Ralph Bakshi (born October 29, 1938, in Haifa, Palestine (now Israel)) is an American cartoonist and a director of animation and occasionally live-action films. He directed cult classics such as Fritz the Cat, Heavy Traffic, Coonskin, and Wizards, as well as the more commercially accepted 1978 animated film version of The Lord of the Rings.
- Sweetheart, I'm the biggest ripped-off cartoonist in the history of the world, and that's all I'm going to say.
- When I had my own company on Traffic and Coonskin, all metaphors were able to get to the screen clearly. In Cool World, with the producer and Paramount watching me carefully to make sure I was in good taste, I instinctively poured stuff into the picture that I wanted to talk about. But when you force stuff, it's not really very clear. But, I have a great love for Max Fleischer, especially some of his Black & White Betty Boops with their strange Cab Calloway and Louis Armstrong black folk tale jazz hipness that part of Cool World was a homage in style to those films and that style of cartooning. The Grim Reaper is right out of a Max Fleischer cartoon or old Terrytoons, which is why I hired and love Milton Knight the artist. He understands totally the Uncle Remus fable like qualities behind Fleischer and Terrytoons. Milton Knight is probably the purest artist of that style in the business. He has a hard time because studios think he is old fashioned...but that's the point.
- I think it's impossible to do Tolkien. It's impossible to get the brilliance of what he wrote about -- just the medium, the book, the novel gives you other areas of imagination (that) film can't allow. Film has to describe and show. With the brilliance of his words and his scenes, you imagine whatever you want. I'm sure various people imagine different things.
- The original concept [of Cool World], way back when I sold the film, was that a live action cartoonist would go to bed with a cartoon woman in the cartoon world. They had a child immediately that was a strange combination of live action and animation in one character. This son of the underground cartoonist hates himself for what he is and isn't and goes back to the real world to track his father down. The picture was originally an R rated horror film. Slash and the rest of the characters in Cool World were just friends of Holli and looked nothing like their child.
- They say I'm a revolutionary, but they're all wrong. I just seem like one because everyone else is so square and safe. Most artists just reinterpret, reinterpret, 'einterpret! They've all sold out to make a buck. Money is not my thing, and that's why I'm probably fucked. I'm more interested in doing the best I can to tell a story. As an artist, I want to interpret my feelings--not run across the street and ask what my mother thinks. I draw what I feel, which is no more than doing my job.