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Cool World (1992)

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A comic strip femme fatale seeks to seduce her cartoonist creator in order to cross over into the real world.

Director:

Ralph Bakshi
2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Kim Basinger ... Holli Would
Gabriel Byrne ... Jack Deebs
Brad Pitt ... Detective Frank Harris
Michele Abrams ... Jennifer Malley
Deirdre O'Connell ... Isabelle Malley
Janni Brenn Janni Brenn ... Agatha Rose Harris (as Janni Brenn-Lowen)
William Frankfather ... Cop
Greg Collins ... Cop
Maurice LaMarche ... Interrogator #2 / Mash / drunken bar patron / Dr. Vincent "Vegas Vinnie" Whiskers / Jack Deebs (super hero version) (voice)
Joey Camen ... Interrogator #1 / Slash / Holli's door (voice)
Michael David Lally ... Sparks (voice)
Carrie Hamilton Carrie Hamilton ... Comic Bookstore Cashier
Stephen Worth Stephen Worth ... Bash (performance model) / Comic Store Patron
Murray Podwal Murray Podwal ... Store Patron
Jenine Jennings Jenine Jennings ... Holli Would / Lonette (performance model) / Craps Bunny (voice)
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Storyline

When cartoonist Jack Deebs was behind bars, he found escape by creating "Cool World", a cartoon series featuring a voluptuous femme fatale named Holli Would. But the cartoonist becomes a prisoner of his own fantasies when Holli transports Jack into Cool World with a scheme to seduce him and bring herself to life. A hard-boiled detective--the only other human in Cool World--cautions Jack with the law: Noids (humans) don't have sex with doodles (cartoons). However, the flesh proves weaker than ink as Holli takes human form in Las Vegas, staring in a trans-universal chase that threatens the destruction of both worlds. With a splashy combination of animation and live-action sequences, "Cool World" delivers the hottest action around. Written by Anthony Pereyra {hypersonic91@yahoo.com}

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Cool World is such a dangerous place to be in. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for language and sensuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

10 July 1992 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Cool World: Una rubia entre dos mundos See more »

Filming Locations:

Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

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Box Office

Budget:

$30,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$14,110,600
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (workprint)

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Traci Lords was in contention for the role of Holli Would, but lost out to the more widely recognized Kim Basinger. See more »

Goofs

When Jack and Holli are about to have sex, Jack can be heard moaning. But in an up-close shot where Holli gets on top of him, his mouth doesn't move at all. See more »

Quotes

Holli Would: [now human, proudly smiling] Well, howdy, Nails. As you see, there have been some changes around here.
Nails: You made out with a noid, you don't know what you are! Mark my words, girlie-pie! You leave here and it is trouble for you!
Holli Would: I'm leaving, pencil-dick! You just try and stop me!
See more »

Alternate Versions

When shown on the sci-fi channel, the following scenes have been cut:
  • When sparks encounters doodle children in the alley he releases little coins with fangs that attacks them, they only show him say "I hate it when she meets guys without telling me".
  • While being chased by the popper police, Slash (the baby-like doodle) urinates on them: they only show the popper police get hit by the train
  • While waiting for the doodle telephone to get to Frank, Nails bites into his desk
  • The sex scene between Holli Would and Jack Deebs has been altered and some footage has been deleted
  • After Nails was "penned' by Holli, Frank encounters Sparks and knocks his french fries out of his hand, Sparks responded with "now you can buy me more fries, dick-head", but it was changed to "now you can buy me more fries pinhead"
  • At the end, Holli's "pencildick" remark is deleted.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Clerks (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

The Witch
by Ian Astbury and Billy Duffy
Performed by The Cult
Produced by Rick Rubin
The Cult performs courtesy of Beggars Banquet/Sire Records
See more »

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User Reviews

Cool and unusual
16 March 2004 | by CowmanSee all my reviews

Animated films and cartoons have always been looked upon as an art form that caters primarily to a younger audience. Though this may be an unfair assessment to make, it is a logical one, since the child-friendly Walt Disney Company has dominated the animated film industry right from its inception after introducing the world to Mickey Mouse in 1928. After that, there has only been a handful of daring artists who have tried to disengage the squeaky-clean stereotype that animated films had since been branded with. Ralph Bakshi was such a man.

In 1972, Bakshi wrote and directed FRITZ THE CAT, a full-length animated feature film that touted a self-imposed X-rating and worldwide critical acclaim. Exactly twenty years later, Bakshi would go on to direct COOL WORLD, his sixth and most recent adult-oriented animated film to date.

On its own, the artwork and animation in COOL WORLD is excellent. The girls are sexy, the villains are ugly, and the backdrops have a surreal, almost psychedelic quality to them. The use of rotoscoping (still a relatively new technology at the time) to fluidly illustrate some of the more complex human movements was a wise choice, making the animated `Doodles' seem all the more lifelike. The animators went to great lengths to make their characters' interactions with live actors and actual scenery seem genuine. Many subtle touches, like the cartoons casting real shadows in the Humanoid world, and the direct eye contact between the Noids and the Doodles, were added to enhance the believability of these otherwise unbelievable situations.

Still, despite the great animation and the artists' valiant efforts at making the two-dimensional animation intermingle with our three-dimensional universe, the movie's visuals, while very impressive, are ultimately ineffectual. No matter how well these images are drawn, their lack of depth makes the contact with the live actors seem awkward and even distracting at times. Granted, they did the best they could at combining two very different mediums, but no amount of detail can shake the feeling that you're merely watching a 2-D overlay atop of a 3-D film, rather than 2-D characters within a 3-D film as was intended.

The high point of the film, I think, was Kim Basinger's portrayal of Holli Would as she fervently attempts to adjust to Humanoid life. Basinger is suitably perky as the deviant Miss Would, and did an outstanding job emulating the actions and mannerisms of her cartoon counterpart. Basinger succeeds at making Holli's reactions to the Las Vegas public both hilarious and embarrassing for the viewer, a feat which is probably not easy to pull off.

Gabriel Byrne's performance as Jack Deebs is another example of fine acting in this film. Byrne's character, although probably not as scared or confused by his predicament as he should have been, is portrayed convincingly, and there's enough of a well-developed backstory to accept his antisocial attitude and somewhat pessimistic outlook on life. Byrne also handles Deebs's gradual transition from calm and collected to a state of panic and exasperation exceptionally well, and his sheepishness as he futilely attempts to disassociate himself with Holli and her embarrassingly eccentric behavior is another high point in the film.

Brad Pitt plays his role as Detective Frank Harris in typical Pitt fashion. This is not to say he did a bad job, but his performances tend to be bland and unmemorable, and this movie is no exception. Even as early as 1992, the year COOL WORLD was released, we've already seen Pitt play the same no-nonsense `tough guy' character in a half-dozen or so other films, and he doesn't exactly add any kind of flair to make this role distinguishable from his others.

COOL WORLD's plot, although thin, is exciting and very original. The pacing is lightning fast, constantly jarring the viewer with over-the-top cartoon sight gags and playful innuendos. There are chase scenes, fight scenes, sex scenes, and death scenes; all seemingly back to back, and all set to an awesome adrenalin-pumping techno soundtrack. From the opening title to the closing credits, COOL WORLD plays out like a cinematic roller coaster.

However, as exciting as the movie was, I couldn't help feeling gypped after finally seeing it. COOL WORLD, although undoubtedly a clever picture, lacks the social themes and political commentary (as well as the bold, overt explicitness) that Ralph Bakshi is famous for. In FRITZ THE CAT, Bakshi takes jabs at a wide variety of hot-button issues and events that were controversial at the time, such as the Black Panthers, the alarming rise of police brutality, and the hippie movement. Cool World, at least from my own personal interpretation, is devoid of any kind of theme or commentary whatsoever.

Overall, COOL WORLD doesn't really do anything that hasn't been done before. We've already seen adult-oriented animation in FRITZ THE CAT. We've already seen the `cartoon/reality crossover' in WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT. And we've already witnessed rotoscoped animation in Bakshi's own THE LORD OF THE RINGS. But just because it isn't groundbreaking does not mean it isn't entertaining. When it comes to action, excitement, and eye candy, COOL WORLD definitely delivers the goods.


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