August 26, 1983
In my opinion the most unusual and most accomplished of the summer of ’83 fantasy movies – which admittedly just means it’s better than KRULL, PRISONERS OF THE LOST UNIVERSE, YOR – THE HUNTER FROM THE FUTURE and HERCULES – is Ralph Bakshi’s FIRE AND ICE. An animator for Terrytoons in the ‘50s and ‘60s, Bakshi had knocked the animated feature game off its axis with the independent, adults-only movies FRITZ THE CAT (1972), HEAVY TRAFFIC (1973), and COONSKIN (1975) before pivoting to fantasy specialist with WIZARDS (1977) and THE LORD OF THE RINGS (1978). He had even been attached to direct Oliver Stone’s script for CONAN THE BARBARIAN, the movie that (directed by John Milius) made these sorts of sword and sorcery movies big business for a while.
Bakshi says he lost the gig by telling Arnold Schwarzenegger he’d have to lose weight, so I believe he was expecting to do it in live action, not animation. But his films from this period kind of split the difference between mediums – LORD OF THE RINGS and then AMERICAN POP (1981) made heavy use of rotoscoping, basically filming a version of the movie with actors for the animators to draw over frame by frame. (read the rest of this shit…)