As blu-ray catches on with consumers, more and more vintage animation is getting a hi-def make-over. Disney has been releasing its features, one by one, in this format for years. Warners has just begun releasing classic Looney Tunes and Tom & Jerry shorts on blu-ray.

20th Century-Fox has now jumped into its vault and has remastered Ralph Bakshi’s Wizards for blu-ray release on March 13th. I remember loving this flick when I first saw it back in the seventies. It inspired Wendy Pini’s cult comics masterpiece Elfquest, and was the catalyst for several animated fantasy features that followed in the next few years (Heavy Metal, Rock & Rule, not to mention Bakshi’s own Lord of The Rings). I always remember Wizards as Mark Hamill’s other 20th Century-Fox fantasy film from 1977 (you-know-what was the other one).

The Wizards blu-ray is being tied to the film’s 35th Anniversary, and being released in “Digi-book” format which packages the disc inside a commemorative 24-page book. The book features an introduction from Ralph and is illustrated with much rare artwork from his personal collection. The film comes with audio commentary by Ralph, a documentary Ralph Bakshi: The Wizard of Animation, theatrical trailers and TV spots and 300 still photos.

So what do you think? Has time been kind to Wizards? How does it hold up in your opinion?


Jerry Beck

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