6.7/10
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24 user 31 critic

Coonskin (1975)

Rabbit, a country-born trickster, takes over the organized crime racket in Harlem, facing opposition from the institutionalized racism of the Mafia and corrupt police.

Director:

Ralph Bakshi

Writer:

Ralph Bakshi
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Cast

Cast overview:
Barry White ... Samson / Brother Bear (voice)
Charles Gordone Charles Gordone ... Preacherman / Preacher Fox (voice)
Scatman Crothers ... Pappy / Old Man Bone (voice) (as Scat Man Crothers)
Philip Michael Thomas ... Randy / Brother Rabbit (voice) (as Philip Thomas)
Danny Rees Danny Rees ... Clown (voice)
Buddy Douglas Buddy Douglas ... Referee (voice)
Jim Moore Jim Moore ... Mime (voice)
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Storyline

A multi-layered satire of race relations in America. Live-action sequences of a prison break bracket the animated story of Brother Rabbit, Brother Bear, and Preacher Fox, who rise to the top of the crime ranks in Harlem by going up against a con-man, a racist cop, and the Mafia. Written by Alan Smithee, Sr.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

This is it Folks! See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Ralph Bakshi.com

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 August 1975 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Coonskin No More... See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (video)

Sound Mix:

Stereo

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was subject to numerous protests by the Congress of Racial Equality led by Al Sharpton. After the group disrupted the premiere screening, Ben Gage was hired to re-record some of Barry White's voice track, in order to remove "racist references and vulgarity". See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Man in Blue: Fuck you.
Man in Yellow: Alright, I'm gonna give some example: I heard that 350 white folks committed suicide by jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge. And out of the 350, there was two that was niggers.
Man in Blue: And one of them was pushed.
Man in Yellow: [laughs]
See more »

Alternate Versions

There are two different versions of Coonskin in circulation: a 99 minute version released on tape in Holland, and the far more common 83 minute version (just released on video in the UK by MIA). The latter, despite running 16 minutes shorter, actually includes more than 7 minutes of footage (including a precredits sequence) not in the longer edition. See more »

Connections

Featured in Trailer Trauma (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

Ain't No Sunshine
Written by Bill Withers
Performed by Grover Washington Jr.
on CTI Records, a division of Creed Taylor, Inc.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Greatest Animated Picture Never Seen
5 March 2013 | by aciessiSee all my reviews

Coonskin has been dragged into the darkest realms of cinematic obscurity. When it was released in 1975, people panicked. Not since the 1940's has such racially insensitive jokes been made on African Americans. CORE and the NAACP screamed for blood and demanded this film to never be released, or shown to anyone for that matter. Leading Paramount Pictures to drop this movie from its original distribution and was forced to be shown in Grindhouse theaters nationwide and distributed by a mafioso production company. How devastatingly ironic, because this film HATES the mafia. Perhaps it was due to its off putting title. But I think more importantly, it was its trailer. The film's theatrical trailer is one of the most surreal, unholy debaucheries of a motion picture you will ever see. Just a bunch of scenes (some of which are pivotal to the plot of the film) thrown aimlessly together without any explanation of what the movie could be about. Of course, people speculated the worst from this film. But it wasn't what anyone thought it was. Coonskin is an absolute trip. It' points out the sad, painful truth about racism as we know it and threw it in our faces whether we could handle it or not. If anything, it advocates for the good of African Americans and slanders everyone that took advantage of it. It's a tale about three brothers, losing their way in the slums of Manhattan, as they try to get back at the "man". It's classic blaxploitation fare with a tendency for screwing with the audience and shocking them with the cold hard truth. Ralph worked his hardest with this film and insisted on making this his masterpiece, and it shows with explosive results. I loved the characters. The three brothers are dangerously cool, especially Brother Rabbit. Miss America is without a doubt the sexiest animated woman ever drawn. Unfortunately, she represents everything bloated, superficial, perverted and wrong with America. Which makes her a wickedly evil villain. The main villain, the Godfather was a little hard to swallow being Italian and all. But the Mafia was just begging for a Hollywood beating, and Bakshi let them have it. If I was to sum up Coonskin in one sentence, I would call it the Pulp Fiction of animation. It has the same level of genius and wit as that movie did, and will grow on you for an awfully long time. It's too bad not many people will ever see it. Hopefully, a home video release will finally surface in the future, and we can all celebrate this controversial classic.


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