Fritz the Cat (1972) Poster

(1972)

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How far have we progressed in 30 years?
pjmuck24 March 2003
I came across the recently released DVD of this film in, of all places, the children's video section of Virgin Megastore. Whether or not this poorly miscategorized placement was of simple ignorance or whether the intent weas subversive and it was intentionally and deliberately placed in the children's section, I found myself grinning and reluctant inform anyone of the error. After all, nobody gave me any forewarnings when I was a kid either, as some things you just have to discover on your own, and the thought of some poor innocent parents popping this film on for their kid only to look on in horror at the visions that would soon unfold sounded dastardly and funny indeed.

I was 7 years old when Fritz the Cat first hit the screen, and while I didn't see the film for the first time until I was well into my twenties, the film nevertheless had a lasting impact on my childhood. This film had taken on a reputation of mythical proportions in my Brooklyn hometown neighborhood, partly due to the older teens on my street who were all too eager to share shocking details contained therein, as only the best subversive intentions can do, and further securing the film's status as "every parent's nightmare". To a child about to undergo serious growing pains and a naturally growing curiosity towards all things "adult-related", Fritz the Cat was very much my earliest childhood memory of the themes of sex, drugs, rock-n-roll, racism, you name it, and it was a symbol for naughtiness that all coming of age kids couldn't wait to catch a sneak peak of, or at least couldn't wait to reach the age when we could view such subject matter freely.

As a movie, it hasn't lost any of it's impact in 30 years, and fewer films truly capture the grittiness and raw edge of New York city in the 70's (French Connection is another good example). I dare say that it could be considered more offensive now than ever, as I fear that today many just might not "get it," despite our self-proclamation that we've come a long way in maturity and tolerance of such sensitive issues. Modern society has become so politically correct and desensitized to controversial issues that we're less tolerant and understanding of the original intent of a film such as this, especially when it's messages are not consistent with our modern value system. Thus, some of the obvious stereotypes presented in this film (such as the pigs portraying cops and the crows portraying blacks, for example), could never be presented in a film today. Granted, these images were meant to be offensive in the 70's as well, but they were obviously taken in a different light back then, as they were indicative of a specific brand of biting satire found in the 70's and hippie culture and a reflection of how that particular generation could openly address such social issues. These issues, such as racism, are clearly still relevant today, we just address them in a different manner, which is why Fritz the Cat still has potency yet is more or less looked upon as a curious time capsule of a bygone era today.
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5/10
A shocking but very entertaining film…
Nazi_Fighter_David2 October 2008
The story concerns a classic 60's hero, Fritz, and his adventures through the urban underground… He loves sex and constantly claims and declares the glories of revolution… At first he is happy with just sex, but as the story moves through exotic adventures he discovers that the only way he can truly be a revolutionary is to join up with one of the militant groups… There, he's over his head…

In sharp contrast to Walt Disney's soft characters, Fritz is seen providing a bunch of screaming female cats, placing drugs, and having lots of fun… We are taken through Harlem where, in this case, the blacks are portrayed as jive-talking crows… Fritz is not a fantasy, but an animation venture into super-reality, at least as Bakshi sees it…

The animation is unpolished, graceless, but very effective… It has an unrefined or unfinished, renewable energy that brings out some of the social results of the confused sixties…
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7/10
Like it's main character, crass but very smart
goldenhairedone22 January 2005
From what I had heard of this film and the other user comments posted, I was expecting a simple little shock cartoon. What I got was good kick in the pants. And I mean that in a good way. "Fritz the Cat" in many ways exposes the 1960's more than the live action films of its own decade.

The movie starts with 3 construction workers talking on top of an unfinished building. The dialogue is very spontaneous and almost seems ad-libbed. These types of conversations are sprinkled throughout the 80 minute film.

It then transitions to Fritz the cat, a college student who, like many of that era I'm sure, is not sure what it's all for. He decides to "do something real" and ventures into Harlem. From here he meets a wide assortment of people, incites a riot, and has sex with many a woman. It may not always have a point, but the movie has one fun segment after another with little breathing room. Sometimes unnecessarily shocking, sometimes surprisingly inspired, but always quick on its feet.

So please give it a chance. It's a lot more than the notorious cartoon porn it's been labeled as. It's a fun romp through the deprived New York of the 60's, except this time with cartoon characters! What's not to like?

7/10
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Existentialism
ass_head23 January 2003
Anyone who didn't like Fritz the Cat is not looking at the film in the right way. A lot of the reviews I've read basically said that it is nothing more than a bad film that strives only on shock value to get an audience. I also read that it doesn't have much of a storyline and only revolves around sex and drugs......so what else did you expect a movie about the slackers of the 60s to have? Did the stoners of that decade NOT behave the way Fritz does in the movie? In order to understand the point of the movie you have to put yourself into Fritz's shoes and let him guide you through his life as a college drop-out trying to find his purpose (Existentialism for those who are not familiar with philosophy) in life and still have a good time. Of course his journey leads you to animal orgies and a crow that hides pot in awkward places, but that is the beauty of this movie--it's about freedom! I also do not believe it is outdated because Fritz's trippy surroundings and his pseudo-intellectual thoughts were enough to make me melt! It's all about the mood. The animation and music put the viewer in a hypnotic state where nothing else matters except pleasure and happiness. If you can't identify with Fritz then you have lost the feel of what it's like being young.

And just for some peoples' info. the movie is not X-rated because it has explicit sex scenes (any viewer of pornography, also X-rated in some form, knows that we have seen much more of the human body then is depicted in this film), it is X-rated because there are CARTOON ANIMALS HAVING SEX. Anyone who would give this film an R-rating because there are no close-ups should not plan on an MPAA career in the near future
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Underrated
DylanFan22 July 1999
I came of age in New York City during the 1960s and shared many of the same trials and tribulations of Fritz the Cat. It's hard to find your kicks when everyone around you is spaced out and hung up on aggression. All us long-hairs got a bad rap, like Fritz, because we were confused about what it is we wanted. For those of us who lived, we began to age to the point of getting knowledge and understanding. Of course by the time we understood that it was too late to do anything about it. The scene was too weird and we were too confused. Fritz the Cat is like a lot of the guys I hung around with; full of ideas and short on ambition. This film is a perfect view of what some people saw in the 1960s. 3 1/2 stars out of 4.
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10/10
I love this film for what it is. Puerile, satirical and Ground breaking!
Burroughs_Junkie10 March 2003
This is a film not for everyone. Pure and simple it is offensive, and at times intentionally gross. Besides this fact, it holds the honor of the first X rated cartoon, huge box office sales and inspired by the comic book genius Robert Crumb. Unfortunately this film was made without his permission and it probably would have been better had he put in his own brand of humor in it. This is not to dishonor the writers and animators who spent two years making this. This holds a place in our culture for many reasons, especially since it represented the college kids who just had to get out and rebel. That with the drug abuse, and graphic sex scenes makes the viewing of it one that should probably be engaged in alone. Overall, a hoot and a holler 10 out of 10!
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10/10
Fantastic animation and hilarious dialogue
jrabbit-226 July 1999
Technically speaking, this movie should not have been made. Robert Crumb did not approve of it. But frankly, this movie took the Fritz character far beyond anything in ZAP magazine (IMHO).

Firstly, the animation is superb and diverse. A variety of styles was used, each appropriate to the mood of the scene.

Secondly, the characterization was great. Fritz's travels bring him in contact with every woodpecker and lunatic imaginable. And the ensuing conversations are...well...let's leave it at "unique". Fans of movies like Roadside Prophets, Slacker, and Highway 61 should definitely appreciate this film.

Not a film for kids. Contains nudity, drugs, and about everything else you can think of.
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6/10
Happy Times - Heavy Times
BaronBl00d30 June 2006
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.
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This Adult Cartoon is Very Funny and has a Brain
jberlin1179719 June 2005
I'll take back every negative thing I said about Ralph Bakshi. I gave "Wizards" a second chance and now, instead of saying it was "An Animated Mess," it is a cult classic that works as comedy. It took me a while to warm up to Bakshi, but the more I got used to him, I am now declaring him not only as "The Bad Boy of Animation," because that's what he always intended to be, but also as what I really want to think of him as - The Mel Brooks of animation - because his style is really hilarious, whether he intended on this or not. Take this as a compliment, Ralph, you are a very funny guy. Your work seems angry, but you make me laugh.

As for his movies, many of them are not for children, especially young ones. "Fritz the Cat" is his first, his foremost, and one of his best. But it is rated X, and the first theatrical cartoon to be rated X with all the cartoon nudity, graphic violence, and foul language. Here's a piece of trivia: Would anyone guess that the man doing the voice of Fritz the cat is actually Skip Hinnant, the same guy from the children's PBS educational show "The Electric Company" who played Fargo North, Decoder, and Hinnant worked on "Fritz" and "The Electric Company" in the same year? It's true, two vastly different worlds, but Hinnant has pleased both children and adults, and not necessarily at the same time.

Now let's cut to the movie. It may seem like a dumb adult cartoon, but it does make a statement about the hedonistic lifestyles of the 1960's and there is a lot of allegorical symbolism. Fritz and his fellow felines (looks at his three females in the bathtub scene) represents the sexual revolution, the crows represent low-life Negroes who engage in crime, rioting in Harlem, and pot-smoking, the pigs represent cops who chase Fritz everywhere and are out to bust Fritz, and there's a sadistic witch-like lizard who represents radical culture of the hippies and enjoys watching her rabbit friend beat up Fritz and his donkey girlfriend Harriet with a chain in a sanctuary.

There's something to offend everyone in Fritz, right down to the bathtub orgy in the beginning of the film, heavy dosages of full frontal nudity, hallucinations of bare breasts, Big Bertha, the floozy black crow who seduces Fritz by stuffing marijuana into his mouth, rabbis who get interrupted by Fritz fleeing from the police, a typical 1960's riot in Harlem started by big-mouthed Fritz, pigs as rogue cops (Notice that Ralph Bakshi does the voice of one of the cops who says "Duh. In fact, he mentioned he does all the "Duh" voices in his movies as part of his commentary track from "Wizards." In "Fritz," Bakshi calls his fellow partner, "Ralph," so no one will think that Bakshi is doing the voice of "Ralph," so to speak.), lizards as evil witches, and the list goes on.

The best thing about "Fritz" is that Bakshi seemed to have a lot of fun doing this, and everything worked. He really added the fun to "Heavy Traffic" and "Wizards." When Bakshi really wanted to do an adult animated film, it can work. It only got deadening with latter overproduced efforts such as "Lord of the Rings" and "Cool World," and one can easily see that Bakshi labored everything, rather than the naturalism in "Fritz," "Heavy Traffic" and "Wizards."

Today, adult animation is popular now on TV. In the 1970's, adult animation was used for the theater. Younger animators such as Trey Parker and Matt Stone, the creators of "South Park," and Seth McFarlane, the creator of "Family Guy," appear to be working under the influence of Bakshi, incorporating every bit of lewdness they could think of for their shows and characters. But it is really Bakshi who fathered adult animation, and Parker, Stone, and McFarlane are like his sons, and father knew best.
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10/10
Excellent Social Satire
exorcissy7230 March 2000
Ralph Bakshi's first film, is flawed but enjoyable. It is about Cat in a romp through the 1960's in New York through sex drugs and Rock and Roll. The film starts off funny then ends up depressing. What the movie essentially is, is a satire on the counter culture of the 1960's. It is one of Ralph Bakshi's best, and definitely worth a look.
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5/10
Has its moments, but it's easy to see why R.Crumb hated it.
Jimmy Vespa22 April 2006
Warning: Spoilers
I have mixed feelings about Bakshi and Krantz's 1972 film adaptation of the Fritz the Cat books. Robert Crumb is one of my favourite underground cartoonists and satirists, and it's more than a little frustrating to see the liberties the director and producer take with his priceless characters. When the screenplay sticks closely to Crumb's original comic strips, it's fine, but every time it deviates from the source material, it falls as flat as a pancake. Bakshi, who constructed the screenplay from various Fritz stories written and drawn by Crumb between 1964 and 1968, proves himself to be rather incompetent, piecing and patching together the diverse elements with tiresome experimental sequences, dull musical interludes and downright crude sex and violence - Crumb certainly never steered clear of putting down his darkest fears and fantasies on paper, but Bakshi's scenes of a horse-woman being whipped with a motorcycle chain and Fritz chasing after a buxom female crow are embarrassingly wide of the mark. For all his excesses, Crumb knew when to exercise restraint, and Bakshi's refusal to do so is what ultimately sinks this film. There are, however, some very good scenes and the animation is occasionally brilliant, which is why the chapter select button on your DVD remote control will certainly come in useful should you decide to check this one out. The film is also remarkably truthful in its depiction of the New York City of the late sixties as it really was, with bad vibes, segregation, drugs, rape, murder and squalor as far as the eye could see. Sharp-eyed Crumb enthusiasts will also spot Av 'n' Gar (or is it the Simp and the Gimp?) and Angelfood McSpade in a couple of scenes.
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Fritz The Cat
rcj536511 July 2006
Warning: Spoilers
SYNOPSIS: It is New York City in the 1960's,and Fritz is a horny hippie New York City(by way of Manhattan) cat who plays guitar in the park with his buddies. Chatting up to three women he invites them round to his apartment for an orgy. There are various other friends join in a feast of sex and drugs which is interrupted by two pig cops. Then,Fritz is chased through a synagogue before hanging out in Harlem with some black crows. He gets very stoned,has some more sex and preaches about revolution before his friend gets killed in a vicious and violent street riot. Fritz flees with his girlfriend Winston for a journey out west,but the two fall out on the road and Fritz hooks up with some revolutionary,sexually abusive types. They encourage Fritz to blow up a refinery and set him up to be killed. Finally,fully recovered in a hospital he enjoys some more group sex with his girlfriends.

THE FILM: Released in 1972 and also marked the directorial feature-film debut of Ralph Bakshi,the film "Fritz The Cat",was a massive surprise box office hit despite some negative reviews from critics who deplored its content of sexually explicit material. This was in fact,made motion picture history as being the first ever animated cartoon feature to received an "X" rating from the Motion Picture Association Of America. The reason why it received an "X" rating for one thing and one thing that shocked audiences when they went to see it...SEEING CARTOON ANIMALS HAVING SEX,and also seeing cartoon animals doing raunchy and out of this world things that were never before seen,not even in an animated cartoon has this been done before,including scenes of raw language,racial content,explicit violence and not to mention full-frontal nudity of cartoon animals doing explicit sexual acts and doing outrageous stuff beyond the form of normality that was never before seen and for the first time was very daring for a cartoon that was STRICTLY FOR ADULTS ONLY....At the time this was released in theatres, "Fritz The Cat",at the time was never meant to be shown to pre-teenagers nor children in fact you had to be under 18 years of age or older to see this film. I remember this vividly since I saw it for the first time during a special midnight screening once at a local university under tight security. Based on the characters created by Robert Crumb,this was a grand look of sex,drugs,and freedom at the height of the late 1960's America,which at the time was at a crossroads with itself.

The animated itself is a wonder to behold and it is done by some of the best in the business who contributed to this project....one of them is legendary animator Virgil Ross and legendary animator Manuel Perez. Virgil Ross was a master animator who worked beside legends like Friz Freleng and Chuck Jones,not to mention Bill Weiss(the man behind the Terrytoons division of cartoons-the company behind Mighty Mouse,Heckle and Jeckle and Deputy Dawg),while Manuel Perez was worked along side Freleng and Jones too and has done extensive work for several animation companies including Hanna-Barbera,Filmation,and Warner Bors. to name a few. It also features excellent voice-work from Skip Hinnant,Judy Engles,Phil Seuling,and also John McCurry and Rosetta LeNoire(fondly remembered of "Family Matters" fame). Produced by Steve Krantz,with the screenplay by Ralph Bakski,based on Robert Crumb's character.

"Fritz The Cat" came out at the height of the sexual revolution and sexual freedom and liberation that came during that period of the 1970's and with some films that were released that year that were strictly adult oriented,or pornographic,for example the released of 1972 adult classic,"Deep Throat",and the Marlon Brando adult feature "Last Tango In Paris",hit theatres during this time when this adult animated cartoon was released. It was also one of the first to be released by an independent film company-Criterion Industries/Aurica Films. It was a cartoon that paved the way for future animated material that was adult oriented as well,and without the box office success of "Fritz The Cat",it would have never been possible.

It also set the stage for a sequel in 1974 titled "The Nine Lives Of Fritz The Cat",that was more raunchy and explicit then its first successor with Steve Kranitz returning as producer and Skip Hinnant returning as the voice of Fritz The Cat. This one would be released by an independent film company as well-the notorious AIP(American International Pictures).
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6/10
An important piece of cartoon history that hasn't aged too well
justinreynolds4016 July 2013
Warning: Spoilers
When watching this film it is very important to consider the time it was made in. If you aren't willing to consider the youth revolution and the hippie movement of the 60s then this film isn't for you. You will just be confused and offended. This film is simply a commentary and criticism of the 'flower power' movement of the 1960s. This film compares humans to the animal kingdom. White people are cats, dogs and rabbits; the police are pigs; and the black people are depicted as crows, oppressed by everyone over years. To me the most prominent theme of the film is criticising white middle class students and the flower power movement. The young people who are anti-establishment, but when they get 30+ years old will become the establishment they are rebelling against.

First off, I love how New York City is depicted in this. It depicts it as a grimy metropolis full of drugs, murder, racism, robbery, segregation, sex and police brutality. Regardless of the characters being animals and some of the violence being animated It is all so in your face that sometimes it can get too much. It is a depiction which many can argue is realistic to this date.

Fritz himself is a character who is simply confused about what he actually stands for, but is disillusioned with academia and believes that real life experience is more valuable and rewarding. This quote from the film really sums up his character and the young people being criticised:

"You think learning is a really big thing an' you become this big *** intellectual and sit around trying to out-intellectual all the other big ***intellectuals…"

One thing Fritz definitely knows he wants is as much sex and drugs as possible. Fritz indeed does live a really hedonistic lifestyle. The film is full of animated sex. The film opens with Fritz trying to get girls by playing his guitar, but then managing to 'pull' a group of them by pretending to be an intellectual. What then proceeds is an orgy in the bathtub. This definitely isn't a movie to watch with kids.

Fritz really does also believe that he understands the black (crow) struggle and problems in the black (crow) community, but when his adventures take him to a black (crow) neighbourhood, Duke (a crow who befriends him) rightfully tells him that he will never fully understand the problem of racism from a black (crow) perspective as he himself is not black (a crow). Indeed Fritz is himself a criticism of white young people of the flower power movement as in the film he also starts a riot screaming 'we shall overcome' but at the end runs away when things get heated and doesn't even get involved, while his crow buddies get all the violence from police. What a douche.

I reckon after this the film kinda looses its impact and gets less interesting and exciting. It's a pity they killed off Duke so quick as well, as the character had so much potential. There are also so many ideas in this film, that as a result the end product is messy and unorganised, like an overstuffed sandwich. They should have stuck to one theme and explored this in detail, though I read this film was like this due to budgetary restraints.

This film as said can be argued to be as offencive as ever, especially as many who watch this probably won't 'get it'. Issues of sexuality and race are still relevant issues today, but Fritz the Cat, like many in its era explains these in a different way. I think this movie is good and historically significant, but cartoons like South Park and The Boondocks really have outdone this film now. I say this film is an important watch for anyone who is really interested and passionate about cartoons, anime, etc and wants to see a piece of history, but for regular members of the Joe public, I can't say the same.
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6/10
Not bad, fun at moments until last 20 minutes
Maciek Kur15 May 2012
Warning: Spoilers
I just re watched this movie after reading the complete Robert Crump's Fritz the Cat comic book.

At first I was skeptical – It's never a good way to start the movie with showing a character pee an a person even in a raunchy one but I guess it was the creators way of saying "No, this is not for kids", since an animated movie NOT for children was something new back then… Actually I must give the movie some credit for being the first one to do it. I guess it's easy to criticize this movie today since we all scene stuff like this in "South Par", "Family Guy" or "Drawn Together" so there is nothing shocking about this kind of stuff anymore.

Any way after first five minutes I was actually starting to like the movie. While all the raunchy humor was done much better in the books (more tasteful in a way) the movie had still some good, unique atmosphere to it and I like the way it mixed different Fritz the Cat stories. Yhe, the sex stuff was over the top, I didn't care much for the two pig police man who try way to hard to be funny and I would prefer if some of the action scenes where more like in the book - simple. Still the movie had some great mod and abstract atmosphere, some of the new humor made me chuckle (for example the scene of three student girls talking with the African-American crow and trying to impress him how much liberal they are while he just stand their silent) and while not the best of Ralph Bakshi films I was still growing to like it…

Then we got to the last third and the Fuzz Bunny character was re- introduce. Here I will start with the SPOILERS for both the book and the movie. Well, in the book the whole point was – students are idiots! They do nothing but smoke path, drink, have sex all the time and talk pseudo- philosophical stuff that have no impact on the world whatsoever… In the book there is a point where Fritz meet his friend Fuzz who join some sort of a liberal anarchist movement who is planning to blowup the bridge. It's not some scary, sinister organization. It's just four idiots sitting in a room and talk how their hate rich people and want to rebel. Fritz and Fuzz attempt to blow-up the bridge but they screw it up acting completely clues about the situation. This was one of my favorite part of the book and comedy came out from the way those guys where nonchalant abut their whole terrorist plot. While Craps book satires liberal students it didn't picture them as evil, simply as misguided and full of ambitions that lead nowhere. But sadly, while the first 3/4 of the movie is pretty faithful to events in the book, when it get to this part if becomes the flip side of the coin. Fuzz is no longer an streetwise guy, now he's some psychotic, sadistic drug user named Blue. The group of pseudo-philosophical students lead by some insane hippy guy turns into a dark religious cult located on a cemetery with sinister looking members and even use some Fascist symbolism. Fritz is no longer suppose to blow-up the bridge with his buddy but instead is meant to blow-up the nuclear power plant with an female lizard character who turn out to be truly evil and In the end Fritz changes his mind about the whole thing. Not only it takes a very comedic story and turn it into something scary and violent, but it demonize the radical left wing students. Maybe Bakshis point was to make the whole thing more dramatic to provide an exiting climax but for me not only it's completely ruins the spirit of the book but it feels to be out-of character for the movie as well.

Overall I enjoy parts of it and I still find this movie to be an interesting , unique and artistic interesting experience but if you're fan of the book you maybe strongly disappointed by the ending. It was just way off-character for Fritz universe...
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Bad Trip
tedg13 January 2006
The bad thing about the past is that it is designed to fool you.

The idea is supposed to be that the past stays fixed, as a sort of "truth." And we change. But viewed from ourselves, often the illusion or even the truth is the reverse. We know who we are. We think we recall who we were -- which we envision is some state on the way to who we are. Something relatively static, which means that the past changes. Radically.

Or at least artifacts from the past change, artifacts like movies. All this is complicated by the fact that movies are a key tool we use to define ourselves.

So it is a strange trip indeed to encounter something that DID define us, that we allowed to tell us who we were. And to find it so vacuous, so superficial it shocks.

If you were not a hippie in that era you may need to know the great schisms at work. (I mean the era depicted here -- 1969 -- not the actual date of the movie.)

You had the east coast hippies who were the sons and daughters of the beat generation. We were interested in ideas and art, and life as both. You had the "political" hippies, who were motivated by unhappiness and determined to change what they didn't like in the name of the values of more "genuine" hippies.

And then you had the west coast hippies. These were the ones captured by drugs, "free" sex and dropping out. To differentiate themselves, they adopted the icons of death.

At the time, there was as much confusion among these three as between any one of them and the Nixonites. (This was in the days of the "moral majority" and before the rise of the religious right which evolved from it.)

And where there is is identity confusion, art rushes in. The Beatles of course, and central. Eastern "religions."

And R Crumb.

Crumb was a magnet, pulling many from the other camps into the west coast sphere. He made it seem less radical than it was -- more about cruising (which he called "truckin") and simply enjoying the cornucopia of round women God places there only for pleasure.

We bought it, all of us. It was a sort of commercial identity, sort of like what you see today that surrounds Valentine's day. A vague notion of self and others and satisfied living.

Now, we look at this and it seems the past has moved away from us, away from truth. Was this ever good, or did we only pretend it so because we were so hungry to be defined?

I recently saw a Mickey Rooney movie where he introduces himself to Judy Garland as "white, free and available." I recoiled. I rejected that past. I had nearly the same feeling when watching this, even though it is/was my past.

Ted's Evaluation -- 1 of 3: You can find something better to do with this part of your life.
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9/10
The teenage informative movie of the century!! why the hell not the whole millennial :D
jari-ihalainen19 October 2006
I saw this awesome movie back in '90 I think. And it blew my mind back then. The drugs. The 60's. Robert Crumb comics. Comics in general. Everything. I was 13 something when I saw the movie and it was the only one which provided the un-propagandized version of the hippie life, that had emerged to my attention at the time.

Take a note of this. If you don't know anything about having for example cannabis affecting your actions, this could be the tape to look for advice.

This was the hippie life before AIDS and 70's and everything. They even had Woodstock. There is no way I coulnd't be jealous. No way.

Watch this flick and feel your mind going to the life you had in the 60's, even if you weren't born then :D Don't bother on the sequel though.. That's in a whole lot of other category and I mean it's crap.

This could be the best movie Ralph Bakshi made.. If not for "the lord of the rings"
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3/10
Overrated Animated Affair
E. Catalan23 February 2006
Warning: Spoilers
I bought FRITZ THE CAT on DVD because I have read so much about how influential this movie has been, being an animated feature intended for mature audiences, plus, I've always had a weak spot for Bakshi's subsequent animated features like American POP. I'm sorry to say that the only redeeming value I found in FRITZ THE CAT was the fact that I was watching animated cats, pigs and crows getting it "on" with each other and then killing each other off. I actually found it rather cool! But the movie is devoid of any plot or logical story. Sure: it satirizes late 60's youth culture and stereotypes, but what could have been a landmark in animation was rendered incomprehensible. For starters, the animation isn't that happening. I much prefer Bakshi's "rotoscoping" style that so many people find annoying over this primitive cartoon. Yeah, it's fun to watch cartoons doing obscene stuff! Had it been a short feature FRITZ THE CAT would have been a more memorable affair. I'm sorry to say this is just a bloated, overrated (and dated!) adult cartoon!
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5/10
somebody was smoking catnip when they made this movie
ironhorse_iv4 November 2012
Warning: Spoilers
What a weird hairball of a movie! Animator/ director Ralph Bakshi vomits this film based on the character from Robert Crumb comic strip call Fritz the Cat. Skip Hinnant voice Fritz the Cat, an anthropomorphic cat in 1960s New York City. The film loosing follows a satire plot about hedonism, sociopolitical consciousness, revolution, race relations, the free love movement, and left- and right-wing politics. By the word loosing, the plot is little or none, characters come and disappears, there is a ton of music filler scenes that lead nowhere, and no sense of morality change. It has a lot of crude dry humor that purrs its way throughout the film. There is a lot of sex, drug, and violence in most of the film. The violence in the film can be disgusting and downright wrong at times, most likely in shock value scenes dealing with street gang, violent against women, and rape. The sex unleashed one of the influenced to the furry fandom through sexualized anthropomorphic animals. A lot of nudity—for a cartoon movie, that gather a cult following. The use of drug use is kinda disturbing too, as Fritz is too stone to care about others—mostly in what happen to Duke (Fritz's friend) mid movie. Fritz the Cat is mostly on the run from the law, and this is where the movie gets most of its meat and cheese. Bug out. Bug out. The semi-characters are interesting. Duke is a lot of fun when he's on screen. Winston plays Fritz on and off girlfriend whom personality changes from the start of the movie till mid-thru without giving us reasons why. Blue the Rabbit is a heroin junkie biker who literally steals the scene and nearly the movie from him bringing the film to its darkest point as Fritz is forced to become more and more anarchism in the film. The animation in the film really does follows very close to Robert Crumb's semi-controversy artwork of the comic strip. Robert Crumb did not enjoy the film, hated this movie so much, he killed off the character Fritz in his comics. The voice over of the animals by both actors/non actors follow by sounds of city life, sound like real people in the street talking because it's technically recorded in the streets and bars. Still sometimes, the animation on film doesn't follow the word, or body language or scene. In the end the film became the first animated film to be given an X-rating due its harsh subject matter. It's not really that good, as Fritz doesn't change one bit, and it's really doesn't lead you anywhere, but feeling you went on an acid-trip watching 1960's cartoons. It's just that—a shock value satire animation film.
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5/10
This ain't Saturday Morning...
MetalGeek23 June 2010
Warning: Spoilers
I've been wanting to see the notorious "Fritz the Cat" for years but only recently got the chance. Its reputation is legendary, as it was the first animated film to receive an "X" rating for its depictions of cartoon animals having sex, using drugs, and generally participating in unsavory behavior. I'm sure that in 1972, this was pretty far out stuff, man (I wouldn't know since I was only 2 years old at the time), but I think "Fritz"'s edge has been dulled with the passage of time.

You'd think that the combination of outlaw cartoonist Robert Crumb and outlaw animator Ralph Bakshi would be a match made in Film Heaven (or perhaps Hell) but Bakshi's adaptation of Crumb's "Fritz the Cat" comic book was plagued with behind-the-scenes drama, some of which has apparently ended up on screen. The film has a very loose, on-the-fly feel to it, as if it were being made up as it went along and never properly finished. Much of the dialogue appears ad libbed, and the story really isn't much of a story, as it is a series of vignettes cobbled together. At times it seems confused about whether it wants to be a wild and wacky comedy, or a Bold Statement about the state of America as the 1960s became the '70s.

Our hero, Fritz, is a bored college student who decides he's had enough of doing what's expected of him and goes on to explore the wide world around him. He leaves New York City, bound for San Francisco, and along the way he participates in an orgy, inadvertently causes a race riot, and winds up mixed up with a gang of Nazi bikers, among other adventures. And oh yes, he smokes a LOT of dope and has a LOT of sex. The animation is decent (in that gritty, early '70s style) and captures the look of Crumb's comics nicely. There are some occasional laughs (mostly involving a pair of bumbling police officers in pursuit of Fritz, who are, of course, anthropomorphized as -- what else? -- pigs) but overall I guess I was expecting something a lot nastier/sleazier based on the film's reputation.

I get the feeling that "Fritz the Cat" was made by stoned people, for stoned people. I haven't done that stuff in nearly 20 years now so I guess I may not have been in the right, ahem, "frame of mind" to view the film properly.

Interesting as a historical piece but not an all time classic by any means. Heavy times, man.
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7/10
Turn on and tune out with one cool cat!
tenthousandtattoos4 September 2007
Warning: Spoilers
I think unless you're willing to suspend your work-a-day life for a couple hours and get into the mindset of a 60's stoner/revolutionary/"intellectual", you should NOT bother watching this movie. You'll just find it at best boring, and at worst, offensive.

Now, I wasn't born in the 60's but I WAS a dedicated stoner, and thus first viewed this film amid a "purple haze" with some college buddies. And while many of the 60's references were completely lost on me and just left me going..."whoah...bizarre..." the stoner comedy and psychedelic adventures of horny feline Fritz spoke to me well enough to ensure this was one heck of an enjoyable "trip" of a movie. I loved the crows as black dudes and pigs as cops - that would NEVER make it through these days. In fact, I draw a lot of enjoyment from this film and others like it, simply because they are "shocking" to my generation, who are supposedly so sexually enlightened and all that, when in fact most people my age are conservative in the extreme and the worst part is they don't even know it! Ah, whatever, I'll dispense with the politics.

Fritz begins with our feline hero hangin in Central Park with his stoner buds playing guitar to impress the chicks and the "phonies". When they fail to impress some cool chicks (a cat, a bunny, one appears to be a dog...) who prefer the "jive-talkin" negro crow nearby, Fritz ditches the guys and persuades the girls to accompany him to a party, with the promise of "finding truth and enlightenment", but all Fritz wants to do is bang the pretty little things, and who could blame him? They go to this green guy's house (I can never figure out what he is - at first he looks like a lizard, but he's got a fluffy tail and a snout...so i have no idea...the fact that he's green doesn't help) but he explains that they are in the middle of a session (a pot-smoking term meaning a round of smoking sort of) so Fritz must use the bathroom for his "truth seeking" with the girls. Well, kudos to Fritz he gets the girls naked and giggly in about 3 seconds and proceeds to have his wicked way, before he's rudely interrupted by the other guys in the apartment who want in on this "truth and elightenment" as well! My fave line in this bit is the blue dude: "You ever make it with a aardvark? We're endangered y'know..." The second act sees Fritz encounter Duke, a Harlem crow, in a bar, who quite rightly tells Fritz understanding the "racial crisis" from the black perspective is impossible for a "cat" like him, because he is NOT black (or in this case, he is NOT a crow).

Anyway, in a particularly bizarre sequence Fritz trips out after having about 8 joints stuffed into his mouth at once, then has sex with a big crow chick, during which he suddenly exclaims that everything is clear to him now and he must tell people about "the revolution". O...kay. His ravings on top of a parked car start a riot (not a difficult thing to do apparently if you lived in Harlem in the late 60's, according to some sources) during which his friend Duke is killed, and he is forced to go into hiding coz the fuzz are now looking for him. Duke's death scene is hypnotic and one of the more effective bits in the movie, with the pool-balls bouncing to the sound of a beating heart...really inspired little bit of animation, I thought.

Fritz is found by his girlfriend Winston, who persuades him to go with her out into the desert and head for Frisco. Fritz digs the idea and they hit the road.

No sooner have they run out of gas, Fritz ditches Winston to head off into the desert on his own, hooking up with my favourite character - the heroin-addled, psychotic, harley-riding blue bunny revolutionary, who ends almost every sentence with a deadpan "ha ha" and his horse-girlfriend, who takes a liking to Fritz. These are crazy fundamentalist hippies who want to blow stuff up fighting "the establishment" etc, and they quickly rope Fritz into a scheme to blow up a power station. Suffice it to say Fritz reaches an epiphany (albeit at a pretty late stage) and, well, I wont give away the ending...but it's pretty cool, weird and funny.

I don't know how successful as satire Fritz the Cat is, because I didn't live through the decade it is set in, but I can say it is a great little snapshot of New York, circa late 60's early 70's, especially the slideshow of pictures over the end credits. It is also a reminder that although we have come far in things like IT technology and medicine, etc, our "morals" and "values" have, if anything, gone BACKWARDS since 1972. So roll a big fat one, get some of your hippie friends over, and "seek some truth". 79 minutes well spent.
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2/10
Fritz the cat
VidSteh1 December 2007
Warning: Spoilers
I like cartoons with adult humor, so I was looking forward to see this movie, which supposed to be a cult classic back in the 70's. I don't know what did they smoke back then but this cartoon is one of the most disgusting things I've ever seen. And what's even worse: it's not even funny. There is not a single humorous moment in this movie, not one good joke and the characters are also very unlikable.I like Robert Crumb and respect his work, but he hated this cartoon and I couldn't agree with him more. This cartoon wants to be some kind of satirical view into the wild 60's years and hippie movements but it's nothing like that. It's just a stupid "C - quality" cartoon with no story, bad voice acting and disgusting humor. The director Ralph Bakshi made a terrible mistake by making this movie really R - rated. It doesn't have any sense. I fell sick watching one clip, where a group of cats are urinating on some other cats... THAT'S NOT FUNNY, THAT'S DISGUSTING AND RETARDED! Who is so sick watching two animated characters having an explicit sex and enjoy in it? This is really just too much for me. This cartoon is sick. Really sick in the most negative way as possible.

AVOID IT AT ALL COST!
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1/10
My Eyes! My Poor Eyes!
j-jessie-weaver2 November 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Why, why, why would anyone, in the name of Lucy, want to even SEE a movie as stupid and low as "Fritz the Cat?!" I just... This movie is about as fun as watching paint dry for hours. That is how bad this film is, and I would be happy to discuss the grudge I have with it!

First off, the voice acting is terrible. The characters' voices are either too high or not suitable for them at all. There is one pig cop in this movie, whose voice sounds like it was done by Patrick the Starfish from "SpongeBob." I know the actor was trying to do his best to make this character sound dumb, but that voice just doesn't cut it. I'm really starting to not care at this point. The only exception out of the voice cast was Skip Hinnant, the voice of Fritz. He actually sounded like a teenager, and Hinnant managed to pull the voice off.

Second of all, the animation is wretched and downright obnoxious. Sometimes, it looks almost like something from Disney, other times, it looks like a cartoon that Warner Bros. would create, and finally, the colors, in four scenes, blend in with the background; when the characters are smoking, to Fritz's pointless hallucinations, when Bertha the Crow shoves joints into his mouth, the scene where he goes back to his dorm and sets his exam notes on fire, and a random sequence with a bird who was snapping his fingers to '60's music. The coloring is beyond ugly, and you can't make out what is going on. I know this is a cartoon from the 1970's, but it doesn't put the least bit of effort into itself whatsoever. It's not even trying, I swear.

But the hugest grudge I have with this movie is the title character, himself. Sweet mother of Pearl, I hate, no, despise Fritz with a passion! He is a complete idiot to everyone, he doesn't give rat's hat about anything, and he makes out with female animals for his own freaking amusement! My poor eyes!

It is so clear that this movie has neither smarts, explanations, consistency nor decency to save its life. It makes "Family Guy," another cartoon I hate, look like Shakespeare, and it has no plot or effort put into it.

I refuse to give this stupid, utterly disgusting motion picture the satisfaction to be appreciated, watched or mentioned in a future reference! "Fritz the Cat" is garbage! No, uh, uh, I shouldn't say that, it's garbage of garbage!

You want my verdict of your film, Ralph Bakshi? Well, here ya go, I hope you're happy!

THE FINAL VERDICT AND RATING: 1/10 (It doesn't even deserve it.)
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5/10
"Underground" means "doesn't make any sense"?
WWWWolf16 June 2004
First off, I'm not a big fan of Bakshi's animation style. For example, I was delighted to hear someone was making a proper version of The Lord of the Rings - Bakshi's animation was... shall we say... painful to watch, but I did have to admit even that had its brighter moments.

Fritz the Cat is supposed to be "underground". I'm fine with "underground" stuff, but this kinds of things suffer from just a small problem: Underground locations tend to have rather inadequate lighting, which often means people fumble there, and the result is something that's just plain awful to look at in broad daylight. The plot is a nonsensical collection of jokes that may or may not have been funny at the moment. The drawings must have looked really good in complete darkness, but not really so now. It seems to me that "underground" was interpreted as "hell, nobody will see this, it doesn't need to make any sense at all". Well, guess what, I walked into a music store in middle of nowhere and bought the DVD from the bargain bin. This stuff has a longer half-life than radioactive uranium, and it's probably all over the place in no time. All "underground" artists should remember this.

Also, there's the "adult" bit - another idea that probably sounded nice on the drawing board. It *could* work. It *could* have been interesting. Now? Yawwwn. A very non-interesting example in my opinion. They interpreted "adult" as "sex and violence". "Mature" isn't really the right world, since you could stretch that to also mean "mature movie construction", which this movie notably lacks. A shame, really.

And then there's the "1960s" angle. Yeah, need I say more? "1960s" was interpreted as "psychedelic". Combined with the "underground" bit, this probably means "doesn't need to make any sense at all, but wow, look at all those pretty colors".

In short: Bad movie that doesn't make *any* sense and isn't even funny when it intends to, trying to take everything out of its shock value. It was probably mildly interesting for, let's be generous, two days after its release, after which every animation guru on the planet had shown they could write better scripts over breakfast. It's not really a fun movie to watch even if you happen to like bad movies.
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1/10
Ages VERY badly!
preppy-327 January 2000
I saw it because I couldn't believe a cartoon could be X-rated--it would get an R today. I couldn't make heads or tails of it! There's a plot (sort of) with Fritz wandering around and meeting various "people" (all animals talking and acting like humans). However the animation was crude, the humor made almost no sense (supposedly it was uproarious in the early 70s) and the "message" in the film was obvious and (in this day and age) very unhealthy. Robert Crumb HATED this movie--it's easy to see why! Basically a film that was really relevant in the early 70s, but it just doesn't age well. Worth seeing if you were in college in the late 60s/early 70s--otherwise stay away!
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