Monday, January 16, 2012

Fan-Boy Icon #60: Ralph Bakshi

Cartoonist Ralph Bakshi is one of those wonderful people who get to swing around the acceptability pole. He did the old Lord of the Rings animated film, The Amazing Spider-Man series in the late '60s, and even a run of Mighty Mouse in the 1980s on the acceptable side, then there is the Who Framed Roger Rabbit-styled Cool World in the semi-acceptable side, and Fritz the Cat and Heavy Traffic on the less acceptable side. Other well known works include the Frank Frazetta inspired Fire and Ice and the cult classic Wizards.

One of the things Bakshi is well known for is the mixture of standard animation and Rotoscope, a method of animating over live action film. The Lord of the Rings is a great example of this, as many of the characters (particularly the hobbits) are predominantly standard animation while many battles take place in a Rotoscope fashion, giving them a bit of naturalness.

Check out some of Bakshi's other credits at the IMDb.

A Ring Wraith from The Lord of the Rings
Princess Teegra from Fire and Ice
Frodo and Gandalf
Fritz the Cat
Mighty Mouse
Brad Pitt and the animated Kim Basinger from Cool World


bliss_infinte said...

He's the king of animated style in my book. I grew up watching his stuff since his LOTRs (which I still love). His drawings are so full of life which you do not see anymore.

Darius Whiteplume said...

I remember thinking how there was something dirty about Mighty Mouse when I was a kid. Something subversive. It was a bit of a gateway drug into the world of weird animation. :-)

Lockwood said...

I'd forgotten Cool World, but remember quite enjoying it. Loved Wizards. Hated the Middle Earth adaptations. Bakshi seems to be hit or miss for me, but I should track down Fire and Ice.

T. Roger Thomas said...

I've only heard of Fritz the Cat. Perhaps it and Cool World will have to be added to my list.

Darius Whiteplume said...

@Lockwood - I barely remember the Middle Earth ones, but Tolkien was never really my thing. As for his films, I think his style is more impressive than some of his films. Fire and Ice is interesting, though mostly for the good job of making Frazetta's style move.

@TRT - Fritz is (or at least was) streaming on Netflix. I did not get into it the time I tried watching. Will have to give it another go.

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