6.8/10
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Metamorphoses (1978)

PG | | Animation, Fantasy | 3 May 1979 (USA)
Several animated stories from "Metamorphoses", Roman poet Ovid's narrative of legends, are presented.

Director:

Takashi

Writers:

Ovid (book), Takashi (adaptation) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Credited cast:
Peter Ustinov ... Narrator (voice)
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Storyline

Several animated stories from "Metamorphoses", Roman poet Ovid's narrative of legends, are presented.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Animation | Fantasy

Certificate:

PG
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Details

Country:

Japan | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

3 May 1979 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Winds of Change See more »

Filming Locations:

Pebble Beach, California, USA

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Alternate Versions

Peter Ustinov's narration was not in the original theatrical release but added later. See more »

Connections

Featured in Hewy's Animated Movie Reviews: Winds of Change (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

You Gave Me My Dreams
Music by Alec Constandinos
Lyrics by Enoch Anderson
Sung by Arthur Simms
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Completely forgotten by all, except perhaps by die-hard animation buffs.......
3 September 1999 | by Anonymou-4See all my reviews

When I was a child, there were two animated films that came out within the same basic time period which I had to wait over a decade to finally see: HEAVY METAL and this film. I finally saw HEAVY METAL in 1990 at a convention. This one I finally saw during the fall of 1998, and it was far, far, FAR harder to track down than HEAVY METAL was (to date, I've only seen two different video stores in two different states that carried it).

Both have funky then-contemporary soundtracks, and both are deemed rebellious moves against the American trend of seeing cartoons for children during the 70s and 80s--they are rated R and PG, respectively. Both are also "anthologies"--that is, containing several stories within one movie. However, there is all the difference in the world between HEAVY METAL and WINDS OF CHANGE, the lesser being that the former has spawned a huge cult following, while this one seems to have been completely forgotten...one gets the impression that it played very briefly in empty theatres. While the former has disappointed many animation film fans like myself who waited all this time to FINALLY see it due to its pessimistic (and not to mention chauvinistic) attitude and ugliness, WINDS OF CHANGE is a much lighter piece of work.

Produced by Sanrio, I'm not quite sure how it was assembled... I almost get the impression that it was originally a series of shorts which were stitched together for this release, but that's only a guess. It has no voices at all, only the narration of Peter Ustinov narrarating and providing ALL the voices here, and the whole thing is set to a HOT, REALLY cool pop/disco soundtrack that was once published by none other than Casablanca Records (not surprisingly). Ok, ok, maybe so far it doesn't sound too hot to you, but I liked watching it all the same.

There is no story here, just a series of Greek myths retold using a character called Dreammaker, or something like that, cast in the role of the various heroes/antiheroes (when I was young, I was so SURE he was an elf--as he looks now, his rounded ears make him look something like a smurf, but nevermind). For some curious reason, though, a similar-looking Peter-Pan-resembling character posing as Dreammaker--who appeared in the first story as someone else entirely--appears later on the film, and we are asked to believe he's the same character. But who cares? The animation is very smooth, and although the stories don't really have happy endings except maybe one, plus the fact that your own fantasies may leap to suspicious attention when you see Pegasus presented here with a snake's head, it is actually a nice, fun film for popcorn fun on a Saturday night.

One of the things that really makes the film the most delightful is Ustinov's deliberately tounge-in-cheek narraration. When he tries to do the voice of a goddess in a bad falsetto, you may chortle more than just a little bit. An excellent example of his vocals here, to give you an idea, comes at a scene in which a goddess is absolutely enraged. Her face is a mask of outrage, her actions fierce as she causes a tempest to swirl about her dramatically, her long hair blowing wildly. And yet... Ustinov's voice says smirkingly in a deliberately normal tone, "I...am MAD. REAL mad. I mean, I am really, REALLY mad. You have not SEEN mad until you've seen ME mad." And when she throws up her arms in a dramatic gesture to make everything stop in order to inflict a curse, he says, "Ok, that's enough, shut up. I have an important announcement to make."

Don't expect a huge grand finale ending either--its end is abrupt and to the point. It's also just as goofy as the rest of the film. WINDS OF CHANGE as a whole is light and fluffy, sure, but it's sort of nice to sit there and let it wash over you mindlessly with its images and music--I think the main reason why I ended up liking this film is that, in its own way, it's so unpretentious. It's not trying to sell toys, isn't trying to wow you with anything, it isn't calculated to any audience in particular, but rather seems to point back to a happier time when movies weren't so commercialized and when more directors made films not to make money or gain prestige, but simply to have a nice time making a movie--just because they WANTED to make it--and sharing it with others. Due to this honesty, WINDS OF CHANGE, while not spectacular, ends up besting practically everything introduced on American Saturday mornings during the 80s alone. Give it a try, you might be pleasantly surprised. It's certainly not up there as a star glittering with the best animated motion pictures of all time, and I'm certainly not suggesting that it represents some vastly important landmark in animation history, but I'm happy I saw it all the same.


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