack to life, illuminating the tragedies and triumphs. It is a universal force that touches all nationalities and classes. From burlesque to the punk/new wave scene, American Pop is a tour-de-force of sound, featuring some of the greatest performers in pop music. A must see.
Directed by Joy Batchelor and John Halas
Voices: Gordon Heath, Maurice Denham
"Now and forever, all animals are equal."
1950's animated version of the George Orwell novel. The animals of Manor Farm revolt after suffering under the abusive and oppressive management of Mr. Jones.
After establishing the idyllic Animal Farm, the animals find themselves in worse circumstances after the pig Napoleon forms a dictatorship where he rules with an iron hoof.
A grim fable regarding the nature of tyranny and greed, this is a disturbing and thought provoking film that should be required viewing. There are strong inferences to the Russian Revolution and enough character connection to real historical figures to where this movie could be used as a teaching aid. There are a few missteps, with some cutesy animation thrown in Disney style, but the content remains strong. Brilliantly done.
Directed by Ralph Bakshi
Voices: Richard Romanus, David Proval, Philip Michael Thomas, Tina Romanus
"Crazy is the last of the mohicans...a true savage."
A nostalgic slice of apple pie that looks at the less innocent aspects of growing up in 1950's America. This is not Happy Days. The animation style is exaggerated, grotesque, and fantastical. Another brilliant work in the catalog of Ralph Bakshi.
Ultra cool Vinnie, with his right hand man Crazy Shapiro never far from his side, is the leader of the Brooklyn Stompers. Reluctantly, Vinnie pits his gang against Boogaloo Jones and the Black Chaplains, leading to tragedy.
This film is unusual from the very start, opening with a religious discussion between a garbage can and a pile of refuse. This is just one of a series of genius fantasy elements woven into the plot. Filled to the brim with profanity, sex, violence, and racism, the action is underlined by a terrific original music score of 50's style tunes. The soundtrack is so popular that it was recently released on CD and is for sale now on CD Baby.
Bakshi has fashioned another real treat for adult animation fans. Innovative and entertaining.
Directed by Bill Melendez
Voices: Sheila Hancock, Simon Adams, Stephen Thorne, Nicholas Barnes, Rachel Warren
"Speak vermin, or do you want my dwarf to find your tongues...with his whip?!!"
This story is one you should know by now, since the book has been appearing on educational curriculum for many years, so I won't go into it here. If you don't know the story, get your illiterate ass off the computer and go crack open a copy of the novel, it's fucking brilliant.
A production of the well-known Children's Television Workshop, this animated film has been emotionally devastating children for decades. Based on the classic C.S. Lewis novel of the same title, this is a captivating tale of good triumphing over evil, with strong religious overtones that will satisfy Jesus freaks who'd otherwise condemn this as trash for all the magic and mythical creatures within the story.
Let's talk about my favorite character, the White Witch. Jadis is a bitch and completely fascinating. Definitely one of the scariest animated characters from a children's movie, she is a schizoid homicidal maniac without restraint. Her chilly manipulation of the brat Edmund, and what she does when she finally has the noble (but boring) Aslan in her clutches will make you shudder. She is NOT one to be fucked with, unless you have an army to back you up.
I like this movie well enough, but my sense of justice was outraged. Lucy, Peter, and Susan should have put a good old ghetto ass-whuppin' on Edmund for his collusion with the queen, and for acting like a prick in general.
Cartoons! Not just for children, animated films are an art form that can be appreciated by all ages. From classic Disney to Japanese anime, this is a film genre that is continually evolving as new technologies emerge.