I hadn't heard about this Czechoslovakian director and master animator
before watching this film, but he's considered a Giant within the field
of animation, stop-motion animation, special effects and live action
combined with animation. Zeman, the man who inspired filmmakers as
Terry Gilliam and Tim Burton and is compared to a special effects master
as Ray Harryhausen regarding film history status.
Yes, the Gillian animated sequences in British TV series Monty Python's
Flying Circus look like they have been lifted out of a Zeman film,
and Gilliam also made his own Munchausen movie - The Adventures of Baron
Munchausen in 1988.
This Karel Zeman film - Baron Prásil, is a fantasy
adventure based on the famous tale - Baron Munchausen's Narrative of
his Marvellous Travels
and Campaigns in Russia, written by german Rudolph Erich Raspe in 1785
and based on the real baron, Hieronymus Karl Friedrich, Freiherr von
Münchhausen (1720–1797). The most famous illustrations were
probably the one's made by the great Gustave Doré and clearly
a heavy influence
on Zeman in this film.
Baron Prásil is admittedly based on an old-fashioned story but
it's all about the Visual Style, an experimental animated fantasy art
combines live action with animation, stop-motion animation, models and
matte paintings. It's Beautiful and Amazing to watch.
The film starts on the moon when a "modern"
astronaut, The Moonman (Rudolf Jelinek) meets the men from Jules Verne's
From the Earth to the
Moon, Cyrano de Bergerac and the Baron (Milos Kopecky), all without
space suits and the Moonman has entered the fantasy domain.
He then travels with the Baron on a ship down to Earth and the adventure
with the Sultan of Istanbul, where he meets and falls in love with the
Princess Bianca (Jana Brejchova, the wife of Milos Forman) who he and
the Baron liberates from her prison in the serail/harem. More adventures
follows where the older Baron tries everything to impress the girl and
win her over from the young handsome astronaut, without succeeding.
The film is presented in the original aspect ratio of
1.37:1 and with a czech audio 2.0 mono LPCM and english subtitles
Extras: - Film Adventurer Karel Zeman: Documentary in czech with subs,
101 minutes - Facts and Fibs: Michael Brooke on Baron Munchausen
(36 minutes, in english, 2017), - The Birth of a Legend, - Karel Zeman
and the World, - The Cast, - Trailer, - Karel Zeman Museum, - Booklet