Fire and Ice (1983 film)
|Fire and Ice|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Ralph Bakshi|
|Music by||William Kraft|
|Edited by||A. David Marshall|
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox|
Fire and Ice is a 1983 American epic high fantasy adventure film directed by Ralph Bakshi. The film, a collaboration between Bakshi and Frank Frazetta, was distributed by 20th Century Fox, which also distributed Bakshi's 1977 release, Wizards. The animated feature, based on characters co-created by Bakshi and Frazetta, was made using the process of rotoscoping, in which scenes were shot in live action and then traced onto animation cels.
The screenplay was written by Gerry Conway and Roy Thomas, both of whom had written Conan stories for Marvel Comics. Background painter was James Gurney, the author and artist of the Dinotopia illustrated novels. Thomas Kinkade also worked on the backgrounds to various scenes. Peter Chung, of Aeon Flux fame, was a layout artist.
This article needs an improved plot summary. (March 2017)
From their stronghold in Icepeak, the evil Queen Juliana (Eileen O'Neill) and her son, Nekron (Stephen Mendel), send forth a wave of glaciers, forcing humanity to retreat south towards the equator. Nekron sends a delegation to King Jarol (Leo Gordon) in Firekeep to request his surrender, but this is a ruse orchestrated by Queen Juliana for Nekron's sub-humans to kidnap Jarol's bikini-clad daughter, Princess Teegra (Cynthia Leake); Queen Juliana feels that Nekron should take a bride to produce an heir. However, Nekron is incensed and rejects the notion of peace, Teegra and his mother's plan.
Later, Teegra makes an escape and comes upon Larn (Randy Norton), a young warrior and the only survivor of a village razed by glaciers, who offers to escort her back to Firekeep. As Teegra is recaptured, Larn teams with the mysterious Darkwolf (Steve Sandor) to save Teegra and then travel to Icepeak to stop Juliana. Darkwolf faces Nekron and kills him as Icepeak succumbs to lava released by King Jarol and is destroyed.
The film finishes with Larn about to kill a beaten sub-human until Teegra stops him saying that "it's over" and embraces him. Darkwolf is seen atop a cliff; he watches the pair, smiles and then disappears. Teegra and Larn kiss the moment before the credits roll.
|Character||Performance model||Voice actor|
|Larn||Randy Norton||William Ostrander|
|Teegra||Cynthia Leake||Maggie Roswell|
|Nekron||Sean Hannon||Stephen Mendel|
|Juliana||Eileen O'Neill||Susan Tyrrell|
|Roleil||Elizabeth Lloyd Shaw|
|Tutor||Tamarah Park||Clare Nono|
|Pako||Greg Wayne Elam|
|Defender Captain||N/A||Hans Howes|
By 1982, fantasy films had proven to be considerably successful at the box office, including The Beastmaster and Conan the Barbarian, and Bakshi had a desire to work with long-time friend and fantasy illustrator Frank Frazetta. Bakshi received $1.2 million to finance Fire and Ice from some of the same investors as American Pop, and 20th Century Fox agreed to distribute the film based upon the financial longevity of Wizards.
Because Fire and Ice was the most action-oriented story Bakshi had directed up until that point, rotoscoping was again used, and the realism of the animation and design replicated Frazetta's artwork. Bakshi and Frazetta were heavily involved in the production of the live-action sequences, from casting sessions to the final shoot. The film's crew included background artists James Gurney and Thomas Kinkade, layout artist Peter Chung, and established Bakshi Productions artists Sparey, Steven E. Gordon, Bell and Banks. Chung strongly admired Bakshi and Frazetta's work, and animated his sequences on the film while simultaneously working for The Walt Disney Company.
Janet Maslin of The New York Times wrote, "If you love comic books but can't bear the unnecessary bother of turning pages, 'Fire and Ice,' which opened yesterday at the National theater, may be for you. It would help if you were a sex-obsessed 12-year old boy, but it isn't essential." Gene Siskel of the Chicago Tribune gave the film two stars out of four and called it "attractive to look at, but its slow-moving, predictable story makes viewing it much like reading a comic book with pages made of lead." He added that "the constant rhythm of Teegra being captured and rescued and captured and rescued is, after a while, more than a bit tiring." Sheila Benson of the Los Angeles Times wrote that "in spite of all the glorious washes in the background, which do indeed have the Frazetta look, 'Fire and Ice' is as unintentionally funny a fantasy as you could hope for." Donald Greig of The Monthly Film Bulletin called the action sequences "impressive enough" but stated that "the animators' fetishistic fascination with the human form ... underlines the two-dimensionality of the script, for the artwork is certainly the only fleshing-out that characters receive."
Andrew Leal wrote, "The plot is standard [...] recalling nothing so much as a more graphic episode of Filmation's He-Man series. [...] Fire and Ice essentially stands as a footnote to the spate of barbarian films that followed in the wake of Arnold Schwarzenegger's appearance as Conan."
Home video release
The film was released on VHS, Betamax, CED, and LaserDisc by RCA/Columbia Pictures Home Video in 1983. GoodTimes Home Video re-released the film on VHS in 1988. In 2005, it was released on DVD by Blue Underground Entertainment on a limited edition two-disc set, paired with the documentary Frazetta: Painting With Fire, about the film's co-creator and producer, Frank Frazetta. The company later released the film on Blu-ray in 2008 with Remastered 1080p video and a 7.1 surround sound remix in both Dolby TrueHD and DTS HD Master Audio
In 2010, Robert Rodriguez announced that he would direct a live-action remake of the film. Bakshi stated that he did not want any involvement with the film, but he agreed to license the rights to Rodriguez. The deal closed shortly after Frazetta's death. On December 18, 2014, Sony Pictures Entertainment acquired the filming rights to the live-action remake version of the 1983 animated film Fire and Ice that will be directed by Robert Rodriguez.
- Gibson, Jon M.; McDonnell, Chris (2008). "Fire and Ice". Unfiltered: The Complete Ralph Bakshi. Universe Publishing. pp. 192, 196. ISBN 0-7893-1684-6.
- Maslin, Janet (November 24, 1983). "Screen: 'Fire and Ice'". The New York Times. C12.
- Siskel, Gene (January 24, 1984). "Slow plot weighs down 'Fire and Ice' animation". Chicago Tribune. Section 5, p. 2.
- Benson, Sheila (August 26, 1983). "'Fire and Ice' is a Marriage of Genres". Los Angeles Times. Part VI, p. 6.
- Greig, Donald (August 1984). "Fire and Ice". The Monthly Film Bulletin. 51 (607): 242.
- Beck, Jerry; Martin Goodman; Andrew Leal; W. R. Miller; Fred Patten (2005). "Fire and Ice". The Animated Movie Guide. Chicago Review Press. p. 84. ISBN 978-1-55652-591-9.
- "Top 100 Animated Features of All Time". Online Film Critics Society. Retrieved 2010-04-21.
- "Fire And Ice (2-Disc Limited Edition)". Blue Underground. Archived from the original on April 26, 2007. Retrieved March 25, 2007.
- Knowles, Harry (May 19, 2010). "A family friendly Machete? What do you mean no race war? & A secret Frazetta project?? Exclusive Robert Rodriguez interview!!". Ain't It Cool News. Retrieved May 20, 2010.
- Ashby, Devon (March 14, 2012). "The God's Truth: An Interview With Ralph Bakshi (Part 2)". Crave Online. Retrieved July 8, 2012.
- Fleming, Mike (December 18, 2014). "Sony Pictures Acquires Robert Rodriguez & His Frank Franzetta Homage 'Fire And Ice'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved December 19, 2014.
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