Mar 12 2014

Why Haven’t You Seen It: Fire and Ice

Published by at 10:00 am under Columns,Movies

Fire_and_Ice_1983_poster

I am striking hard with this one. One of my favorite animated fantasy movies of all time, but one very many nerds don’t know about. Fire and Ice is the surreal meshing of Ralph Bakshi’s rotoscoping animation with the fantasy art styling of the incomparable Frank Frazetta. It may be a fairly generic fantasy tale by today’s standards, but the art style and maturity of the story set it above many other movies that were coming out aimed at the same demographic. I grew up well aware of Frank Frazett’s art style (my Dad being a commercial illustrator was influenced by Frazetta and there were ALWAYS Frazetta art books laying around) and I also grew up aware that Ralph Bakshi was more of the Rock N’ Roll Walt Disney. The guy who liked to cross lines and deal with heavier subject matter reflective of the state of the world. So for me, Fire and Ice was an absolute delight. The Anti-Disney movie that didn’t water itself down. It had bouncing boobs and bloody bad guys. Looking back, it is an odd film, but one that I cannot help but recommend to fans of fantasy. Yes, it is showing its age, but it is still worth the ride, at least once.

creep

Some local creep has this spray painted in the side of his rape van

Before I say anything else, I will address the current rumors surrounding a remake of this film. Word is, Robert Rodriguez has his hands on this movie now, and that it may be getting remade. I have decided to not look much into it, because I do not want to get my hopes up. Thing is, R.R would be a perfect fit. The man loves blood, gore, badass dudes, and gorgeous women, and that is pretty much the idea behind Fire and Ice. I just hope he keeps it animated, and stays somewhat true to the original characters.  Not that it was the deepest story, but that doesn’t mean it needs to get molested into something different. This film is a classic to me. The movie that showed me (much like Watership Down) that not all cartoons had to be populated with singing and dancing anthropomorphic animals.

I will admit, there is not much seen in this film that you hadn’t heard before in Fantasy. Good guys versus bad guys. Bad guys want to corrupt people and enslave princess. Good guys don’t want that. It is just the way they visually tell the story that sets it apart from similar fare. Here, I think I need to show you what I mean before I talk up this film anymore. Trailer time, my REMlins.

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First off, and the most obvious thing. Do I think Nekron, the bad guy from this movie, is the influence for the Ice King on Adventure Time. Yes, Necron and The Winter Warlock from the TV special Santa Claus is Coming to Town are DEFINITELY the inspiration for our number one Candy King bad guy. No doubt.

ice_king_princessb_300

Yup, same guy. Same motives.

So what is the film about? Well, it is fantasy, as you can tell from watching the trailer. Bad guy Nekron wants to spread ice everywhere and take over the world with his brutal and unforgiving powers. I mean, honestly, the whole explanation of the movie on their own Wiki is like, a paragraph tops. Bad guys want icy world and he takes a chick he can knock up. Good guys come and save her, and in the process, meet up with Nekron and kill him. Good returns to the world, and the heroes make it out as the bad ass stands atop a mountain and smiles. That is the whole movie. Did I ruin it for you? Not at all. Anyone who knows fantasy knows that very story, and has heard and seen it a billion times. The reason I am recommending this film to you is because of the way in which it tells its story. The visual flair. It was nice to be a young man and seeing a movie that seemed to stay more true to the vision of fantasy I knew. Big busted women, scary creatures, and good guys who seem almost as scary as the bad guys. That brings me to my next (and main point, really).

Darkwolf is the shit.

fire

His name is Darkwolf, and though I know he is contrived, he is one of my favorite characters from any cartoon, ever.

Do you even realize how cool it was for a character like Darkwolf to exist in an animated movie? All the good guys I had ever seen in cartoons were good but kind of cheesy. Suddenly, cartoons had a badass. I mean, I know, these were not solely aimed at children, but I had awesome parents so I got to see it, and man, I wanted to wear a or puma skin on my head for a long time after seeing this movie. Oh, by the way. You see that thing he is wearing on his head, right? Does it remind you of anything or anyone? Maybe it should. Imagine it white, and him much younger:

Adventure_Time_Finn_Standing_Smile_Blue_Shirt_POP

Oh shnap, did I just blow your mind? Don’t worry, I blew mine, too.

Yup, that’s right, folks. Think about Candy Kingdom. Think about Fire and Ice. Finn could very much be a younger version of Darkwolf. Still innocent (and his head wrap still clean). I know it may seem like an insane idea, but you can watch Fire and Ice for yourself and see what I mean. Even if it is not direct, it is safe to say the movie influenced many people like me to go on to be creative in life. Me and Penn Ward are about the same age. Why would you assume he wasn’t as blown away and influenced by this as I was?

So give Fire and Ice a shot. Yes, it is cheesy at times, but you know what else it is? Utterly badass. Here, first hit is free, you want more, you gotta pay.

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5 responses so far

  • David R

    That trailer is kind of hilarious. I think the hero patronizes the same loincloth wholesaler that Gollum does. Might have to track this down someday when I’m craving one of those old-school beefcake fantasy things.

  • http://nickverboon.wordpress.com/ Nick Verboon

    WIZAAAAAAAARDS! I love this one too, though. I love how Darkwolf ends up taking the movie over by the end. Bakshi was like “screw this lameass protagonist, all is Darkwolf now”

  • Jeff Busch

    Also, Thomas Kinkaide (The Painter of Light) and James Gurney created background paintings for this.

    • Remy Carreiro

      Holt crap, how did I not know that?
      That makes it even more amaze-balls.

      • Jeff Busch

        Pretty cool, right? James Gurney (Dinotopia) has posted some great pics of the two of them with Bakshi on his blog “The Gurney Journey” over the years.

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