A persiflage on the protest movements of the 60s. Its hero is the bold and sex-obsessed tom-cat Fritz the Cat, as created by the legendary underground artist Robert Crumb. Quitting university Fritz the Cat wanders through the hash, Black Panther and Hell's Angels scenes to find to himself.Written by
Tom Zoerner <Tom.Zoerner@informatik.uni-erlangen.de>
For the Harlem bar scene, Bakshi traveled to Washington Square Park, 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. See more »
When Duke and Fritz leave the bar, the knife on the floor disappears. See more »
Hey, yeah - the 1960s? Happy times, heavy times.
See more »
Earlier prints of the film have the photographs during the end credits in black and white, while the 2001 MGM DVD release has the photographs in sepia tone. See more »
That is how the 1960s were described by the narrator in the beginning of this film. Fritz the Cat is a famous movie for a number of reasons, most stemming from it being the first feature-length adult cartoon and having an "X" rating. There were controversies surrounding its creation with director Ralph Bakshi and character creator Robert Crumb. The film is like nothing I have ever seen before. It has a unique animation process that makes everything reek seediness, despair, and cry for social change. Bakshi wrote the script which really is nothing more than the knife that cuts through all the 60's BS - from existentialism to the drug culture to the love generation to African-American perspectives to militancy. Nothing is spared as the counterculture is laid bared and examined through the eyes, ears, fears, and desires of Fritz the Cat. Along the way, Fritz experiments with just about anything - including lots of sex, drugs, and sex. While the film definitely is quite vulgar in many ways with some of the most odious characterizations of otherwise cute and cuddly animals and depicting lots of strong sexual situations(though in no way deserving the "X" by today's standards), Fritz the Cat is also an intelligent look at one character's drive to find himself and meaning in his life - perhaps a symbol for the whole decade the film is examining. The end result is nothing conclusive - also perhaps a symbol. Bakshi's script is in some ways profound and thought-provoking and in some ways infantile and vile - his obvious dislike of police just one example. But what had my attention more than anything else was the animation - particularly in exterior shots not containing characters. There is one scene where the slums of Harlem are integral to the story. Bakshi uses his camera to zoom in on quite an impressive animated background shot of a field lost amongst the slums of Harlem. It is the very essence of seedy existence in an uncaring world. There are many other shots too that have that same power, but let's not forget that even with the intelligent at times script and the animation, much of Fritz the Cat is used solely to arouse - either arouse some primal feelings or arouse offense. A landmark film at any rate whether for good or for bad.
20 of 30 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this