Friday, September 14, 2007

Learning about Bakshi

It’s been a while since I last posted.

I have no idea how guys like John Kricfalusi and Michael Sporn can update their own blogs practically everyday. Maybe its just the way my mind works.

I’ve got nothing of my own to show at the moment, so for now, I am going onto something else. Make that someone else: Ralph Bakshi.

I will try something different here. While most professional animator’s blogs show established knowledge of a subject, I am going to try and blog the establishment of the interest. Confusing? Basically, I am going to talk about something I don’t know everything about.



For sometime now, I have been building up a fascination with famed animation director, Ralph Bakshi. I learned of Bakshi during a period of interest in animation history, and started looking up the movie Fritz the Cat, famous for being the first animated feature to receive an X rating.


Earlier this year, I watched Heavy Traffic for the first time. Although I was uncertain of it at first, my opinion of it improved quickly. I have to say that it is one of the liveliest animated pieces I have ever seen. I love the character designs, the assorted personalities, the different animation styles (a rarity in most animated features) and the snide and sleazy humor of the whole thing.



Bakshi is a director whom I would take many examples from. After establishing his own brand of animation (adult cartoons based on tragic reality), he a family-friendly flick (Wizards), then a grand epic (The Lord of the Rings), then even more experimenting (American Pop and others), then an impressive venture into television (which I have yet to check out but know a lot about through the blog of Bakshi’s protege, John Kricfalusi). I admire a director who can take on several different ventures and yet maintain their own style (which accounts for my already established interests in directors like Tim Burton and David Lynch).



Bakshi’s last released project was Cool World in 1992. I actually saw Cool World when I was 8 or 9, because I thought it would be like Who Framed Roger Rabbit? (which it clearly isn’t, and which also accounted for the movie’s failure). I plan on watching it again soon. Maybe afterward, I’ll write something on it.

Right now, I plan on watching Bakshi’s film Coonskin on YouTube. I have never seen it, and normally I don’t watch entire movies on YouTube (an exception being The Thief and the Cobbler). Unfortunately, it has yet to be released on DVD, so I am left with few options.

Next week is the Ottawa International Animation Festival. As we did last year, Pratt’s animators will be in attendance. For us, four days of animated films (in large theaters), meeting all sorts of artists, catching some amazing retrospectives (this year includes UPA, Saul Steinberg, and one of my favorites, British animator Joanna Quinn), and of course, getting drunk and dancing like maniacs. I should have a lot to talk about following the festival.


Great poster, huh? I'll be back soon.

2 comments:

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