Just for fun, FIRE AND ICE, a 1983 animated film directed by Ralph Bakshi, co-produced and largely inspired by the art by Frank Frazetta. It generally takes something like over 3 times the production costs (considering all the myriad expenses, the interest on loans, etc.) for a film to break even, so F&I in even the kindest view was a flop, costing $1.2 million to create and generating only $860,000 in box office revenues. Such is life. Still, regardless of its crummy b.o. receipts, it’s kind of fun and features some effective action sequences—Frazetta’s involvement and the background paintings by James Gurney make the 81 minute run-time whiz by. Also, considering the violence and scantily clad women, it’s not exactly a kids’ cartoon so be aware. Enjoy.
Arnie Fenner has worn a number of hats in his career, sometimes several at once. He was a Senior Artist for Hallmark Cards for 19 years, and for the last 14 has been the Senior Art Director for Andrews McMeel Publishing (part of Universal Press Syndicate).
While working in the corporate world, he has also (as time permitted) been a junior partner in the Jankus/Tiber advertising agency, served as art director for Mark Ziesing Books, been a small press publisher (of both books and magazines), and worked as a freelance illustrator and designer.
Fenner has produced many CD and book covers over the years for titles by everyone from Stephen King to Harlan Ellison to Bob Dylan to R.E.M.; he's received medals from the Society of Illustrators, certificates from Communication Arts, and two World Fantasy Awards. He collaborates with his wife, Cathy Fenner, on a wide variety of art books (including retrospectives devoted to Frank Frazetta, Dave Stevens, and Robert McGinnis among others) and the annual SPECTRUM: The Best in Contemporary Fantastic Art.
It’s a shame that as fantastic a fantasy artist as Frazetta more effort or whatever it needed to be a box office
hit such as the movie “HEAVY METAL”, which was produced first and I must have watched it over 20 times.
But still overall Frank Frazetta was in a glory of his own with all his fantastic fantasy paintings.
Frazetta was a huge film fan and he had an excellent sense of drama and action. I’m sure he learned a great deal while working with Bakshi, the actors, the other concept artists, and the animators that he could have applied to a second project, but he never got the chance.
Being a Frazzetta fan, enjoyed the movie a lot. Wished there was more of his brought to the big screen.
Even though he had provided concept art for a proposed (but never completed) animated adaptation of DRACULA, Frazetta said that he’d never work on another animated film after FIRE AND ICE—but that he might be interested in working on a live-action horror movie. He said, “I bet I could scare the crap out of people without grossing them out.” Again, he never had the opportunity. There had briefly been talk about a DEATH DEALER film, but it never seriously got out of the “wouldn’t it be cool” phase. Robert Rodriguez had announced way back in 2014 plans to direct a live-action version of FIRE AND ICE, but I haven’t heard anything about it since.
If i am right that was one of the first James Gurney’s jobs in illustration, if not the very first (a rookie at first job working with…Frank Frazetta, go figure 😀 ) . But what it makes even more surreal is that his partner for backgrounds (and sketching trips on the road) was…drum roll…the one and only Thomas Kinkade ! No, there are no nice cottages in this movie. ;D
You’re absolutely right. Gurney and Kinkade were college room mates; after graduating they hitchhiked and rode the rails across the country, sketching along the way (their drawings were published in “The Artist’s Guide to Sketching,” which is pretty hard to come by these days). When they got to L.A. they heard that Bakshi was looking for artists and, voila, got hired. 🙂