Fire and Ass
June 2, 2009 12:46 PM   Subscribe

Fire and Ice (YouTube playlist) Ralph Bakshi's 1983 collaboration with Frank Frazetta.

The animated feature, based on characters Bakshi and Frazetta co-created, was made using the process of rotoscoping.

The real highlight of the 1983 cult animated movie, I quickly discovered, is Teegra’s ass.
posted by KokuRyu (51 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
The real highlight of the 1983 cult animated movie, I quickly discovered, is Teegra’s ass.

"Female Derrière Features Prominently in Bakshi/Frazetta Collaboration."

Later this hour on World's Least Shocking Revelations: "Hillary Clinton Incenses Conservatives" and "Candy is Delicious."
posted by total warfare frown at 1:01 PM on June 2, 2009 [4 favorites]


Whoa. Saw this in the theatre when I was....eleven? Zounds.
posted by vrakatar at 1:03 PM on June 2, 2009


Best use of rotoscoping ever. I wish they'd make some new movies in this style. I have the 2-disc release of Fire and Ice on DVD. It's a wonderful set, lots of informative extras. Gonna have to screen the movie again soon.

It would be cool to see a Slaine: The Horned God movie done in this style with the same creative team.

As a kid, I LOVED this movie, along with Heavy Metal and Starchaser: The Legend of Orin. These were the only 3 full length animated feature films I could find that had any real violence or titillation in the early 80s. I managed to tape them all off Pay TV at various points. I watched each of those movies pretty much frame by frame in their entirety over the years, leaving the VCR on frame-advance for literally hours at a time while I would examine the animation.

I knew about Ralph Bakshi but I hated all his shit and still do. It's all unwatchable garbage, with the possible exception of American Pop.
posted by autodidact at 1:11 PM on June 2, 2009


Ass is a surprisingly underused tag.
posted by xod at 1:11 PM on June 2, 2009


Add Transformers: The Movie to the list. For a movie that was all about selling toys, it had some pretty bad-ass violence. When I finally saw it at eleven years old, it was like a religious experience.
posted by autodidact at 1:19 PM on June 2, 2009


As a kid, I LOVED this movie, along with Heavy Metal and Starchaser: The Legend of Orin.

OMG. Starchaser: The Legend Of Orin. In 3D. I saw it in the theater every night the week it played in my hometown, and loved it. It was pure cheese, with a Han Solo character on a hero's journey, two snappy sidekick robots, and an orchestral score which was stolen from across a broad spectrum of John Williams compositions. Loved loved LOVED that movie when it came out.

It even sort of held up during a more recent viewing. Although without the 3D, it was really lacking something.
posted by hippybear at 1:25 PM on June 2, 2009


Bakshi's rotoscoping kind of gives me a little bit of the creeps, and always has. There seems to be an unnatural quality about it - the characters movements never quite feel right, and the faces look wrong. Perhaps I'm used to more exaggeration and expression. Perhaps it's an Uncanny Valley thing. I'm not sure.

Maybe I'll watch some more to find ... WHOOMP there it is. That is quite an ass, right there.
posted by louche mustachio at 1:26 PM on June 2, 2009


As corny as this movie is (especially the intro sequence), it's still pretty awesome. My favorite non-sequitur of the movie: the "I killed Fritz!" sequence.
posted by dammitjim at 1:27 PM on June 2, 2009


Bakshi did a similarly rotoscoped Lord of the Rings feature in 1978 which left a lasting impression on me right up till Peter Jackson's films. Thanks to Bakshi I could never stop visualizing Boromir as a Viking, or Aragorn as a hunkier version of Chief Sitting Bull.
posted by brownpau at 1:36 PM on June 2, 2009 [1 favorite]


I saw an interview with booth Bakshi and Frazetta from a few years back. I think it was off a Frazetta documentary. Bakshi was reminiscing how they picked out the actress. They had a casting call of beautiful young women who would come in, take off their top, and show their breasts. Bakshi seemed kind of lecherous being that he still seemed excited about that.
posted by P.o.B. at 1:38 PM on June 2, 2009


I'm rather enjoying some of the comments:

Those were some pretty monstrous wolfs

Having one eye is a severe evolutionary disadvantage.

Well, have you ever offered a girl the leg of a boar? Maybe that works on all of em.

Nekron's Dawgz, stealin bytchez since 1,000,000BC.

"Nekron, you are a man of great power, but there is one thing that you lack..." PANTS!

Nice work, Peanut Gallery.
posted by louche mustachio at 1:39 PM on June 2, 2009 [2 favorites]


louche mustachio, you picked the best of them, but you missed the insightful: "man i wish i could be a part of something so epic in real life as this was."

And then there's this: It never ceases to amaze me that nobody recognizes that Nekron is moving this massive glavier b the power of the mind. He is a master wizard, however twisted he may be. This is a great example of mind over matter, but it always get's missed amidst the barbarian fighting.

Wizards rule, barbarians drool!
posted by filthy light thief at 1:53 PM on June 2, 2009


As corny as this movie is (especially the intro sequence), it's still pretty awesome. My favorite non-sequitur of the movie: the "I killed Fritz!" sequence.

I believe you're actually thinking of Wizards (my personal Bakshi favorite), but you've definitely hit on my favorite scene from that movie.
posted by The Light Fantastic at 2:07 PM on June 2, 2009


Come to think of it, American Pop is rotoscoped Bakshi and I like that too. I just hate Fritz The Cat, Heavy Traffic, Wizards, and Cool World. It's all so random and goofy.
posted by autodidact at 2:14 PM on June 2, 2009



I knew about Ralph Bakshi but I hated all his shit and still do. It's all unwatchable garbage, with the possible exception of American Pop.


Fire and Ice could have been good, but instead it looks unfinished.

Say what you will , but Bakshi was a pioneer. He was radical. Anyone who makes a movie like Coonskin deserves some credit. And I think American Pop was his least interesting movie.

Heavy Metal was both terrible and awesome. Starchaser was ok back then, I saw some of it recently and it didn't hold up so much.

Rock and Rule was better in terms of art , but the story was a little cheezo.
posted by Liquidwolf at 2:21 PM on June 2, 2009


louche mustachio: "Bakshi's rotoscoping kind of gives me a little bit of the creeps, and always has."

Same here.

Sincere question: Do serious animation fans look down on rotoscoping as a vulgarization of the art or something? I keep thinking of Jason Lee in Chasing Amy getting ridiculed as a "tracer".
posted by Joe Beese at 2:23 PM on June 2, 2009


Sincere question: Do serious animation fans look down on rotoscoping as a vulgarization of the art or something? I keep thinking of Jason Lee in Chasing Amy getting ridiculed as a "tracer".

Yes, pretty much.
posted by Liquidwolf at 2:25 PM on June 2, 2009


That was a Crumb reference. He got tired of drawing Fritz the Cat.

"Wizards rule, barbarians drool!"
Mom showed me a trick when you weren't around.
posted by Smedleyman at 2:35 PM on June 2, 2009


As corny as this movie is (especially the intro sequence),

I cannot relate to where you're coming from.
posted by Liquidwolf at 2:40 PM on June 2, 2009


Do serious animation fans look down on rotoscoping as a vulgarization of the art or something?

Yes, pretty much.


Not all of us do. It's a tool like any other. Disney and Fleischer had very deft hands with rotoscoping. Bakshi, not so much. Personally, I love the grim, nightmarish quality the bad rotoscoping gives Bakshi's Lord of the Rings, but then I'm a fan of Bakshi's work in general. If you think of his work in direct contrast with Disney's output, then yes, it's amateurish. But Bakshi's work is more like Black Flag to Disney's Bangles; he was pushing the boundaries with adult themes and content, and using a brash, loud, crude, sloppy means to achieve it.
posted by lekvar at 2:44 PM on June 2, 2009 [6 favorites]


Not all of us do. It's a tool like any other. Disney and Fleischer had very deft hands with rotoscoping. Bakshi, not so much. Personally, I love the grim, nightmarish quality the bad rotoscoping gives Bakshi's Lord of the Rings, but then I'm a fan of Bakshi's work in general. If you think of his work in direct contrast with Disney's output, then yes, it's amateurish. But Bakshi's work is more like Black Flag to Disney's Bangles; he was pushing the boundaries with adult themes and content, and using a brash, loud, crude, sloppy means to achieve it.

Hey don't get me wrong I've loved Bakshi's work since I was 13 , but I think his use of rotoscoping in Lord of the Rings , American Pop, and most of Fire and Ice creates a rather hollow effect, except for the dark riders in LOTR and some other exceptions within those films. It just seems a little lazy.
Not all rotoscoping is bad I agree. Karel Zeman did some of the best rotoscoping in my opinion in the 1940s-50s.
posted by Liquidwolf at 2:54 PM on June 2, 2009


I believe you're actually thinking of Wizards (my personal Bakshi favorite), but you've definitely hit on my favorite scene from that movie.

Ha! You're right. I believe I watched the two in high school in near succession.

I see Fire and Ice in the middle, on a continuum between Wizards and Heavy Metal, especially the Den story. I remember liking Fire and Ice more at first, because Wizards was so preachy and hippy-ish. But as time goes by, Wizards is more interesting to me, because it's so strange.
posted by dammitjim at 2:55 PM on June 2, 2009


I cannot relate to where you're coming from.

Again, I was confusing my memory of scenes from Wizards with Fire and Ice. Here's the corny intro sequence: part 1, part 2.

I still maintain that Fire and Ice is corny, though... not backing away from that.
posted by dammitjim at 3:01 PM on June 2, 2009


Again, I was confusing my memory of scenes from Wizards with Fire and Ice. Here's the corny intro sequence:

That's what i thought you meant. But I like that stuff- that's why i don't agree. Of course Fire and Ice is corny, but it's fun.
posted by Liquidwolf at 3:14 PM on June 2, 2009


So if this movie was rotoscoped - who was the model for Teegra?
posted by redteam at 3:37 PM on June 2, 2009


Did I see this movie? Or did I dream it?
posted by tkchrist at 3:46 PM on June 2, 2009


They have footage of the rotoscope shoot for Teegra on the DVD. Same for Taarna in Heavy Metal. It's a bit of a let down as their anatomy is somewhat enhanced by the animators. It's almost like being hot for Jessica Rabbit and seeing Kathleen Turner (back in 1988 no less).
posted by autodidact at 5:25 PM on June 2, 2009


Coming to a Craigslist near you: Single white male seeks Teegra and/or Taarna for conversation and frisbee, and possibly roleplay.
posted by Liquidwolf at 6:15 PM on June 2, 2009


Do serious animation fans look down on rotoscoping as a vulgarization of the art or something?

Yes, pretty much.


Yeah and you can still find folks who call themselves "serious animation fans" who consider CGI "a vulgarization of the art." Both positions are stupid, and anyone who appreciates the history of the medium knows better than to dismiss rotoscoping as some sort of lesser style - especially if they know anything at all about that early Fleischer Brothers stuff lekvar mentioned.

Bakshi's work is more like Black Flag to Disney's Bangles; he was pushing the boundaries with adult themes and content, and using a brash, loud, crude, sloppy means to achieve it.

That's really good, thanks.
posted by mediareport at 7:16 PM on June 2, 2009


Yeah and you can still find folks who call themselves "serious animation fans" who consider CGI "a vulgarization of the art." Both positions are stupid, and anyone who appreciates the history of the medium knows better than to dismiss rotoscoping as some sort of lesser style - especially if they know anything at all about that early Fleischer Brothers stuff lekvar mentioned.


You sound like one of those"serious animation fans" . If you'd read all the posts you'd have seen that explained how i do admire well done rotoscoping, especially the early stuff. And yeah, I wouldn't say CGI is any less valid or a vulgarization either , it just has the vibe of robotic soulless shit.
posted by Liquidwolf at 7:39 PM on June 2, 2009


Relax, I wasn't dissing you. But I freely admit to being an animation fan who laughs at folks who valorize one era of the form's history over all the others.
posted by mediareport at 8:00 PM on June 2, 2009


Oh, wow. I LOVE this movie. I love most of Bakshi's stuff, as awful as it can be in certain ways. This is still one of my favourite movies of all. After I watch this I'm going to have to watch Wizards again. And then hunt down Rock and Rule. Mok FTW!

Out of all of them, though, I was and still am totally hot for Nekron. He reminds me a lot of a diminished Elric. Sort of Elric minor, as it were. Mmm, Elric.

Thanks very much for this link. Why do I never seem to remember to search YouTube for this kind of stuff?
posted by perilous at 8:16 PM on June 2, 2009


What in the hell does Bakshi have against pants, anyway? There's a damn ice age going on!

Also, Bakshi's fantasy worlds all share one thing in common. Well, two things, besides the disturbing pants to ass ratio of all of his films. That one (other) thing is extremely well developed body hair removal technology. It's like they invented the hair removal laser and body building before fire and then just said "Ok, that's it. Let's hang out in loincloths and generally look awesome in furry boots while holding a double sided battle ax or impossibly large sword."
posted by loquacious at 8:17 PM on June 2, 2009


Heavy Metal is most definitely "terrible and awesome". And American Pop may not be interesting, but the style is... addictive. I can't stop staring at the screen.

Haven't seen this. Must give it a go.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 8:20 PM on June 2, 2009


Sincere question: Do serious animation fans look down on rotoscoping as a vulgarization of the art or something?

I don't know how serious my animation fandom is compared to some, but I'm not really a snob. I don't look down on any technique, unless it's executed in such a way that it distracts me from the piece as a whole. CGI, rotoscoping, stick figures, anything is fine, as long as it works. It's Bakshi's rotoscoping in particular that I find bothersome, especially when I compare it to his other work. I enjoy him most when his characters are more stylized, more... cartoonish, maybe? In the rotoscoped work, the figures seem very flat and expressionless to me.

What in the hell does Bakshi have against pants, anyway?

I seem to recall there were some great pants in Heavy Traffic and Coonskin, some of which contained serious asses. So the answer may well be "he hates pants because they cover up butts."
posted by louche mustachio at 9:07 PM on June 2, 2009


Also, this:

"Ok, that's it. Let's hang out in loincloths and generally look awesome in furry boots while holding a double sided battle ax or impossibly large sword."

sounds like an excellent plan for your next meetup.
posted by louche mustachio at 9:10 PM on June 2, 2009


Haven't seen this. Must give it a go.

Are you allowed to use the handle "Durn Bronzefist" without having experienced all 1980s fantasy cinema? That's got to be a couple demerits, at least.

Say you've seen Krull, at least.
posted by total warfare frown at 9:14 PM on June 2, 2009


And I can say "at least" at least three more times.
posted by total warfare frown at 9:22 PM on June 2, 2009


Wow, that movie was dumber than Conan. The animation at points was interesting and some of the fight scenes are well choreographed and animated but the plot is just totally missing. Also: WTF COLD WHY DO YOU HATE PANTS RALPH BAKSHI? I'm pretty sure there's not a single character in the film with some sort of appropriate clothing on their lower half. Not a single one.

*rolls credits*

Wait, "Thomas Kincade" painted the backgrounds on this? It can't be... it would explain a great deal but it simply cannot be.

Do they really mean that Thomas Kinkade? Could it be? It is!? IT IS!?!? NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
*head explodes*
posted by loquacious at 10:26 PM on June 2, 2009


Gross, dude, you got your head asplode on me. Why'd you have to go and do that?

*click*

WHAAAaa...? *head explodes*
posted by louche mustachio at 2:23 AM on June 3, 2009


loquacious: "Wow, that movie was dumber than Conan."

Conan... is not... dumb!

--seethes--
posted by JHarris at 3:14 AM on June 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


I am surprised that someone actually likes Bakshi's Lord of the Rings. When I sat through that endless, incomprehensible pile of mud in the theater, I wished I'd had the sense to walk out after ten minutes of it.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:31 AM on June 3, 2009


Totally reminded me of this world of super-science and sorcery I remember from when I was a kid. Now if that world had only had as much ass in it...
posted by orme at 4:53 AM on June 3, 2009


Relax, I wasn't dissing you. But I freely admit to being an animation fan who laughs at folks who valorize one era of the form's history over all the others.

Right. I just don't really like much CG animation, not because it's modern, but cos it's always so damn whimsical and cutesy. Also, the stiffness of it doesn't appeal to me - it looks a lot of animated toys. I'm so sick of the way all the characters look the same regardless of who made it. Maybe there's good adult stuff out there that I'm not aware of, or at least there probably will be some good stuff before long. It seems like the medium is still in the early stages which I guess it obviously is.
posted by Liquidwolf at 7:03 AM on June 3, 2009


Say you've seen Krull, at least.

Dude, I had a Krull poster on my wall. (though I'm not sure that should be a point of pride)

I am surprised that someone actually likes Bakshi's Lord of the Rings.

Me, too.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 8:58 AM on June 3, 2009


I wonder what Frazetta thought of it. I can't imagine what his part in it was, other than to allow the bastardization of his work for a large percentage of the take.

Not entirely unrelated, I remember back then planting myself in front of the TV every Saturday morning, and smoking a joint right before the animated Star Trek came on. You really couldn't do sf/fantasy on film without animation, and a magnanimous audience.

Maybe I just answered my own question
posted by Restless Day at 9:47 AM on June 3, 2009


I am surprised that someone actually likes Bakshi's Lord of the Rings.

Me, too.


To be fair, I like quite a few things that are of dubious artistic merit.

Back in art school, I had a friend who was a huge fan of Frazetta's work. According to him, Frazetta modeled his female subject's hindquarters after the hindquarters of horses, as they (the horse's butts) were somehow aesthetically superior. I thought he was pulling my leg, but I'll be damned if he wasn't right: Frazetta maidens have big ol' horse butts.

Check it out for yourself.
posted by lekvar at 11:04 AM on June 3, 2009


It still amazes me that Frazetta, of the bodacious barbarian babes, is the same Frazetta who was Al Capp's assistant.
posted by JHarris at 2:51 PM on June 3, 2009


You don't remeber Daisy Mae? And whats-her-name?
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:39 PM on June 3, 2009


Stupefyin' Jones was the name.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:43 PM on June 3, 2009


Yeah I remember the Dogpatch girls. I wasn't talking about that. Just... I dunno. I guess he got a lot of practice drawing musclebound guys and curvy girls in tattered clothes assisting on Li'l Abner.
posted by JHarris at 5:01 PM on June 3, 2009


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