Animation Attack!: Fire and Ice (1983)

by Gabriel Gonzalez

Yin and Yang, darkness and light, Winthorpe and Valentine-- the struggle between polar opposites is as old as time itself. Told and retold through every medium imaginable, from spoken word to moving pictures, today’s feature is without exception—the fantasy adventure Fire and Ice (1983). So, get your loincloth back from your neighbor, and travel back to a simpler time, before we were encumbered by the modern trappings of things such as smartphones, internet, or pants. This installment of robotGEEK Cult Cinema- ANIMATED Edition, is about to begin!

"The last thing you want your loincloth to do is lift and separate"

In this tale of scantily-clad barbarism and magic, we join a young warrior by the name of Larn—the sole survivor of a mystical attack, whose entire village was destroyed by a colossal glacier, sent forth by the evil Nekron, Lord of Ice. On his quest for vengeance, Larn learns of the Ice Lord’s plot to invade and conquer Fire Keep, where King Jarol and his sultry daughter, Teegra reside. Violence ensues, and Nekron’s minions kidnap Teegra, turning Larn’s quest into a rescue op.

"Paleo diet - because blood parasites are a conspiracy, man!"

Fire and Ice was directed by Ralph Bakshi and Tom Tartaranowicz. Bakshi has numerous credits in animation, spanning over five decades, including Wizards (1977) and Cool World (1992). Tartaranowicz’s credits include Biker Mice from Mars (1993-1996) and Bobby’s World (1993-1998). Writer/producer Frank Frazetta was one of the most prolific illustrators of the 20th century, designing the poster art for films such as What’s New Pussycat (1965) and The Fearless Vampire Killers (1967).

The film was composed using an animation technique called Rotoscoping, where live-action actors are filmed and the footage is then traced over, frame by frame, to produce realistic movement. Though painstaking and tedious, the results were fluid and spectacular. For this reason, it was very difficult for the filmmakers to find a female actor with a physique to match Teegra’s *ahem* curviness. It was also rumored that between this and Frazetta’s demanding and temperamental ways, working this project was very stressful for the cast and crew alike.

"It's amazing what passed for PG in the 80s"

Overall, this movie was quite enjoyable. It started off with a breathtaking score, written by William Kraft, and an accompanying opening monologue that was worthy of any fantasy epic. The action, like the dialogue, was simple and direct, with the occasional ‘wtf’ moment. One of the only things that irked me about this film was the mysterious loner, Darkwolf. Though the character himself wasn’t bad, it felt like Larn took a back seat to him, and somehow became the main protagonist. Other than that, yes, check out Fire and Ice, and have a skull-busting good time.

"Batman? Never heard of her"

Well, thanks again for playing along. Feel free to post any suggestions for future installments of robotGEEK Cult Cinema—Animated Edition.

"By the way, 13 year old me wants to remind you of Teegra"

Gabriel Gonzalez - contributor 

G. J. Gonzalez is a doer of many things, including but not limited to writing sci-fi stories, acting, and developing software. Keep an eye out for his latest work, Althea: An Oneiric’s Tale, coming soon on Amazon.

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