Some new thoughts on a movie that would never ever get made today.
Ralph Bakshi didn’t invent animation for grown ups, but he did turn it into an art form. Historically, animation always had its X-rated side. Ralph Bakshi is the cat who made it mainstream. Okay, if we’re being literal, it was Fritz the Cat, Bakshi’s controversial adaptation of R. Crumb’s underground comic, that became the first animated feature to earn that rating. Porn chic meets anthropomorphism, Fritz the Cat presents the story of a cartoon feline’s feverish quest to get laid on a tour of 1970’s urban counterculture. Like other works of the era that blurred the line between arthouse cinema and midnight movies, Fritz the Cat is still shocking to watch even today. Its depictions of rape, drug use, racism, misogyny and violence are only enhanced by the depiction of the characters are animated animals; the social satire outweighs the quaint depiction, like George Orwell’s Animal Farm on an acid trip.