Moebius’ ‘Arzak Rhapsody,’ the Cartoon: Watch All 14 Episodes

Moebius Arzak Rhapsody featured

In 2003, French artist Moebius made a series of cartoon shorts based on his character Arzach. Arzach is the famous pterodactyl rider who was a fixture in Metal Hurlant and Heavy Metal. Here are the first five, uploaded to YouTube by Oz Flashman with English subtitles.

The animation isn’t super-sophisticated, and is likely employing some vector technology to cut corners. But it’s all clearly based on Moebius’ original drawings, which were often quite simple (sometimes they were, sometimes they weren’t). The narration and dialogue breaks with Moebius‘ execution in the originals, which were wordless. But there’s something to be said for getting a clear explanation of this world we’ve been looking at for decades.

The credit line at the beginning says “Written, drawn and directed by Moebius.” He might not have presided over every frame (although he might), but this is an officially sanctioned adaptation, one that pleased him enough to release.

NOTE: If you’re not seeing subtlitles you may need to turn them on by clicking the “CC” icon in the lower right area of the video.

Episode 1 – Rhapsody of the Desert
Arzak is in deep meditation at the heart of the Desert “B” when his faithful Ptéroïde picks him up for his first mission: to restore the magical order of the universe. A visit to the Soul Tower of the Winds is required, but our hero has no idea that it will open a door of some strange invisible dimensions…
Episode 2 – The Morning Shadow
When flying over a mountainous particularly dangerous area, Arzak is hallucinating: the shadow of a rock turns into a monstrous jaw. Turning into a large canyon, he discovers a stone tower, apparently deserted. He decides to stop when the first shadows of the night are catching up…
Episode 3 – Stardust Resort
Arzak follows Highway 88 crossing the Desert “B” when he encounters a red racing too fast for his brave Ptéroïde. He was just time to see the blue eyes of the driver who mocks him. The lone warrior continues to the Stardust Café, but he is not the only one in the race…
Episode 4 – The Beautiful Repairer
Dawn is breaking on Desert “B”. Arzak discovers that his Ptéroïde is held prisoner in the canvas of a powerful scorpion . Meanwhile, in the aisles of a carnivorous garden, a woman driving a strange vehicle responds to a call. Her mission: repair the mechanisms of people she never sees…
Episode 5 – The Poison Pearl
While trying to escape two hungry demons, and the Louff Rydane, Arzak is hit in flight by an venomous arrow-snake whose effect is unpredictable. While the Louff prepares to cook, our unconscious hero comes in contact with the spirit of venom…

To watch all 14 videos, go to the Arzak Rhapsody playlist.

Episode descriptions here are taken from Animatrix Network.

2 thoughts on “Moebius’ ‘Arzak Rhapsody,’ the Cartoon: Watch All 14 Episodes

  1. This is nothing less than outstanding. I never knew these anims even existed, so I’m grateful for them being brought to light. With the passing of Moebius (and recently, Juan Giménez) the influencers of my youth are slowly succumbing to the march of time, so I’m pleased beyond words that there are others out there who are equally stricken by Moebius’ works, and talented enough, to do him justice in this manner.

  2. What an amazing and unexpected way to enjoy Möbius unique talent one more time. I met the great artist in San Diego at an art signing event many years ago and he was an engaging, personable fellow. He even drew a depiction of my girlfriend (now wife) and we’ve treasured his work ever since. An added bonus is the soundtrack providing practice for my French language skills. Thanks so much for sharing.

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