The Soul of Sword and Sorcery: ‘Fire and Ice’ Reviewed

by Tito W. James

Fire and Ice is a rotoscoped sword and sorcery film. A collaboration between Ralph Bakshi and Frank Frazetta, the movie is a perfect blend of adult animation and pulpy fantasy.

Bakshi’s expertise shines by bringing Frazetta’s imagery to life. Free from any adherence to realism, the audience can bask in dreamlike set-pieces and explore a vividly painted world. The ethereal score lifts each moment to new heights.

While the story is hardly revolutionary, the simplistic clarity of the narrative allows for extended sequences of non-verbal storytelling. The characters are cliché to the point of camp but are nonetheless entertaining. At worst, Fire and Ice is “so bad it’s good” and at its best, simply dazzling.

Fire and Ice is more of an epic than what most contemporary feature animated films are willing to risk. The nearly 40 -year-old film has aged better than James Cameron’s Avatar. With the growing appreciation for adult animated films, there has never been a better time to discover Fire and Ice.

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