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Ralph Bakshi

Ralph Bakshi

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American Pop DVD Feed your head with "American Pop" (1981). Cult animator Ralph Bakshi tells the... more info $9.98was $9.98 Buy Now

Fire And Ice DVD From the mind of controversial director Ralph Bakshi ("Fritz the Cat," 1972) and... more info $19.98was $19.98 Buy Now

Also Known As: Died:
Born: October 26, 1938 Cause of Death:
Birth Place: Palestine Profession: screenwriter, animation director, live-action director, painter, producer

Biography CLOSE THE FULL BIOGRAPHY

Ralph Bakshi sent shockwaves through the entertainment world as the enfant terrible of cartoons as he ushered a long-fluff-oriented children's medium into new platforms, audiences and cultural relevance. The Brooklyn born Bakshi established a career as an animator of children's cartoons, foremost among them the long-running "The Mighty Mouse Playhouse" (CBS, 1955-1967) and the original animated "Spider-man" (ABC, 1967-1970). Seeking to create a more personal vision reflective of the times, he translated Robert Crumb's underground comic into an adult-oriented feature film, "Fritz the Cat" (1972). A vulgarity-strewn funhouse mirror of American counterculture, "Fritz" drew moralist outrage, blazed new trails for the medium, and launched his sequence of daring, socially critical X-rated features, most notably "Heavy Traffic" (1973) and "Coonskin" (1975). Bakshi veered into fantasy fare with "Wizards" (1977), "Fire and Ice" (1983) and his unfulfilled vision of Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. He took fire again upon a return to children's television when a Christian watchdog group took umbrage at an off-the-wall moment in his groundbreaking reboot "Mighty Mouse: The New Adventures" (CBS, 1987-88). After...

Ralph Bakshi sent shockwaves through the entertainment world as the enfant terrible of cartoons as he ushered a long-fluff-oriented children's medium into new platforms, audiences and cultural relevance. The Brooklyn born Bakshi established a career as an animator of children's cartoons, foremost among them the long-running "The Mighty Mouse Playhouse" (CBS, 1955-1967) and the original animated "Spider-man" (ABC, 1967-1970). Seeking to create a more personal vision reflective of the times, he translated Robert Crumb's underground comic into an adult-oriented feature film, "Fritz the Cat" (1972). A vulgarity-strewn funhouse mirror of American counterculture, "Fritz" drew moralist outrage, blazed new trails for the medium, and launched his sequence of daring, socially critical X-rated features, most notably "Heavy Traffic" (1973) and "Coonskin" (1975). Bakshi veered into fantasy fare with "Wizards" (1977), "Fire and Ice" (1983) and his unfulfilled vision of Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. He took fire again upon a return to children's television when a Christian watchdog group took umbrage at an off-the-wall moment in his groundbreaking reboot "Mighty Mouse: The New Adventures" (CBS, 1987-88). After the ill-received animation/live-action feature project, "Cool World" (1992) and a short-lived HBO series, "Spicy City" (1997), Bakshi mostly bowed out of screen work. Iconoclast-to-the-core and ever at odds with polite society, Bakshi's work transcended his critics' worst aspersions and ensconced him in the pantheon of animated entertainment alongside the likes of Walt Disney, Tex Avery and Chuck Jones.

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Filmographyclose complete filmography

DIRECTOR:

1.
  Cool and the Crazy (1994) Director
2.
  Cool World (1992) Director
3.
  Fire and Ice (1983) Director
4.
  Hey, Good Lookin' (1982) Director
5.
  American Pop (1981) Director
6.
  Lord of the Rings, The (1978) Director
7.
  Wizards (1977) Director
8.
  Coonskin (1975) Director
9.
  Heavy Traffic (1973) Director

CAST: (feature film)

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Milestones close milestones

1956:
Following high school graduation, hired as cell painter for CBS Terrytoon Unit; became animator shortly after
1963:
Directed (with others) episodes of "Casper and Friends" (syndicated)
1965:
Promoted to creative director for Terrytoons
1966:
Became director of Paramount cartoon department (until it shut down in 1967)
1969:
Formed own company with Steve Krantz
1972:
First animated feature, "Fritz the Cat"; received X rating for its sexually explicit content
1973:
Combined live-action and animation in "Heavy Traffic"; also rated X in its initial release; rating later downgraded to an R
1975:
Prompted some formal ethnic protests with "Coonskin", which dealt with the status of blacks in America
:
Pioneered rotoscoping (tracing live-action figures to create a new realism in animation) in "Wizards" (1977) and "The Lord of the Rings" (1978), adapted from the Tolkien trilogy
1981:
Produced and directed "American Pop", which followed 20th Century American music through pivotal characters in four generations
1983:
Aimed at a younger audience with "Fire and Ice", featuring the graphic design of Frank Frazetta
1984:
Contributed animation sequences to "Canonball Run"
:
Was producer and supervising director of "The New Adventures of Mighty Mouse" (CBS)
1988:
Created, produced and served as supervising director for Nickelodeon's "Tattertown" special, his first primetime TV effort; featured an animation style prevalent in the 1920s and 1930s
1989:
Produced and directed Dr Seuss' "The Butter Battle Book" (TNT); also executive produced and directed "Hound Town", an unsold NBC pilot
1989:
Directed "This Ain't Bebop" (live-action) sement of PBS' "American Playhouse" production, "Imagining America"
1992:
Made notable return to filmmaking with "Cool World", which combined live-action and animation
1994:
Directed live-action "Cool and the Crazy" remake for Showtime's "Rebel Highway"
:
Directed "Melvin & Malcom" and "Babe, He Calls Me" for the Cartoon Network's "World Premiere Toons"
1997:
Creator and executive producer of short-lived animated HBO series, "Spicy City"
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Education

Thomas Jefferson High School: New York , New York -
High School of Industrial Arts: New York , New York -

Notes

Some sources list October 29 as Mr. Bakshi's date of birth

Despite his fame as an animator, Bakshi really wants to be known as an artist of the canvas type. "What I really want to do is paint pictures--that's the big secret. I've been doing it for 20 years." --From Cinefantattique, August 1997.

"'Spicy City' is the same thing (as 'Fritz the Cat'). The stories are very political. They're about our problems without being overt about it. They're about what the future holds for us, good and bad. They're also about the changing of America, the burgeons of people, the great ethnic mix we are which I love. I go down to Houston Street all the time. Look what they did to Times Square, you want to shoot yourself." --Ralph Bakshi quoted in Cinefantattique, August 1997.

Companions close complete companion listing

wife:
Elizabeth Bakshi. Second wife.

Family close complete family listing

son:
Mark Bakshi. Product of first marriage.
son:
Preston Bakshi. Mother, Elizabeth Bakshi.
daughter:
Victoria Bakshi. Mother, Elizabeth Bakshi.
son:
Eddie Bakshi. Mother, Elizabeth Bakshi.
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Contributions

thingfish ( 2006-05-25 )

Source: Official Ralph Bakshi website.

In 2005, Bakshi announced that he would begin working on a new film project, eventually titled "Last Days of Coney Island." The film is currently being animated.

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