Spanning 3,000 years, give or take, the DayGlo colorful tale of warring wizards siblings at that doesn't even attempt to disguise its political leanings, but kids today can appreciate it just for the pointy-eared fairies and various beasts, especially the low-IQ goons armed with laser guns.
Splendidly drawn on cels, the fantasy epic also makes novel use of projected stock footage of the World War Blitzkrieg, detailed collage backgrounds, a scosche of live-action, and imagery designed to mimic the look of comic books.
In some ways, Wizards is the ultimate Bakshi project: It plants the Tolkien seeds that would sprout into the following year's The Lord of the Rings and 1983's Fire and Ice; reigns in the chaos that would cripple 1992's Cool World; and merely teases at a naughty nature that was full-blown X in 1975's notorious Fritz the Cat. Certainly, Wizards is the most accessible, with comic interludes, synth-rock score and stoner-ready visuals.
On the book-packaged Blu-ray's half-hour interview, a lisping Bakshi says he embarked on this project to prove he could do an animated film without courting controversy, but also refers to Wizards as "a family film." It's PG-rated, all right, but the princess' ever-present poky nipples will not go unnoticed by a single kindergartener. Show 'em anyway. Rod Lott