Yes, I know another Ralph Bakshi review. Today’s Review is on the 1983 fantasy classic Fire and Ice where a tiny village is destroyed by a surging glacier, which serves as the deadly domain for the evil Ice Lord, Nekron. The only survivor is a young warrior, Larn, who vows to avenge this act of destruction. The evil continues, however, as Nekron’s palace of ice heads straight towards Fire Keep, the great fortress ruled by the good King Jarol. When Jarol’s beautiful daughter, Teegra, is abducted by Nekron’s sub-human ape-like creatures, Larn begins a daring search for her. What results is a tense battle between good and evil, surrounded by the mystical elements of the ancient past.
Bakshi does a great job balancing his love of fantasy and and his social commentary, Fire and Ice is certainly not lighter fare but for Ralph Bakshi he was able to craft something more along the lines of fantasy with subtle subversions pointing at the globalization and the emergence of world wide corporations, and a racial undercurrent between the “subhumans” and the nordic young man named Larn.
As with most Bakshi films there is a very healthy dose of sex and violence in Fire and Ice. The sword and sorcery formula is more primal and lurid than its high fantasy sister and also seems to replace things like story for visceral conflict. One of the most important things to remember about sword and sorcery, adult animation, and Fire and Ice is that its simplicity and pulp like existence is part of a greater structure. A structure which makes my knees weak in enjoyment. At times I found Fire and Ice is so cinematic in it’s presentation that I almost forgot it was animated. With lush watercolour backdrops and minimum exposition, the movie only slows down for the inevitable love story.
Yes, it is a very cliche fantasy movie: Good vs evil; The princess is kidnapped; The lone, unaffiliated anti-hero saves her; A final epic batttle ends the war of good vs evil. However overall this movie is more about style than substance, but definitely succeeds in painting a uniquely visual, unearthly fantasy world, full of epic battles between good and evil. Any fan of the Heavy Metal cartoon would probably enjoy this. Just don’t get offended by the racist overtones–this is fantasy!