In-person screening tribute to animator Ralph Bakshi coming to American Cinematheque

american-pop-animation-film-imagesIt’s been 50 years since Ralph Bakshi’s first X-rated cartoon, Fritz the Cat, blasted into public consciousness. Bakshi channeled the freewheeling spirit of underground comics with his controversial animated films as Heavy Traffic and Coonskin, battling protests and censors to open the doors to cartoons with adult situations. He tapped further into the zeitgeist with the brilliant projects Wizards and The Lord of the Rings, catching the mid-’70s wave of interest in sci-fi and fantasy highlighted by Star Wars.

Bakshi later re-invented Saturday morning cartoons with the series The New Adventures of Mighty Mouse, a show that proved to be a precursor for irreverent fare such as The Ren & Stimpy Show.

Now the writer, producer and animator has picked up the paintbrush. You can see examples of his work at

Ralph Bakshi will be at the Aero Theatre for this two-night film tribute to his work. He will bring along a clip from his latest film and there will be some of his art work for sale in the lobby of the theater.

On Friday, March 27th, starting at 7:30 PM, there will be a double feature of his cult classics Heavy Traffic and American Pop. Then on Saturday, March 28th, starting at 7:30 PM, there will be a double feature of The Lord of the Rings and Wizards. Bakshi is scheduled to be in attendance both evenings.

The Aero Theatre is located at 1328 Montana Avenue, in Santa Monica, California.

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