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Wizards (1977)

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On a post-apocalyptic Earth, a wizard and his faire folk comrades fight an evil wizard who's using technology in his bid for conquest.


Ralph Bakshi


Ralph Bakshi
2 nominations. See more awards »



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Complete credited cast:
Bob Holt ... Avatar (voice)
Jesse Welles ... Elinore (voice)
Richard Romanus ... Weehawk (voice)
David Proval ... Peace (voice)
Jim Connell Jim Connell ... President (voice) (as James Connell)
Steve Gravers Steve Gravers ... Blackwolf (voice)
Barbara Sloane Barbara Sloane ... Fairy (voice)
Angelo Grisanti Angelo Grisanti ... Frog (voice)
Hyman Wien Hyman Wien ... Priest (voice)
Christopher Tayback Christopher Tayback ... Peewhittle (voice)
Mark Hamill ... Sean (voice) (as Mark Hamil)
Peter Hobbs ... General (voice)
Tina Romanus Tina Romanus ... Prostitute (voice) (as Tina Bowman)


In a post apocalyptic future that appears as a blend of World War II Europe and J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-earth, a pint-size wizard named Avatar must save the world from a band of fascist mutants controlled by his evil twin brother, Blackwolf, who likes to confuse enemy armies by projecting films of Adolf Hitler speeches during attacks. Painted live-action footage of advancing Nazi armies contrasts with Saturday-morning-cartoon-style animation of fairies and elves as Avatar travels through various magical and radioactive realms on his quest. Aiding him are the beautiful Fairy princess Elinore, hot-blooded warrior elf Weehawk, and Peace, a misunderstood robot rebelling against his Blackwolf-controlled programming. A bizarre and psychedelic meditation on magic vs. technology, this ultimate futuristic fantastic epic cult film still finds an audience on college campuses and will prove quite rewarding to viewers in the right frame of mind. Written by Anthony Pereyra {hypersonic91@yahoo.com}

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The ultimate futuristic fantastic epic See more »


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »


Official Sites:

Official site





Release Date:

9 February 1977 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

War Wizards See more »


Box Office


$1,200,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

3 Channel Stereo (RCA Sound Recording) (5.0) (L-R)



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Ralph Bakshi's wife Elizabeth and daughter Victoria provided the voices of the Fairy Mother and the Fairy Girl 33 minutes into the film. See more »


The swastika in Blackwolf's chamber bends to the left, which is of Hindu origin, a ward against evil. Nazi swastikas bend to the right. See more »


Avatar: Oh yeah... one more thing: I'm glad you changed your last name, you son of a bitch!
See more »

Alternate Versions

On April 30th, 2005, as part of the Ralph Bakshi retrospective at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood, Bakshi's personal print of the film was shown, which was missing two pieces of narration:
  • Susan Tyrrell does not read the opening shot's storybook title in her narration voice-over. In this print, the film's narration starts with "The world blew up in a thousand atomic fireballs...," in the next shot.
  • The character of Nekron 99's (AKA Peace's) narrated introduction was also missing from the print.
See more »


Referenced in Nostalgia Critic: Cool World (2017) See more »


Only Time Will Tell
Performed by Susan Anton
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Substance missing style...
27 May 2004 | by BlueghostSee all my reviews

I've seen this film a few times. Each subsequent viewing has always been spaced out by a few years, and for good reason. Because each time I look forward to seeing the film I'm reminded of why I didn't see it again after the previous viewing.

It's not a horrible film. It's a solid B-flick. I understand completely what Bakshi has done, and the message he's conveying. The problem is is that the film doesn't have a whole lot of visual appeal. Contrary to what Bakshi believes (and has stated) animation needs to have appeal. It needs some style, otherwise there's no point in going to view it in the first place. The whole reason animation has the appeal that it does is that the artist can take us to places that are otherwise too expensive, or impossible, to bring to the big screen via location shooting, special effects, or a constructed set.

"Wizards" could've been a really fantastic and impressive film with some polish, but the artist, because of both budgetary constraints and artistic bent, instead leaned away from a high gloss, Disney-like art style, and went the non-traditional, rough-edge, route. And that's a shame, because the film could've reached a larger audience instead of gaining the cult status it's achieved. As it stands the film looks, as others have observed, like a "head-trip" 70's film, complete with psychadelic oil effects for the backgrounds.

I now own a copy on DVD, and am able to hear Bakshi himself explain his intent in making this film. And where I agree whole heartedly with his social observations, and ultimate aim, I have to part agreement with him on his choice of style for the film.

To get one's message across, one needs to make said message palatable, such that people beyond the target audience will find the film appealing, and ultimately get exposed to the artist's message.

As it stands now the characters are oddly drawn and rendered, with exaggerated features (as others have observed). That, and the "magic" sound effects are straight out of a Saturday morning cartoon, which gives the film a kind of cheap-budget feel. One wonders why a new sound effect couldn't be used.

Having said all that I think some reviewers are being too hard on Bakshi. Where I sympathize with their observations (notably mercuryix of Los Angeles, who commented on how adolescent the film was), I don't entirely agree with them. The film's actually a bit deeper than they're making it out. There's more than a WW2 allegory at work here, and, as I've stated before, that's too bad, because had the film's animation and overall drawing quality been of a higher calibur, then it would've had a higher and wider degree of success.

The final nail in the coffin for the traditionalists is the sound. Bakshi states that he likes the sparse sound scheme, allowing the focus of the film to be on the sound that's playing at the moment, and not to clutter it with things like room-tone or other sound F/X playing in the background. But again Bakshi, confessed child of the 60's, creates the piece he wants to, but fails to connect to the larger audience that might've been. The audience who wanted something more; all the allegory, sex, violence, and other heavy non-child themes coupled with a more traditional presentation, but ultimately got something that wasn't to their taste.

I like the film. Heck, I bought a copy. But like others have said, even though it's Bakshi's favorite, and where there's some fundamental ideas at work here, the delivery smacks of flower-power art. Our response; a lot of us already "get the message," and don't need the avante-garde tossed in our face to drive home a point. Like Bakshi himself stated, we're a lot more clever than producers give us credit for.

In other words a film can be styleish and honest all at the same time. I think a lot of us wish that Mr. Bakshi would've realized that way back when.

Sexual innuendo, bloodshed and violence; it's not a cartoon for kids. Watch only if you're into the whole fantasy scene.

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