Fritz The Cat (film) - Legacy


In addition to other animated films aimed at adult audiences, the film's success led to the production of a sequel, The Nine Lives of Fritz the Cat. Although producer Steve Krantz and voice actor Skip Hinnant returned to work on the follow-up, Ralph Bakshi did not. Instead, Nine Lives was directed by animator Robert Taylor, who cowrote the film with Fred Halliday and Eric Monte. The Nine Lives of Fritz the Cat was distributed by American International Pictures, and was considered to be inferior to its predecessor. Both films have been released on DVD in the United States, Canada and the UK. Bakshi states that he felt constricted using anthropomorphic characters in Fritz the Cat, and focused solely on non-anthropomorphic characters in Heavy Traffic and Hey Good Lookin', but later used anthropomorphic characters in Coonskin.

While review aggravate Rotten Tomatoes, which compiles contemporary reviews from a wide range of critics, gives the film a score of 56%, the film is widely noted in its innovation for featuring content that had not been portrayed in animation before, such as sexuality and violence, and was also, as John Grant writes in his book Masters of Animation, "the breakthrough movie that opened brand new vistas to the commercial animator in the United States", presenting an "almost disturbingly accurate" portrayal "of a particular stratum of Western society during a particular era, as such it has dated very well." The film's subject matter and its satirical approach offered an alternative to the kinds of films that had previously been presented by major animation studios. Michael Barrier described Fritz the Cat and Heavy Traffic as "not merely provocative, but highly ambitious." Barrier described the films as an effort "to push beyond what was done in the old cartoons, even while building on their strengths."

As a result of these innovations, Fritz the Cat was selected by Time Out magazine as the 42nd greatest animated film, ranked at number 51 on the Online Film Critics Society's list of the top 100 greatest animated films of all time, and was placed at number 56 on Channel 4's list of the 100 Greatest Cartoons. Footage from the film was edited into the music video for Guru's 2007 song "State of Clarity".

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