Tag Archives: Bakshi
Legendary animator Ralph Bakshi has released a new, political short film called Trickle Dickle Down he has released on YouTube.
Baskhi, who is best known for directing such adult-oriented animated fare as Fritz the Cat, Wizards, The Lord of the Rings, American Pop, Fire and Ice and Cool World, uses the short to take aim at Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney.
Watch it here:
What do you think, Animag readers? Is this spot on? Or should Bakshi cast his votes in another genre? Let us know in the comments.
The Ottawa International Animation Festival (OIAF) has announced some of its major plans for the 2012 edition of North America’s premier animation festival.
Running from September 19th-23rd, Ottawa 2012 will pay tribute to the work of animation legend Ralph Bakshi, who ignited the imagination of future animators and became a hero to generations of fans and filmmakers by infusing adult themes such as sex, drugs and racism into the family-friendly animation world of the 1970s.
The United Kingdom will also be in the spotlight, as the Festival will examine British artists Barry Purves, one of the world’s finest puppet animators, and the groundbreaking Unconventional Ad Men: Smith and Foulkes. ??Purves’ work has been internationally acclaimed for decades while Smith & Foulkes’ art has been featured in advertising campaigns for some of the world’s most iconic brands including Coca Cola, Honda and Motorola.?? YouTubular: Animation in the Age of the Meme will examine the role of YouTube in today’s animation industry and showcase some of the strangest and most contagious viral videos to grace your computer screen.
Other programming announced to date includes: Make ‘Em Laugh: Comedians and Animation, which will retrace the historical relationship between animators and comedians; the life and career of Ward Kimball will be examined and the innovative films of the late Karen Aqua will be celebrated.
“In past years, our event has been criticized for being too avant-garde or too dark,” says Festival artistic director Chris Robinson. “This year we wanted to provide some really fun and entertaining programming but don’t worry, there’s sure to also be the usual array of delightfully bizarre and thought provoking work that many other members of our audience love.”
For more information, visit the OIAF website at: www.animationfestival.ca.
The story so far: In the late 1960s Ralph Bakshi is sent by American producer Steve Krantz to Al Guest Productions in Toronto to try and salvage the animated series Rocket Robin Hood, which is in lawsuit hell. But when Ralph plans to bring layouts and model sheets back to New York, Guest accuses him of theft and has a warrant put out for his arrest. Ralph continues the tale…
“The cops are looking for me. John Vita, my background artist from Terrytoons, was up there with me. We had airplane tickets—Krantz gave us tickets every week—but I figured the airport’s being guarded. I put two and two together and figured that Guest wanted me to get locked up so he could have some negotiating power with Krantz. So I said, ‘Johnny, you go to the airport with the suitcase of model charts, and they’ll pick you up. You tell them I’m supposed to show up but you don’t know where I am.’ So he headed for the airport and I jumped into a cab. The driver said, ‘Where are you going?’ and I said, ‘To the border’…which was a two-and-a-half hour drive!
“When Johnny showed up at the airport thirty guys pounced on him. I got to the border and got out of the cab on the Canadian side of the bridge. The whole fucking thing is like a movie: there are giant, slow motion ice floes floating down the river, and American guards in the distant mist. I’m watching the Canadians and when they turned their backs, I took off like a fucking shot. The bridge is up, and cars are being stopped, and I’m running and running, and I hear screaming on the Canadian side, and then a shot, so help me God. I get to the American side and both MPs are just standing there with their rifles locked. I get there out of breath and I said, ‘Will you let me back in my own country? They’re schmucks in Canada!’ The guys broke up and parted.
“I was a free man. I walked into this coffee shop and called my girl, Elizabeth, whom I’m married to now. She’s hysterical because Krantz had called and told her that he didn’t know where I was, but he knew that they had caught Johnny Vita. So I told Liz where I was and she came and got me, and we drove home to Manhattan. They kept Johnny for two days, but Krantz got him out because the arrest warrant wasn’t for him.
“When Steve’s lawyers called Guest and told him I was safe back home in this country, he didn’t believe it. I told Guest on the speaker phone that his Canadian Mounties sucked, and that they couldn’t catch anybody from Brooklyn if they wanted to!”
Ralph admitted that it was quite some time before he could safely return to Canada. But ever the iconoclast, Bakshi was probably the only young American male who fled from Canada while the Vietnam war was raging.
For most people, working in animation is a job. If you’re anywhere around Ralph Bakshi, however, it’s probably an adventure. Bakshi, of course, is the producer/director of Fritz the Cat, Heavy Traffic, Coonskin, and the real film version of Lord of the Rings, as well as the man who revitalized Terrytoons in the 1960s and brought Mighty Mouse back to television for what would prove to be a controversial swan song. A couple blogs ago, I said that the late Bill Melendez gave the best interview in animation, and I still believe that. But any time you talk to Ralph, you have to buckle up and hang on for the ride.
In 2002 I was talking to Ralph a lot. He had asked me to help him write a book, and even though the project went away, a lot of revelation, wild stories, and bad language resulted from the attempt. One of the wildest of those stories involved his involvement with a mid-1960s show called Rocket Robin Hood. I’ll let Ralph take it from there:
“I left Paramount Pictures and hooked up with Steve Krantz who had a distribution company of sorts in Manhattan, who was not an animator but somehow got involved with animation projects in Canada. He was having a huge problem in Canada with the guys that were producing this Rocket Robin Hood thing that he had sold, an animated series with a studio called Al Guest Productions in Toronto that was comprised of animators from all over the world: Spain, Germany, England, Scotland, Ireland, and Canadians.”
“Al Guest had put together a huge studio of all kinds of people who didn’t know how to talk to each other and had no idea what they were doing. Krantz told me that some of the money that should be going into Rocket Robin Hood was going into various other projects that Guest wanted to sell himself, and that they weren’t meeting deadlines, and the stuff was horrible and unacceptable to the stations, and he was getting sued. So he asked me if I would go up to Canada to help straighten it out. I needed a job, so I took it. I liked Krantz at the time. He was very smooth, very slick, I never saw anybody quite like him. To me he was a real Hollywood person. I had always wanted to build an animation company in New York and I thought he would be helpful, so on the business side, I thought the relationship could work out to both our benefits, because he was getting fucked over in Canada, and I certainly knew animation. So I said I would go, because it would be nice to see Canada and Toronto. I thought it would be an adventure.”
But Ralph had no idea that, before it was over, the adventure would turn into an international incident involving the police! Part 2 of The Canadian Caper continues here next week.