Commentary 09 Feb 2013 05:25 am
- Congratulations to Bill Plympton on an amazing Kickstarter campaign< . $75000 and the needle goes right there, so Bill ups it to $100000, and that’s how much he raises. I hadn’t seen anything like that before, and I’m impressed. Let’s face it the guy’s a star.
Then, Signe Baumane begins her Kickstarter campaign to complete her excellent movie. A $42900 goal, and she’s attained that total with five days to go. Excellent! I love this film and think it’s going to be brilliant when it’s completed. Maybe in the next five days, she can get a bit more so that she reaches a nice, small comfort zone to complete it. She interviewed Bill and me for a little testimonial of a DVD, and just posted it last week. (I think that’s what brought her the money raising it so high – joke – joke.)
In case you hadn’t noticed there’s a third Kickstarter Campaign to notice.
The Last Days of Coney Island. Talk about great titles!
Bakshi’s hoping to raise $165,000 and he’s uncovered almost $40000 so far. With only 20 days to go, he’ll need a quick infusion of cash to get things moving, so I’m not sure it’ll work. I hope so; this project interests me.
The idea is to do a series of 6 to 8 minute films which eventually will be grouped together as a feature. This could be nice if it’s well orchestrated. Somehow, given his track record, I have a lot of faith in Ralph. He has the ability to do it. He has Ian Miller aboard as a background designer. I was never one for fantasy art – all that Lord of the RIngs and The Hobbit stuff never touched me. I saw most of the films based on the material and didn’t like much of it. I looked at all the fantasy art and wasn’t captured.
Except for Ian Miller. This guy’s work is just extraordinary.
I’m watching this campaign pretty closely. Very interesting
- I realized, having written this piece, that I haven’t really written about Ralph Bakshi and his films over all the years I’ve done this blog. It’s not an oversight on my part. I have written about Fritz the Cat (here too) several times and I did write about Heavy Traffic once. Many times I’ve thought of writing in depth about this man’s amazing body of work. However, this is not going to be the right time, either, so don’t expect an elaborate Bakshi post now. I would have to spend much more time on it to properly get it right. However, I do see his work as intimately related to my history in animation.
Fritz the Cat was released n 1972 just as I escaped the Navy and became a citizen – meaning a potential animation worker. By the time it hit screens, I had already grown out of my love for Disneyana. I was a Hubley convert and a big fan of UPA. Bakshi came from the grit of animation – those lst days at Terrytoons under the aegis of Bill Weiss. The shoddiest of films had emanated from them in those last few years, but there were also hidden great ones. I was always a fan of Deputy Dawg and earlier on, Clint Clobber. Hashimoto Sam and those Astronaut cartoons, not so much.
A hop skip and a jump away, and we find Bakshi directing Fritz the Cat for Steve Krantz. He’d made a nice living writing cheesy books that were very successful, and now he’d taken one of the best know underground comics and gave Bakshi the chance to turn it into a feature.
Needless to say it created some waves, and that was good for animation, though I have to say most animators protested the material. It was a pretty good film with plenty of solid moments – some not so solid, too.
Bakshi could have followed it up with The Nine Lives of Fritz the Cat, but he went personal, instead. Heavy Traffic was the result, and it ended up a selection by Vincent Canby of the NYTimes as one of the top ten films of the year.
Bakshi played his career much the way Quentin Tarantino ha. A couple of films came out that caught the racist accusations. The films couldn’t fight the press, and it took Bakshi’s switch to Sci Fi with Wizards and Lord of the Rings to gain some modest success.
All of his movies got attention and all deserved more attention. There was usualy excellent material there and a chance for animation to start growing up. By this time, Bluth and Spielberg were challenging Disney for the family audience, and they got all the attention.
I miss the sore paw of Ralph Bakshi and I’m glad to see he’s pushing the Kickstarter campaign and hoping he has some success with The Last Days of Coney Island.