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Wizards (1977) Poster

(1977)

Trivia

Jump to: Spoilers (5)
The line "They killed Fritz! They killed Fritz!" is a reference to Robert Crumb killing off Fritz the Cat in his underground comic book series. Ralph Bakshi directed the film adaptation of Fritz the Cat (1972). Bakshi is quoted as saying, "I named the character Fritz in "Wizards," just so I could scream 'They killed Fritz!' To kill such a cat would make Don Marcus commit suicide."
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The horse-like animals had two feet instead of four because it was easier and cheaper to animate.
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Susan Tyrrell specifically requested to be uncredited for her role as the narrator, believing that performing in an animated film would be detrimental to her career. Ralph Bakshi claims that she approached him years later and revealed that the movie had actually been instrumental in securing her many subsequent roles and that she regretted her request.
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No pencil tests were done on the film because of its low budget. The drawings went straight to the final product.
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Some of the shadow-warrior footage was taken from Zulu (1964), El Cid (1961), Patton (1970), Battle of the Bulge (1965), and especially Alexander Nevsky (1938).
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The "religious" articles in the temple include pinball machines, a Coca-Cola sign, a catcher's mitt, an Oscar statuette, a jukebox, and a gold front grill from a Rolls Royce.
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Bob Holt modeled Avatar's voice after Peter Falk.
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George Lucas recommended Mark Hamill to Ralph Bakshi for the voice of Sean. Lucas was very excited to see the film, and was a big fan of Bakshi.
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Sean (Mark Hamill) appears at 41 minutes and is only in the film for 2 minutes.
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The original title, "War Wizards," was changed to avoid confusion with another 20th Century Fox release, Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977).
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Princess Elinore was named after Ralph Bakshi's first girlfriend.
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This movie was heavily influenced by the work of underground comix legend Vaughn Bode; most notably, Necron 99 is a dead ringer for Vaughn's post-apocalyptic character Cobalt 60. In addition, Avatar reminds one of Bode's Cheech Wizard, and the gas mask wearing goons resemble the lizards that populate much of his work. Not to mention the buxom women.
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44 minutes into the film, when Weehawk falls into a chasm but urges Avatar to go on, Avatar appears to mutter a spell: "Morrow crinkle frizetta." This is a reference to fantasy illustrators Gray Morrow, Frank Frazetta and Frank's best friend, Roy Krekel.
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In East Elfland, the elves have arranged themselves for trench warfare. Blackwolf overwhelms them with a Blitzkrieg. This is a direct parallel to the Battle of the Low Countries in 1940.
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Just before the battle of East Elfland, a map is shown of the Wizards world. Scortch is apparently in the location of Lebanon, while Avatar's land of Montagar is in Germany.
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Mark Hamill also auditioned for the voice of Weehawk.
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Larry the Lizard was influenced by the character of Gollum from JRR Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. Ralph Bakshi adapted The Lord of the Rings into an animated film in 1978.
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Avatar's mount is wearing socks, although he himself remains barefoot throughout the entire movie.
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The two priests in the temple are seated in front of a curtain decorated with the symbol of the CBS network.
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The song played on the German propaganda film is the Nazi Party anthem, "Die Fahne Hoch" ("Raise the Banner"). It was written by an early party member, Horst Wessel. The song is popularly known as "The Horst Wessel Song".
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Ralph Bakshi did storyboards for every last shot in this movie.
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An uncredited Ralph Bakshi provided the voices of 3 different characters in the film: Fritz, Lardbottom and a Stormtrooper.
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Ralph Bakshi's wife Elizabeth and daughter Victoria provided the voices of the Fairy Mother and the Fairy Girl 33 minutes into the film.
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When the film was first released in New Zealand, it was given the M rating, due to the film's animated violence, profanity and sexual content. But, when the film was released on DVD in New Zealand in 2011, it was re-rated PG. The film was given the PG rating in England and in America.
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Just before Larry the lizard leaves Blackwolf's chamber, the corpse he has been devouring turns around and reveals a tattooed Star of David on it.
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Fritz and one of Blackwolf's other soldiers is voiced by Ralph Bakshi.
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The Battle of East Elfland is a textbook example of a set-piece battle and a Blitzkrieg.
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Many fans and animation buffs have said that this was the inspiration for the hit Cartoon Network show, Adventure Time (2010).
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The film made $9,000,000 at the Box Office.
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Elinore's singing voice was provided by Susan Anton.
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Ian Miller was flown in from England to do the illustrated backgrounds of Scortch in the film.
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The lyrics to the song "Only Time Will Tell" goes: Time renews tomorrow/When we've used today/It will find the sorrow/And wish it all away/Love can play a new tune/On this carousel/it may be tomorrow/But only time will tell/Somewhere in the darkness/There must be a light/Leading us together/Through the misty night/And maybe in the new dawn/We can break the spell/It may be tomorrow/But only time will tell/There can be a new dream/One for us to hold/Made with peace and hope/And built upon the old/No one has the answer/To give away or sell/Tomorrow holds the secret/But only time will tell.
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Susan Tyrrell also narrated one of the American theatrical trailers for this film.
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Brenda Banks did all the animation of Blackwolf's goons.
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The scene which Nekron 99 rides past 3 fairy prostitutes and a Kangaroo-like creature, which they all stop and stare at Nekron 99 as he rides past is a nod to the western genre, which the townsfolk stop and stare at the mysterious stranger when he arrives in town on his horse.
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Due to the dark imagery from the shadow-animation, this movie is a favorite for Midnight Movie shows around the world, whose primary market are teenagers.
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The CBS/FOX videotape of the movie in Australia and New Zealand removed the 20th Century Fox logo at the beginning of the movie and during the end credits, a voiceover was heard saying "Keep watching after this feature for more previews from the CBS/FOX Video collection."
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Fritz and Lardbutt are voiced by Ralph Bakshi.
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Peace's weapon in the film is called the blob gun.
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Peace doesn't talk until 31 minutes into the film.
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Ralph Bakshi would later make the animated sword and sorcery films The Lord of the Rings (1978) and Fire and Ice (1983).
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Christopher Tayback's 2nd and final film.
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The film was released on VHS by CBS/FOX Video in Australia and New Zealand in 1984.
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On July 14th 2016 at the Hollywood Theatre, Portland, Oregon. Andrew Belling and Marie Karlin performed the song "Time Will Tell" from the movie.
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The voices of the fairy mother and her daughter is that of Ralph Bakshi's wife Liz and daughter Victoria.
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Alfie tells Peewhittle not to worry, and describes past engagements with Blackwolf which have always ended in victory. Actually, in warfare, when it doesn't seem possible to lose, that is when you must worry the most.
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Elinore almost resembles British actress Madeline Smith.
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At the beginning of the Australian VHS of the movie when it was released in 1984, a trailer of Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980) was shown before the movie started. Mark Hamill whom provides the voice of Sean played Luke Skywalker in that movie and Mark Hamill was recommended to Ralph Bakshi by George Lucas.
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The voice of Fritz was Ralph Bakshi.
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Released on DVD in Australia and New Zealand in 2011.
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Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

The pistol that Avatar uses against Blackwolf is a Pistole Parabellum 1908, commonly known as a Luger.
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Although Peace is not the lead character and dies 60 minutes into the film, Peace and his camel are the only characters from the film that are featured on the poster.
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Since the film's release, Ralph Bakshi had wanted to make a sequel "Wizards 2" and that the plot would focus on Avatar and Elinore's relationship, which doesn't work out because Weehawk gets in the way. But due to production difficulties and other projects, the sequel never happened.
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A possible spin-off film which centered around Peace was never considered by Ralph Bakshi. If a spin-off film about Peace had happened. It would had been a prequel to the film, since Peace gets killed off 60 minutes into the film and the spin-off could had explored the origins of Peace, when he was Nekron 99 or it could had been a story involving Peace that takes place just before Blackwolf sent Nekron 99 to assassinate Avatar, which Avatar captured him and renamed him Peace.
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24 minutes into the film, a map is shown of the world in which the film takes place. On the map, the fairy mountains is in the north west. Montagar and the Black Forest is in the north. The East Elflands is in the east and the Elf army camp, Scortch and the dark island is in the south east.
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See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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