The Dark Side of Toon Town

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

  The Fantastical Allegory Comes to Life for the First Time
On Blu-ray March 13

Before there were wizards, elves and hobbits journeying through Middle-Earth, there were Ralph Bakshi’s animated wonders in 1977’s Wizards. In this futuristic version of Earth, the population has been wiped out by nuclear war, leaving elves, fairies, dwarves and mutants to repopulate the Earth. Among them are twin brothers, kind-hearted Avatar and evil-minded Blackwolf, both wizards.  Check out all these other wizards who have also famously battled in trying times:


What would the world be like without the likes of Harry, Ron and Hermione?  “The Boy Who Lived” brought words like “muggle” and “expecto patronum” to our everyday vernacular. Author J.K. Rowling’s heroic character may very well be the most famous and most beloved wizard in cinematic history. 


Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore, the best headmaster that Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry is also a Chief Warlock of the Wizengamot, Supreme Mugwump of the International Confederation of Wizards, and holds the ranking of Order of Merlin, First Class for Grand Sorcery. You can’t beat that!


Merlin, the famed wizard of Arthurian Legend, has long been an important figure in film. In one of his most famous portrayals, in Disney’s Sword in the Stone, artist Bill Peet designed Merlin after Walt Disney himself. 


If you need reassurance of how convincingly Sir Ian McKellen played the character of Gandalf in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, consider this: When Gandalf has his unforgettable stand-off with the Balrog, shouting “You shall not pass!” McKellen is actually acting to a ping-pong ball. 


Who could forget the doddering local hot-air balloonist, turned Ozian idol? He may not be the most skilled of wizards, but he can tell you all about brains, heart and courage! Who knows what other amazing gadgets he has in his bag of tricks.


Tim, of Monty Python fame, is a strange, reclusive conjurer who wears ram horns on his skullcap and has a penchant for fire-based magic. Tim's overall presence is commanding, and observers of his magic often applaud after a display.


Willow, a reluctant farmer, has only just begun his wizarding apprenticeship but his big heart will not allow him to turn away from protecting a special baby from a tyrannical queen.  There is no magical power greater than love! 


Only the most courteous of wizards would coat their magical reviving pill for the “mostly dead” with chocolate to make it go down easier. He’s not really taking on new clients these days but you might earn his favor with a nice MLT sandwich – that’s mutton, lettuce and tomato. 

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