When it comes to the masters of post-war animation, Ray Harryhausen is a name which immediately springs to mind. However, if you were born on the other side of the Iron Curtain, your first thought might well be Karel Zeman. Branded the ‘Czech Méliès’, he made over 30 shorts and features, influencing the likes of Jan Švankmajer, Terry Gilliam and Tim Burton. The Fabulous Baron Munchausen is one of his crowning glories.
Tonik (Rudolf Jelínek), a cosmonaut, lands on the moon only to be welcomed by characters from Jules Verne’s From the Earth to the Moon and Baron Munchausen (Milos Kopecký). The Baron, believing him to be an actual Moonman, decides it would be amusing to show him Earth. Tonik is introduced to a world of palaces, mythical creatures and war. He rescues the beautiful Princess Bianca (Jana Brejchová) from a Sultan and begins writing his own legend.
The Fabulous Baron Munchausen is an epic journey into a colourful, fanciful and mysterious world of legend and lore. You can, in particular, see where Gilliam got some of his inspiration for his take on the story. The sheer volume and range of colours on show is impressive, as is the innovative sequences and diversions. The Fabulous Baron Munchausen is a fantasy animation full of charm, joy and exuberance.
• Presented from a new 4K restoration of the film.
• Film Adventurer Karel Zeman (2015, 102 mins): feature length documentary on the life, work and influence of Karel Zeman with contributions from Terry Gilliam, Tim Burton, Koji Yamamura and others (BLU-RAY EXCLUSIVE)
• Baron Munchausen: Facts and Fibs (2017, 36 mins): a new and exclusive filmed appreciation by the writer, editor and film historian Michael Brooke
• The Birth of a Film Legend
• Karel Zeman and the World
• Why Zeman Made the Film
• The Cast
• Zeman’s Special Effects Techniques
• Karel Zeman, the Legend Continues
• Museum Karel Zeman promo
• 16-page booklet featuring a new essay on the film by journalist and critic Graham Williamson.
• New and improved English subtitle translation.
• Available for the first time ever in the UK
The Fabulous Baron Munchausen is released on DVD and Blu-ray by Second Run on Monday 24 July.