Thursday, February 19, 2015

Rock & Rule A.K.A. Ring of Power (1983)

A Canadian animated science fiction musical directed by Clive A. Smith.
A band that is just starting out lets their female vocalist sing. She is heard by a rock star mad scientist magician who is planning to summon a horrible beast using the power of the girl's voice. He captures her and her band has to save her from him.
This could have been really cool. The sexuality and drug references are Bakshiesque, but everything else is lacking that certain something that puts Ralph's films over the top. The plot lacked continuity and was vague in some parts. The characters were just thrown at the viewer as if they had already been developed in another film. Since they fit so nicely into archetypes known from everything else, the development had actually occurred. I really liked the character design and the backgrounds looked cool too. The animation was a little bit uneven. Some scenes were great and others seemed lazily thrown together. Same with the pacing. At points when drawing things out would help, they rushed and when rushing was necessary, it slowed down. I thought the soundtrack sounded way more '70s than the '83 release date would indicate. The scope of the film felt small. For example, when you watch a Bakshi film like Fritz The Cat, you can imagine what might be going on off-screen. The details that you can see would allow you to fill in the blanks. Fritz smoking pot with the crow woman and all you can see is the junkyard? You know what they're doing and what it would look like. What about in that apartment over there? You know it's full of animals doing '60s stuff, right? In this film, that doesn't happen. Wizards felt big like there was a whole world full of crazy stuff off-screen and you were seeing that individual story happenning in that world. This was just what you see. Nothing else. I rate this o.k. because of inconsistency and feeling small.

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