Heavy Traffic (1973)

X  |   |  Animation, Comedy, Drama  |  17 November 1973 (Sweden)
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An "underground" cartoonist contends with life in the inner city, where various unsavory characters serve as inspiration for his artwork.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Joseph Kaufmann ...
Beverly Hope Atkinson ...
Terri Haven ...
Ida Corleone (voice)
Mary Dean Lauria ...
Molly (voice)
Jacqueline Mills ...
Lillian Adams ...
Rosa (voice)
Charles Gordone ...
Crazy Moe (voice)
Voice characterization
Morton Lewis ...
Bill Striglos ...
Jay Lawrence ...


An animated feature which begins, ends and occasionally combines with, live-action filmed on location. A white dropout struggles to create comics and animated films, drawing inspiration from the harsh, gritty world around him. Still sharing his run-down apartment with his middle-aged parents, an oafish slob of an Italian father and a ditzy nut-case of a Jewish mother, he is ridiculed and looked down upon by his friends, hypocrites who run with violent gangs and the Italian Mafia, and a shallow Black girl who makes her living downtown with the pimps and pushers. This cartoonist gets a chance to pitch a film idea to a movie mogul, but the story proves too outrageous: a far-future Earth, destroyed by war and pollution, where a mutant antihero challenges and kills God. Complications ensue when the cartoonist's parents react in irrational ways to his various involvements. Written by orb

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The amorous life and misadventures of a virginal young pinball player...his Chicks...his Chums and a host of assorted weirdos in all colors. See more »


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Release Date:

17 November 1973 (Sweden)  »

Also Known As:

Flipper City  »

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Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Ralph Bakshi lists this as his favorite among his own films. While many critics claim it to be his best film, and the greatest non-Disney animated film of all time. See more »


[first lines]
Michael: What makes you happy? What makes you happy? Where do you go? Where do you go? Where do you hide? Where do you hide? Who do you see? Who do you see? Who do you trust? Who do you trust? Who do you screw? Who do you screw? What kills the pain? What kills the pain? Game up, game win. Bug around, set it straight. Transaction. Play it hard, hurts so bad. Gotta win. Everyone loses. Everthing loses. Gotta win big. Sick and tired of losing. Where does it all go? Where does it all go? Where ...
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User Reviews

A creative animated masterpiece with human drama.
19 February 1999 | by (Waikele, Hawaii) – See all my reviews

Made after the X-Rated animated film, "Fritz the Cat," Ralph Bakshi's "Heavy Traffic" is considered to be his greatest work. Like all of Bakshi's films, it emerged amidst a storm of controversy due to its sexual and violent animated content. However, once the viewer gets beyond the shock of seeing an animated film with adult attitude, the symbolic details and creative genius of the work becomes apparent.

The film follows a young animator as he struggles to get out of his domestic situation, and to sell his films. The film is an extremely personal account of director Bakshi's own early life. As the story unfolds, the viewer sees the difficulties of growing up in an economically and socially depraved household, as well as in a racist environment. The main character struggles to find out who he is, and what he must do to free himself of all the restrictions around him. This is all a symbolic representation of Bakshi's own struggle to have his bold and adult natured animated films accepted among critics and the film world.

As for the creative efforts of the film, it is incredible and fascinating. Bakshi brilliantly meshes a wonderful musical soundtrack with all styles of creative animated symbolism, without losing its personal human touch. The end result is a creative animated masterpiece about growing up and becoming a free and confident adult, while challenging the contraints of society and the censors.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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