ⓘ Fire and Ice (1983 film)

Fire and Ice (1983 film)

ⓘ Fire and Ice (1983 film)

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 Bakshis 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.


1. Plot

From their citadel Icepeak, the evil Queen Juliana Eileen ONeill and her son, Nekron Stephen Mendel send forth a wave of glaciers; this forces humanity to retreat south towards the equator, Nekron sends a delegation to Firekeep, the citadel of King Jarol Leo Gordon; ostensibly, this is to request the Kings surrender, in truth, the Ice Queen has orchestrated it as a ruse so that her sub-human troops can abduct Jarols beautiful daughter, Princess Teegra Cynthia Leake Juliana feels that Nekron should take a bride to produce an heir. However, the Ice Prince is incensed because he abhors the notion of peace; Nekron declines to marry Teegra, in spite of his mothers plan, but keeps the Fire Princess as a hostage.

Teegra escapes from Icepeak and meets a young warrior, Larn Randy Norton the only survivor of a village razed by Nekrons glaciers, Larn agrees to escort the Fire Princess back to her home, en route, Teegra is recaptured by the Ice Soldiers and Larn joins up with the mysterious Darkwolf Steve Sandor to save her, Darkwolf and Larn travel to Icepeak, where they confront Juliana. Darkwolf slays Nekron in a duel, as Icepeak is destroyed by lava released at the command of King Jarol.

Larn is about to kill an already-defeated Ice Minion when Teegra stops him, "its over", she says and embraces him, from atop a cliff, a mounted Darkwolf watches the pair briefly; he smiles, then rides off. Larn and Teegra kiss.


2. Production

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 Frazettas artwork. Bakshi and Frazetta were heavily involved in the production of the live-action sequences, from casting sessions to the final shoot. The films 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 Frazettas work, and animated his sequences on the film while simultaneously working for The Walt Disney Company.


3. Reception

Janet Maslin of The New York Times wrote, "If you love comic books but cant bear the unnecessary bother of turning pages, Fire and Ice Fire and Ice essentially stands as a footnote to the spate of barbarian films that followed in the wake of Arnold Schwarzeneggers appearance as Conan."

In 2003, the Online Film Critics Society ranked the film as the 99th greatest animated film of all time.


4. Home media

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 films 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.


5. Remake

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 Frazettas 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.