This marvelous film from Czech master animator Karel Zeman is a partial adaptation of the Jules Verne novel "Facing the Flag." The story treads the well-worn path of world domination as attempted by a piratical mastermind, who uses a morally myopic scientist's high explosive.The animation technique of this film is touted as "Mysti-mation," which is probably a bit of hype on the part of its American distributors and PR people. No animation technique Zeman used was unknown; in fact, probably every physical effect he employed was used on 19th century stages, and all of his photographic effects were known to and put to work by Georges Méliès and early stop-motion animators like Winsor Mackay. But in this film, Zeman combines all the effects in novel and unexpected ways, and literally nothing is off-limits when he needs to create some striking scenario. From the look of some of his sets, it is evident that Zeman was a prime influence on Terry Gilliam, and…
This is one film that I wish they would start showing on television again. When I was a child, I really was knocked out by the special effects. I’m a sucker for any film that combines live action with animation and this film is no exception. What really made me take notice was how the sets reminded me of the pages of a book and how the characters were almost like the illustrations come to life. This is definitely a lost classic and I hope one day that it will be shown on television once again.
Truly unique and stunning film of Jules Verne's "For The Flag" by the Czech master director Karel Zeman.Although the story is enacted in a rather understated late Victorian style, the visuals are a knockout. Zeman uses animation, graphics, painted sets, model animation combined with live action to create the atmosphere of Verne that the reader associates in his mind. The style resembles the steel engravings of Dore and Bennet and Riou that illustrated these stories with a healthy dose of Georges Melies added.Photographed in beautiful black and white the animation is of the highest order and not of a Saturday morning variety. There are underwater sequences where the fishes swimming about are so accurately drawn they can be used in a field guide.There are images of ships ,submarines, flying craft, castles,and machinery that are drawn in such accurate detail that one must have a freeze frame on his VCR or DVD to pause the scene and study the remarkable detail that went into…
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