Saturday, May 03, 2008

Fritz the Cat

For sure this is a classic in the underground "comix" world and is by far the best and really the only proper film adaptation from that heady time of the late Sixties/early Seventies. Sadly creator Robert Crumb was causing troubles for the producers and he did not contribute to the script which is a shame as much of Fritz's character is lost in the Ralph Bakshi translation. Still, FRITZ THE CAT does capture the mood of the era and sure as hell manages to deal with the hot topics of the time, drugs, race relations, feminism, violence against women, more drugs, sex, police brutality, more drugs, rock & roll and more sex. I half figure it was the portrayal of cops as pigs and black people as crows that earned this animated feature the first X-rating in motion picture history though the violence, sex and drug use certainly helped. It was a box office smash earning another first as being an independant animated feature to break the hundred million mark. While slow at times and uneven in pacing, aside from his early SPIDER-MAN cartoons this is Bakshi's finest work. For those old enough to remember that is THE ELECTRIC COMPANY's Skip Hinnant doing the voice work for Fritz and keep the remote near by as you may want to rewatch what I feel to be one of the most artistic death scenes ever committed to celluloid.


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