The ORIGINAL FABULOUS ADVENTURES Of
In 1961 Czech writer and director Karel Zeman combined live actors with various types of filmmaking and animation and produced Baron Prásil, which Image Entertainment released in 1990 as an English-dub extended play laserdisc.
The Original, Fabulous Adventures of Baron Munchausen is a brilliant film version of the preposterous tall tales brought to life by award-winning fantasist Karel Zamen, using a unique blending of art, special FX and live action.
A modern day astronaut is injured on the moon and meets Baron Munchausen and other mythical visitors to the moon. Munchausen returns him to Earth via a ship of the seas pulled by white, winged horses. There, the astronaut finds a world unlike the one he left -- filled with magical creatures and mystical kingdoms.
Munchausen rescues Princess Bianca from an evil sultan's harem. He is shipwrecked by a naval battle and is swallowed by a giant fish who has swallowed whole ships in its travels. Later he is carried away by a giant Roc and dropped into the sea where he encounters a mermaid. He escapes her ministrations by escaping on a giant sea horse.
The unbelieveable is brought to life in this masterpiece of fantasy cinema.
And that's what the label says. To watch this take on the Munchausen story (it being the third, second to 1943's Münchhausen
and Georges Méliès
' 1911 silent Les Aventures de baron de Munchhausen
,; subesequently Terry Gilliam
made The Adventures of Baron Munchausen
in 1988) is at times a chore, with many monochromatic sets and drawn-out scenes. However, all is not lost, as fans of beautiful cinema or fabulous fantasy will find something to enjoy here or there. High points include Milos Kopecký
's performance as the Baron, the entire Moon sequence (it's much less madcap than Gilliam's) and the fantastic sense of whimsy
that propels the story along, once it feels like moving. Cyrano de Bergerac
on the moon is a nice touch.
Terry Gilliam himself was said to be a fan, and Leonard Maltin found the movie to be "another visual delight" though "stilted and uninvolving."
As far as I can tell, the only ways to get a copy of this fine film is to buy the rather cheap laserdisc (when you can find it) or get a copy on VHS tape. No DVD has yet to be produced.