Search For Treasures

Friday, December 7, 2007

Ralph Bakshi: King of Adult Cartoons

I have nothing but respect for Ralph Bakshi ("The Man " as he is called on his website) and the work that he has done. I think that he has made some wonderful films, but none of them are perfect. However, perfection is an illusion and an unattainable ideal, so we must take them as they are. I'm not going to cover any of his live-action films (mostly because I haven't seen any of his live-action works).

His animated films have to me always felt honest and that they were a part of him (except Cool World, but that's a different story). However, with that honesty comes a sense of incoherent storytelling (some call it stream of consciousness). You can definitely see this in Heavy Traffic, where some events seem to happen for no reason.

However, I love the animation in his films. He had great stuff from Irv Spence, Brenda Banks, Virgil Ross, John Gentilella, and others.

My list of best to worst of his films are:

1. Hey Good Lookin'

2. Wizards

3. Coonskin

4. Heavy Traffic

5. American Pop

6. Fritz the Cat

7. Fire & Ice

8. Cool World

9. The Lord of the Rings

All of these films have fantastic artwork by great artists like Johnny Vita, Barry Jackson, Louise Zingarelli (she's one of the best artists I've ever seen) and Milton Knight. He always took great advantage of the artists he had. He didn't let their work go to waste.

I will cover his TV work in another post, and later will do a review for each of his animated films.

See you next time,
Same Weirdo Time
Same Weirdo Blog


Dan! said...

Hey, thanks for the blog comment. You're the first one. Maybe I'll update it soon.

I've seen Fritz the Cat, Cool World, and I vaguely recall seeing LOTR. Just for being responsible for the revival of cartoonist-driven cartoons Bakshi has my respect.

Will Finn said...

I went nuts over Bakshi in high school and hoped he'd open up a new venue for different types of animation stories. Too bad his heyday didn't last very long.

I've seen most every film except for HEY GOOD LOOKIN', but apart from that I would agree with your ranking of them!

Will Finn said...

Thanks for the YouTube tip-off on HEY GOOD LOOKIN', I will try it, (tho i hate the compromised framerate of there). Nice post on Bakshi too; I'm looking forward to the big book on him coming up. Maybe it will provoke real DVD's of all his films.

PS. Your enthusiasm for animation is something you never have to apologize to me for! Keep it up!:)