Ralph Bakshi Robert Hatch - Essay

Robert Hatch

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

It troubles me that I am almost totally unresponsive to Fritz the Cat, an animated cartoon feature, directed by Ralph Bakshi from the strip created by Robert Crumb for Head Comics. Fritz, a cat both in comic-book terms and in the current jargon, is super hip to every breeze that blew upon the country's questing youth of a few years ago, and the picture holds up his instant causes and borrowed principles to good-natured destruction. Thus Fritz, master lecher, organizes group sex in a bathtub, which exploit is raided by the prurient fuzz, and Fritz, the free-souled undergraduate, burns his lecture notes and with them one of the larger buildings on New York University's Greenwich Village campus….

[One understands] that Fritz the Cat is bent on depreciating youthful follies, while not overlooking the worse than foolish responses of the alarmed and puzzled establishmentarian elders. In principle, I should applaud such iconoclasm, and in principle I do. It is the execution I deplore.

My spirits began to droop when the two cops sent to spoil the fun in the bathtub turned out to be pigs (Disney's little pigs grown up and turned gross), who spoke in the "da (gulp)" accents popularly associated with mental deficiency. They fell still further when I discovered that the blacks were to be presented as crows (though the finery of these birds did trick me into some racist snickers). It isn't the bad taste I object to...

(The entire section is 540 words.)