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Fritz the Cat (1972) Poster

(1972)

Trivia

Jump to: Director Cameo (1)
For the Harlem bar scene, Bakshi traveled to Washington Square Park and invited several black militants and activists to the recording studio and allowed them to say what they wanted. He edited the results to get the dialog heard in the film.
The first animated film to receive an 'X' rating from the MPAA. The rating was surrendered for the 2001 home video release from MGM.
The first independent animated film to gross more than $100 million at the box office.
"Fritz the Cat" creator R. Crumb sued to have his name removed from the credits.
The works of Walt Disney are satirized twice. Silhouettes of Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, and Donald Duck are shown cheering on the United States Air Force as it drops napalm on a black neighborhood during a riot. In another scene, Fritz imagines a pink naked feline fly into his bedroom, in reference to the "Pink Elephants on Parade" sequence from Dumbo (1941)
Produced entirely without the use of pencil tests in order to keep the film's budget low. Ralph Bakshi had to judge the timing of the animation simply by flipping an animator's drawings in his hand.
Ralph Bakshi bought the rights to use Billie Holiday's performance of the song "Yesterdays" for $35.
Steve Krantz attempted to appeal the film's rating, because of the misconception that it was a pornographic film. The MPAA refused to hear the appeal. Ralph Bakshi later stated "Now they do as much on The Simpsons (1989) as I got an X rating for Fritz the Cat."
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Some of the voices during the synagogue scene were Bakshi's own relatives.
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Much of the dialogue spoken by incidental characters are actually recordings of real New Yorker's conversations.
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According to Fritz's creator Robert Crumb, when Ralph Bakshi and Steve Krantz approached him for permission to a film on his character, Fritz the Cat, he refused, so Bakshi and Krantz made the film without his permission. Ralph Bakshi, however has a different account of the story: "He [Crumb] wanted to take credit for the entire thing. Luckily, film doesn't work that way." Bakshi's account seems more realistic, considering R. Crumb's ego problems. Crumb later killed off Fritz in a story titled "Fritz the Cat - Superstar," in which Fritz was a burnt out superstar, being exploited by characterizations of Krantz and Bakshi, who have already signed him up to do a line of sequels. Fritz winds up being stabbed in the back of the head by a female ostrich. R. Crumb thought that this would stop the further production of sequels to "Fritz the Cat." Ralph Bakshi, who had said all he had to say with the first "Fritz the Cat" movie, moved on to Heavy Traffic (1973). Krantz, who wanted to continue to make money off of the character signed 'Robert Taylor' to write and direct The Nine Lives of Fritz the Cat (1974) for him.
According to a 1986 interview with Ralph Bakshi, he met producer Steve Krantz, and told Krantz of his plans to start a studio for producing animated films for adults. Bakshi had planned to produce Heavy Traffic (1973) as his first feature film, but was told by Krantz that he was more likely to get funding if the production was an adaptation of another's property, which led them to Robert Crumb's "Fritz the Cat." Bakshi states that he did not originally intend to direct the film because he had already spent years working on animated series starring animal characters and had wanted to make a feature film starring human characters.
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Warner Bros. was originally attached to distribute the film, and helped fund its production. After Ralph Bakshi and Steve Krantz screened a short test reel for the studio, executives requested that Bakshi and Krantz cast major film stars, and remove the explicit sex in the scene between Fritz and Bertha.
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Saul Zaentz helped fund the film through his record label Fantasy Records, who agreed to distribute the film's soundtrack. Zaentz later produced The Lord of the Rings (1978), directed by Ralph Bakshi.
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Footage from the film was edited into the music video for rapper Guru's 2007 song "State of Clarity".
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The two police officers, Robert and Ralph, are named for the comic strip's creator Robert Crumb and the movie's director Ralph Bakshi.
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European prints of the film carried a dedication for supervising animator Ted Bonnicksen, who died shortly after the film's U.S. release. Ralph Bakshi asked that a similar dedication be added to any subsequent re-releases of the film in North America, but this was never done.
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Ted Bonnicksen animated the first half of the scene with the three rabbis. As he was terminally ill during production, it was the last thing he worked on before he died.
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Animator Ira Turek drew the backgrounds with a Rapidograph pen, which is the technical pen preferred by Robert Crumb, in an attempt to capture Crumb's style in the background drawings.
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Ranked at #51 on the Online Film Critics Society's list of the top 100 greatest animated films of all time.
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Ranked at #56 on Channel 4's list of 100 Greatest Cartoons (2005).
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Virgil Ross animated the scene when the two pig cops are outside the apartment door, and one cop tells the other to use "fucking" to sound tough.
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Director Cameo 

Ralph Bakshi: one of the dumb pig cops.
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See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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