Fire and Ice
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From The Director Of The Original Animated THE LORD OF THE RINGS And The Illustrator Of CONAN THE BARBARIAN It began as a once-in-a-lifetime collaboration between two of the greatest icons of the fantasy genre: Controversial animator Ralph Bakshi (director of FRITZ THE CAT, WIZARDS and the original THE LORD OF THE RINGS) and legendary illustrator Frank Frazetta (creator of the iconic CONAN THE BARBARIAN, VAMPIRELLA and Edgar Rice Burroughs book covers). It became – and remains – one of the most startling animation epics of all time. Now experience a world unlike any ever seen, where savage warriors, horrific monsters and luscious maidens battle for the soul of a civilization in a time of good and evil, pleasure and pain, and FIRE AND ICE. This long-unavailable cult favorite has been fully restored and remastered in breathtaking High Definition from original vault materials, remixed in earth-shaking 7.1 DTS-HD and 7.1 Dolby TrueHD, and loaded with exciting Extras.
"Fantastic Monsters, Nightmarish Visions And Gobs Of Action!" -- Archer Winsten, The New York Post
"I LOVE THIS FILM!" -- Harry Knowles, Ain't It Cool News
"If You're Longing For Some Good Fantasy Adventure The Way They Used To Make Them, Look No Further Than FIRE AND ICE!" -- DVD Verdict
"RELENTLESSLY FUN!" -- Eccentric Cinema
• The Making of FIRE AND ICE
• Bakshi on Frazetta
• Sean Hannon’s Diary Notes
• Behind-the-Scenes Photo Gallery
• Theatrical Trailer
• Enhanced for D-Box Motion Control Systems
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The story: In a showdown between the kingdoms of ice and fire, a kidnapped princess (voiced by Maggie Roswell, The Simpsons) and the lone survivor of a massacred village (William Ostrander, North and South) find themselves on a path to dispose of the evil ice lord (Stephen Mendell, Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation).
Almost any fantasy fan will be able to tell at a glance that the film’s visual style is an animated realization of the work of artist Frank Frazetta. To help achieve this feat, Bakshi uses rotoscoping to grand effect. The animation is a lot less awkward than his previous attempts to animate entire casts this way, and it even helps bolster the tone of the film more than once. There are lengthy sequences that go on without dialogue, and these scenes remain engaging through masterfully-rendered body language and facial expressions. This helps enliven the numerous action scenes as well, many of which are heightened by the inclusion of some equally well-rendered beasts and monsters.
Nevertheless, the amplitude of adrenaline scenes helps illustrate the movie’s major weakness: its story. The filmmakers seem more concerned with simply animating cool things than crafting a fully-rounded tale or building the relationships between characters. Removing the scenes which do not actually advance the plot would probably chop the runtime down to a little less than half its current 81-minute length, and this bulky amount of padding becomes more obvious every time you watch the film. Without exception, the characters are one-dimensional and undergo little development – making the movie less dramatically mature than many modern video games.
Bakshi’s stylistic choices make it hard not to also examine the movie in a social context, and it’s pretty eclectic. For one thing, adherence to the Frazetta style makes this one of the few fantasy flicks I’ve seen wherein the male characters are almost as sexualized as the females, give the minimalist wardrobe. Hero Larn finds himself in need of rescue several times, and despite the ceaseless efforts of the screenplay to turn her into a damsel, heroine Teegra is a pretty resourceful character. Other depictions are less progressive, though. Ice lord Nekron is pretty unambiguously gay, but his implied homosexuality – specifically, the fact that he finds Teegra undesirable – is presented as an evil attribute. And what can be said about the dark-skinned, animalistic “subhumanoids” other than an acknowledgement of how clearly fantasy often caters to exclusively white audiences?
Despite these shortcomings, it’s hard to deny the movie’s energy and uniqueness. Finding an animated fantasy film of this one’s ambition that was produced in the west is still something of an Easter egg hunt – let’s face it, there’s a good chance that you happened upon this page by chance – and of the handful of ones that you could pick from, you could do worse than “Fire and Ice.” It’s a fun adventure, and while I would not recommend an outright purchase, I would suggest that you afford yourself the chance that there’s something here you enjoy and give it a rental.
The movie itself is very strange and the story kinda trips over itself, but the animation is very interesting as are the character designs. Worth at least one watch if you're into these kinds of films. For the price I'm not disappointed in having it in my collection.
The story is not very complicated and that may be the only drawback I can make about this film. Viewers need to be aware that this is not a film for kids because of the adult oriented customs (or lack-there-of!) around the main characters. This movie fits very comfortable at home with anyone that enjoy Conan style movies.