Ralph Bakshi

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Ralph Bakshi

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.
  • Did I have a responsibility to discuss issues? Absolutely. Bobby Dylan was discussing issues – Disney wasn’t.

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