Harry Potter: Wizards Unite – All Game Info

Do you remember the Pokémon GO fever that hit the masses a few years back? Well, it seems as if things are about to get even crazier.

We all know that Harry Potter fans are dedicated, to say the least, so when you add an augmented reality game into the mix – you get an experience to remember.

The news about the upcoming Harry Potter: Wizards Unite game have been circling the net for a couple of years now, but the dream became a reality when gamers got a preview of what the game has in store for them.

Players that enjoy all types of games, from classic PC games to Grand Vegas online pokies, are bound to fall in love with the upcoming Harry Potter game. The only question is whether you are planning on joining the excitement or not! Are you ready to learn more about the game?

What We Know About the Game

Anyone who has ever played or seen others play Pokémon GO, know how the new Harry Potter game is going to work. The game was created by two companies – Niantic and WB Games – under the well-known name of Portkey Games.

The plot of the game is pretty entertaining, especially if you are a big Harry Potter fan. In this game, something unexplained is happening in the wizarding world. Magical artifacts, creatures, and even wizards appear in the muggle world without warning.

It will be your job, as a new member of the Statue of Secrecy Task Force, to investigate the cause of the calamity and return order to the world.

Harry Potter: Wizards Unite has a lot of familiar elements you will recognize from other AR games, such as the map you will need to navigate to follow traces of the magical world.

However, the games’ creator added new features that make the game stand out from other AR games we all learned to love.

First of all, Wizards Unite will allow you to take a more active part in the gaming experience. For example, upon locating a magical creature or a wizard, you will be required to perform certain spells to regain control of the situation.

Also, during the game, you will be able to brew potions from ingredients that appear in your region at certain times and under specific weather conditions. From time to time, you will also be required to replenish your energy by visiting inns where you can get food, which also adds a realistic vibe to the game.

Now, what about you? What will your gaming experience look like?

First and foremost, before you start playing, you will be able to create your wizard avatar. You will be able to join the house you admire most, pick out your wand, and choose a profession that will provide you with unique skills you will be able to use later on.

You can be an Auror, Professor, or Magizoologist, and as the game will unfold in front of you, your avatar’s abilities will develop and provide you with more tools to deal with the calamity.

Fortunately enough, the game will allow you to switch professions or houses whenever you want to, so you won’t have to agonize over making the wrong game choices.

Release Date

Unfortunately, we still don’t know exactly when the game will come out, but it is supposed to hit the market in the upcoming months.

On March 11, we got a preview of what the game will look like, and Android owners now have a chance of pre-registering for Wizards Unite on Google Play, while iPhone owners are still unable to do that.

In Conclusion

The muggle world is in an uproar since the moment the Wizards Unite game was announced, and with every new detail the creators reveal, the excitement rises up a notch. Are you planning on playing the game the moment it becomes available to you?

 

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Concert Review: Wizards of Winter “The Magic of Winter” – Syracuse, NY

“The Magic of Winter”
Wizards of Winter
Date: Sunday, December 27th 2015
Venue: The Oncenter Crouse Hinds Theater
Syracuse, NY

Our Score: 4 out of 5 stars

The Tri-State area based Wizard of Winter brought their own unique brand of holiday cheer to the Syracuse, NY area on December 27th as part of the group’s 2015 “Magic of Winter” tour. The night proved to be a great extension of the Christmas holiday as the night’s performance took you on a magical music adventure which made for a very enjoyable concert experience.

With this being the groups first time in Syracuse anticipation was certainly high as concert goers filled in the seats at the multi tiered Crouse Hinds Theater. The show began promptly at 8pm as the band kicked off their impressive 26 song performance with a song from their debut album “The Magic of Winter” titled “Flight of the Snow Angels”, a fitting opening number which set the stage perfectly for the rest of the night’s performance. Former Trans-Siberian Orchestra narrator Tony Gaynor would take the stage several times painting a vivid picture of the upcoming number which helped those in attendance sink deeper into the spirit of the night’s performance though, I personally found these moments (which also included a 15 minute intermission) to sort of halt the night’s momentum as it seemed like the band would no sooner start to get in a groove only to have it broken up by brief pieces of commentary. All of the members of the group put on stellar performances including several standout moments by former Trans-Siberian Orchestra vocalist Guy LeMonnier, Violin/Vocalist Natalia Niarezka and lead guitarist Fred Gorhau who blazed his way through intricate solo after solo without missing a beat. Songs such as “Ebeneezer” Savatage’s “Christmas Eve (Sarajevo 12/24)”, “Season’s Lament” and the upbeat “Gales of December” sounded really great as they made their way into every nook and cranny of the theater prolonging the Christmas holiday just a touch longer.

As the night’s performance came to a close the Syracuse crowd seemed pleased with the show they had just witnessed. As the band left the stage the crowd thanked the performers with a heavy blanket of applause which the performers seemed very appreciative of. With such a good response from the groups Syracuse debut my hope is they continue to make stops in Orangeman country for many more holiday season to come.

Set List:
1.) Flight of the Snow Angels
2.) Magic of Winter
3.) Arctic Flyer
4.) Special Feeling
5.) First Snow (Trans-Siberian Orchestra cover)
6.) A Night of Reflection
7.) Sing Alleluia/ 3 Ships
8.) Once Long Ago
9.) 3 Kings
10.) Nutrocker (Electric Light Orchestra cover)
11.) Ebeneezer
12.) Christmas Eve (Sarajevo 12/24) (Savatage cover)
13.) March of the Metal Soldiers
14.) Season’s Lament
15.) Just Believe
16.) Gales of December
17.) Whoville
18.) Waken to the Sound
19.) Toys will be Toys
20.) The Journey
21.) Queen of the Winter Night (Trans-Siberian Orchestra cover)
22.) Electric Blue (Trans-Siberian Orchestra cover)
23.) Little Help (Joe Cocker cover)
24.) Spirit of Christmas
25.) Requiem (Trans-Siberian Orchestra cover)
26.) With One Voice

Wizards of Winter’s Fred Gorhau talks about album “The Magic of Winter”

Fred Gorhau is the guitarist for the NY, NJ, and PA metro area band The Wizards of Winter. The group which formed in 2010 has strong classical and progressive rock influences features several former Trans Siberian Orchestra members. The group recently released their second full length album titled “The Magic of Winter” which is a continuation of the groups 2014 self titled release. Media Mikes had the chance to speak with Frank recently about the new album, the group’s ties to the Trans Siberian Orchestra and the bands upcoming holiday tour.

Adam Lawton: Can you tell us about the group’s initial formation?
Frank Gorhau: We all come from different backgrounds. Me personally I come from a rock and heavy metal background. The group was put together by our keyboardist Scott Kelly, his wife Sharon and Steve Ratchen the bass player. The whole concept behind the group was there was a food pantry in the area that needed help. Scott and company wanted to do something so they decided to put a band together. The first year they were performing they did strictly Trans Siberian Orchestra (TSO) music. I joined the group in the second year when things really started picking up. People were asking where they could get our music and there really wasn’t a place. We decided we better do a CD so we did and now we are just releasing our second album. We have some former members of TSO appearing on the album and have had the chance to tour with 5 former members thus far. It’s great to be able to get together and do something that has grown exponentially. The group has gone from being a TSO tribute act to performing 20 of our own original songs with just a couple TSO classics thrown in for the member of that group who our now playing with us. We are doing a holiday rock concert of our own so it’s fitting to throw in some of those great TSO pieces.

AL: You recently started working with Jonny Z and Chuck Billy how did that partnership come about?
FG: I think Jon had seen some things from us and he reached out to me while we were on the road last year. He asked me for my info which I jumped at right away because Jon’s pedigree speaks for himself. We spoke and he asked if we had any video of a full show. Sadly I did not have any pro-shot material at the time. He really wanted to see our full show and as luck would have it he happened to be in Philadelphia when we were playing in nearby Easton, PA. The show was sold out and from there one thing just led to another. He started Breaking Bands with Chuck Billy and Maria Ferrero and they have been making things happen for us quite a bit this year. We are super excited and can’t wait to get out there.

AL: What can you tell us about the new album which came out earlier this month?
FG: I think “The Magic of Winter” is sort of a continuation of our first album. I am really happy with my playing on this record and our producer Eric Rachel did a fantastic job on things. It’s a really great sounding record. Tony Gaynor who was the original announcer for TSO does a great job not only announcing the song but tying the story in with everything. The story acts as this metaphorical train which takes the listeners from one place to another as it looks into various people lives during the holiday season. At first I wasn’t too sure of the story line and how it would all work but after seeing how it affects our fans and having some of those fans come up to me crying after the show really meant a lot. The album was a lot of fun and with it being the holiday season people can get emotionally involved with this release. We try to address all aspects of the holidays both happy and sad with our songs. We know that sometimes the holidays can be difficult for people and we do try to address that. I think people appreciate at that as it shows that they might not be the only ones with those feelings at this time of year.

AL: Were you more involved with the creation of the new album as compared to the previous when you were still relatively new to the group?
FG: I did play on the whole first album but only really had my hands in a couple of the songs. Most of the stuff was already there and I just put my spin on things. With “The Magic of Winter” I was intimately involved with the writing and arranging. We started putting all this stuff together in March or April so to have it all done for a November release is pretty good. There was a lot of good feedback that happened during the creation of this project and I am just super happy and proud of what we came up with in such a short time.

AL: How does the writing process work for the group being that there are quite a few members in the group?
FG: If there is one person more than any that brings in material I would have to say it is Scott. He comes up with a lot of ideas just sort playing around. Scott and I work well together whether we are retooling a traditional Christmas song or working on a new piece of material. Everyone brings something to the table. All twelve of us don’t normally get together to write but there is a core four or five that do work together and throw ideas back and forth. From there we bring the more solid ideas to the rest of the group and share with them what we think would benefit the track. It’s just been a really great experience.

AL: Having a history that is really entrenched with pieces of the Trans Siberian Orchestra be it through starting as a TSO tribute band to recruiting former TSO members, how do you go about differentiating those similarities from your own material?
FG: We are definitely similar and that’s not something I am going to pretend we are not. We started as a TSO tribute, our name comes from a TSO song. I wear that on my sleeve as sort of a badge of honor. I am a fan and to get to know these guys as friends now is something very special to me. We do have some differences in that we don’t take as much of the traditional Christmas music and rework it with a modern spin. TSO has done quite of bit of that. I think a larger portion of our material has vocals too it where TSO is mostly instrumental. We try to have about a 60/40 split between songs with vocals and straight instrumentals. We try to keep things interesting for the listener without going too far outside of the normal song structure.

AL: What can you tell us about the bands current holiday tour run?
FG: We are bringing out a few new effects with us this tour to help enhance the stage show. We have changed up the storyline a little bit as we don’t want to keep doing the same thing year after year. We won’t be doing all of the new record but we will be doing somewhere between 5 and 6 songs from that. The idea of the show is that it all takes place within a snow globe and as the globe is shaken the scenes change. The new material is sounding really great live and I think people are going to really enjoy what we have in store for everyone this year.

Blu-ray Review “Harry Potter Wizard’s Collection”

Directors: Chris Columbus, David Yates, Mike Newell, Alfonso Cuarón, David Yates
Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Maggie Smith, Robbie Coltrane, Alan Rickman
Number of discs: 31
Running Time: 1180 minutes
MPAA Rating: PG / PG-13
Distributed by: Warner Bros.
Release Date: September 7, 2012

Our Score: 5 out of 5 stars

If you could have ever wanted an ultimate set for the “Harry Potter” film franchise…it has arrived! “The Harry Potter Wizard’s Collection” is a beautiful 31-disc extravaganza that includes all eight films. In addition to the theatrical release of every film, the collection also includes the extended versions of Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets; and the 3D versions of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows –- Parts 1 and 2. Also there is an Ultraviolet digital streaming copy of each film as well. There is a ridiculous amount of special features totaling more than thirty-seven hours, which more than ten hours of it is new-to-disc bonus content and five hours of never-before-seen material. Fans are going to have a field day with this. I will get more into the special features below but just looking at this wonderful box. This is such a creative way to look slick but pack of hell of a lot of content. Overall it is relatively small (12¾” x 10½” x 11¼”), but it is a very neat series of swing-out and slide-out drawers and cubby holes that hold all of the set’s discs and collectibles. Now for all the goodies that are included in this release, included is a 48-page hardcover book “Harry Potter Catalogue of Artefacts”, a 32-page “Harry Potter Label Collection” booklet, an envelope containing five wonderfully detailed black-and-white Stuart Craig drawings which are printed on heavy-stock cards, concept art color paintings also on heavy-stock cards, a Holocrux locket replica, a weathered blueprint poster of the Hogwarts castle, a large 24″ x 36″ cloth map of the Hogwarts grounds (pictured below) and, of course, a numbered certificate of authenticity. Sounds good? Well don’t just run out just yet since this releases does not come cheap.  The average price for this release is well over $300 bucks.  So unless you are the biggest of “Harry Potter” fans or unless you don’t own any of these film’s on Blu-ray then I would suggest this release highly.

Since we all have seen these movies before and watched the available special features, this review will focus on the content that has not be available before (and because those are the only ones Warner Bros sent us to review 😉 ) which lies on discs 25, 29 and 31.  Disc 25 is “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 Bonus Disc”, it includes over 2 hours of features including the all new! “Creating the World of Harry Potter, Pt. 7: Story”.  This feature runs 47 minute and is the seventh documentary released as part of each film’s Ultimate Edition Blu-ray releases.  This is centered around series author J.K. Rowling and saga screenwriter Steve Kloves, who really just dive into every aspect of the series from book to film, all of the challenges in between and a reflection on the results.  Next up is “The Deathly Hallows, Part 1: Behind the Magic” runs about 45 minutes and has previously aired on TV but never released.  It basically is a pre-release EPK focusing on what we can expect from the upcoming 7th film. “Harry Potter on the Road” follow a production crew all over the UK stopping at various location shoots from the series.  This could have been a 10 hours feature in its own but runs a short 20 minutes. “The Deathly Hallows, Part 1: Behind the Story Featurettes” is an 80 minutes feature that is split into fourteen mini featurettes focusing on the film’s production and nine of these are new to the film.  There is eight deleted scenes included from “Deathly Hallows, Part 1”, decent scenes but well cut. “The Deathly Hallows, Part 2 Sneak Peek” is a short taste of what we were waiting for in part 2 and final “Harry Potter” film. “The Wizarding World of Harry Potter Promotional Tour” features Radcliffe and his castmates, J.K. Rowling and other VIPs as they give us a then sneak peek of the new theme park at the Universal Orlando Resort. “Behind the Soundtrack” chats about Alexandre Desplat’s score but doesn’t spend enough time on it. Lastly there is a teaser and a theatrical trailer for The Deathly Hallows, Part 1.

Disc 29 is the “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 Bonus Disc”, it included over 4 hours of features including the all new! “Creating the World of Harry Potter, Pt. 8: Growing Up” and an all new! extended “A Conversation with JK Rowling and Daniel Radcliffe” with 15 minutes of new footage. “Creating the World of Harry Potter, Part 8: Growing Up” runs slightly longer than the 7th part and puts a conclusion to the whimsical ten-year journey that was the Harry Potter film saga. “A Conversation with Rowling and Radcliffe” is an extended version from 53 to 63-minutes of this conversation from the creator and Potter himself, one of the best features on this release and a must watch for all fans. “The Deathly Hallows, Part 2: Behind the Magic” like with Part 1 as well, is another pre-theatrical release TV special. “The Deathly Hallows, Part 2: Behind the Story” includes seven featurettes, which includes six new to the Wizard’s Collection.  “The Deathly Hallows, Part 2: The Quest” continues with more featurettes, in fact, sixteen more though shorter featurettes. A little bit of repeat but die-hard will eat it up. There are eight deleted scenes, nothing that will knock you out of your chair but decent. “Hogwart’s Last Stand: Extended Version” is an truly awesome  dissection of the films’ final showdown, which runs about 30 minutes. “The Women of Harry Potter” is an in-depth look at the strong women throughout the series books and the films. Next up, you can go behind-the-scenes of the UK attraction in “Warner Bros. Studio Tour London”. Rowling gives an in inside preview into her new website, “Pottermore”. Lastly’ there is the teaser and theatrical trailers for Part 2. The last disc and most awaiting is disc 31, which is the exclusive Wizard’s Collection Bonus Disc.  It is includes about four hours of all new features starting with: “When Harry Left Hogwarts – Extended Version”, which runs just shy of 90 minutes.  It is quite the emotional ride through the final days of filming. “The 50 Greatest Harry Potter Moments – Definitive Version” runs just over an hour and covers everything from”The Sorcerer’s Stone” to “The Deathly Hallows, Part 2”. “Designing the World of Harry Potter” features production designer Stuart Craig and his team as they show what it took to make the world of Harry Potter come to life. There is a two parter called “Secrets Revealed!” The first looks at the secrets of Quidditch and the second discusses Hagrid, both amazing. Lastly rounding out this amazing disc is “The Harry Potters You Never Met”, which gives some spotlight to Harry’s many stunt doubles.

Amazon Link: http://amzn.to/HPWCSEP7
Official Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/harrypottermovie
For Additional Film Clips: http://www.youtube.com/harrypotter
For More Information: http://www.harrypotterwizardscollection.com/

Here is a detailed breakdown on what is on each disc:

Disc 1: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone Theatrical Version + Extended Version + Extra Content (Blu-ray)
Disc 2: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone Theatrical Version (DVD)
Disc 3: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Creating The World: The Magic Begins (Blu-ray)
Disc 4: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Disc 2 from the Special Edition (DVD)
Disc 5: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Theatrical Version + Extended Version + Extra Content (Blu-ray)
Disc 6: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Theatrical Version (DVD)
Disc 7: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Creating the World: Characters (Blu-ray)
Disc 8: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Disc 2 from the Special Edition (DVD)
Disc 9: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Theatrical Version (Blu-ray)
Disc 10: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban Theatrical Version (DVD)
Disc 11: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Creating the World: Creatures (Blu-ray)
Disc 12: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Disc 2 from the Special Edition (DVD)
Disc 13: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Theatrical Version (Blu-ray)
Disc 14: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Theatrical Version (DVD)
Disc 15: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Creating the World: Sound & Music (Blu-ray)
Disc 16: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Disc 2 from the Special Edition (DVD)
Disc 17: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Theatrical Version + Extra Content (Blu-ray)
Disc 18: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix Theatrical Version (DVD)
Disc 19: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Creating the World: Evolution (Blu-ray)
Disc 20: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Theatrical Version + Extra Content (Blu-ray)
Disc 21: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince Theatrical Version (DVD)
Disc 22: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Creating the World: Magical Effects + Extra Content (Blu-ray)
Disc 23: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 Theatrical Version + Extra Content (Blu-ray)
Disc 24: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 Theatrical Version (DVD)
Disc 25: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1, Creating the World: Story + Extra Content (Blu-ray)
Disc 26: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 (Blu-ray 3D)
Disc 27: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 Theatrical Version + Extra Content (Blu-ray)
Disc 28: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 Theatrical Version (DVD)
Disc 29: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2, Creating the World: Growing Up + Extra Content (Blu-ray)
Disc 30: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 2 (Blu-ray 3D)
Disc 31: Wizard’s Collection Exclusive Bonus Disc (Blu-ray)

Ralph Bakshi talks about ‘Wizards” and it’s possible sequel

Ralph Bakshi is now best for his animated films like “Fritz the Cat”, “Wizards”, 1978’s “The Lord of the Rings” and “American Pop”.  Ralph is a legend in the animated world and has such a unique vision.  Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Ralph about his films and he even leaked a very cool top secret news about a possible sequel to one of his films.

Mike Gencarelli: Let’s talk about the recent Blu-ray release of “Wizards”, tell us about your involvement?
Ralph Bakshi: Fox did it all by themselves.  They can be a good company when they want to be [laughs].  They did the book by themselves, designed and remastered it.  Then they called me and told me that they were going to release it.  I nearly had a heart attack.  But I loved the picture and I think they did such a great job.

MG: “Wizards” only cost $1 million dollars and looks great, how do you feel about these polished $150 million dollar animated films today?
RB: The artists who are making these films today are so talented.  The kids today are coming out of school with this computer knowledge and its just great. I think it is all too much of the same.  I think that they focus more on the merchandising.  I think they should do something with more of a social bite or dabble in the R-rated area, if not only to do one and try and push the boundaries.   When I was doing my films like “Heavy Traffic” and “Fritz the Cat”, I was yelling at Disney for those same reasons.

MG: There aren’t too many people that are able to pull off adult animated films, why do you think that people steer clear of doing these?
RB: That is a great question Mike, let me tell you what it’s like.  Guys get the wrong impression about my R-rated films.  They think it is about sex, tits ‘n ass and cursing.  Basically what is underlining all of my films are political ideas.  In “Heavy Traffic”, Michael’s father was a racist and he had a black girlfriend.  Those are issues that far transcend the dirty words, the sex and the violence that people think that R-rated violence is all about.  I never start my animated films with trying to shock somebody.  I try to have a reason to make the film personable.

MG: A few years ago there was talk of a sequel to “Wizards”, any chance it will still happen?
RB: Well Mike, you are the first person to hear this.  I don’t know why they never made a sequel but right now, the head of Dark Horse Comics, Mike Richardson, is writing a script for “Wizards 2″. He and his partner are writing the script and he is very interested in making the movie.  I feel that Dark Horse is really the right team in order to get this project done. I will definitely read it once it is completed but I doubt I will direct, probably executive produce. I would also contribute storyboards and sketches for the film if needed. In order for it to work though, I feel that it has to also be political important with what is going on today.

MG: What would you say was your most difficult production?
RB: Well look, they were all hard.  I left the business burnt out and crazy.  Every picture I had was a massive fight.  Like with “Fritz The Cat”, Robert Crumb hated my guts and was screaming at me.  They gave me an X-rating and my mother was mad at me.  Everyone of them was hard.  Everyone of them I worked seven days a week with no money.  I am shocked but happy that people still love these films.  I am grateful to the internet and guys like you who have saved my ass.

EXCLUSIVE BREAKING NEWS: Ralph Bakshi announces “Wizards 2” script is in the works!

Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Ralph Bakshi this afternoon and he was nice enough to leak us a very exclusive tip. According to Bakshi, there is a script in the works currently for a sequel to his 1977 film “Wizards”.

Here is a quote from Bakshi in our upcoming interview:
“Right now, the head of Dark Horse Comics, Mike Richardson, is writing a script for “Wizards 2″. He and his partner are writing the script and he is very interested in making the movie.  I feel that Dark Horse is really the right team in order to get this project done.”

Bakshi addressed his intentions once the script is done:
“I will definitely read it once it is completed but I doubt I will direct, probably executive produce. I would also contribute storyboards and sketches for the film if needed. In order for it to work though, I feel that it has to also be political important with what is going on today.”

Stay tuned to Media Mikes for more breaking news on “Wizards 2”. We are also trying to get a quote from Dark Horse Entertainment’s Mike Richardson and we suggest to you to reach out to Dark Horse as well at dhcomics@darkhorse.com and let them know you want “Wizards 2”.  Our full interview with Bakshi will go live next week.

Blu-ray Review “Wizards: 35th Anniversary Edition”

Directed by: Ralph Bakshi
Starring: Bob Holt, Steve Gravers and Jesse Welles
Distributed by: 20th Century Fox
MPAA Rating: PG
Release Date: March 13, 2012
Running Time: 81 minutes

Film: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 2 out of 5 stars

If you are a fan of Ralph Bakshi then you would be excited for this release, if not then you probably have never heard of this film. Bakshi is the director of film’s like “Fritz the Cat”, “The Lord of the Rings (1978)” and “Cool World”. His animation style is so unique and very interesting to watch. This film holds up well over the years and looks decent on Blu-ray. The real draw on this release has to be the Digibook packaging. The release comes with a 24-page full-color digibook. It includes a note from Ralph Bakshi, a short essay on the film, and lots of sketches and concept art. Definitely worth picking up if you are fans of Bakshi and the film.

The film itself follows the battle between Avatar and his evil brother Blackwolf. Avatar is an eccentric but kind sorcerer-ruler of Montagar, which is a magical place inhabited by elves and fairies. Blackwolf has plans to dominates Montagar. But with the help from fairy Elinore, a robot assassin named Peace, and Elfin spy Weehawk, Avatar must save his world from darkness.

The Blu-ray presentation is good but not amazing. The video looks good in 1080p transfer but is not perfect. The color really pop and the animation looks sharp even though its shows a little age. The audio boasts an impressive DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 surround track and also includes a English Dolby Digital mono track. Note: this US release does not include the score-only audio track like the UK release unfortunately.

Since this is the 35th Anniversary release, I was hoping for some new special features but there is nothing new and everything is only presented in standard definition. There is a commentary track from Bakshi, which was used on the 2004 DVD release. It is a good commentary track though and very informative. There is a 35 minute making-of feature called “Ralph Bakshi- The Wizard of Animation Featurette”, definitely worth checking out and wish this was in HD. Lastly there is two trailers, TV spot and a photo gallery included.