Baron Prasil / The Fabulous Baron Munchausen (1961)

UK Second Run Blu-ray edition

Text below written 2018-12-10

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 adventure that
combines live action with animation, stop-motion animation, models and matte paintings. It's Beautiful and Amazing to watch.

Karel Zeman

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


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