Friday, December 2, 2011

Fritz the Cat - A synopsis / analysis

Netflix offered it streaming so I gave it a whirl.  I've watched Bakshi's other masterpieces in animation, Heavy Traffic, American Pop, and The Lord of the Rings (animated).  There was huge rumor that Fritz the Cat was animated pornography, but Ralph Bakshi doesn't do nudity for nudity's sake, instead, obscenity is a reflection of society as a whole.

Disney damned the production, stating it was an era of cartoon pornography and that it was abhorrent and vulgar.

Fritz the Cat has a good amount of sex and nudity in it, but not more than some college comedies popular today.  I figured I was old enough to not be overwhelmed by it, such as I'm mature enough to endure the movie Bruno without having to go to confession.

Basically, it's about anamorphic animal characters, generally Jewish, during the 1960's trying to find the answers to life in short-sighted fashion.  Focusing primarily on Fritz, he swindles his way into getting drugs and sex without having any responsibility.  Eventually he meets up with anarchists who con him into destroying a power-plant in the desert in which he blows himself up in the process. Miraculously, he survives.  You think he'd change his ways by this point but in his dying breath still cons some visiting girls using emotional blackmail into performing group.. well.. you get the idea.

One scene was rather clever when inner-city blacks that are portrayed as crows are killed in a mass riot.  At the end of it, you see white sea-gulls flying off and upwards, their spirits finally free in death.  Fritz is represented as the "white man" as a whole.  When he tries to help-out he only ruins things, not completely understanding the whole surrounding karma.  The crows are doomed to be trapped.  Despite their wings Fritz can't understand why they don't fly away from the city.  It's their own galactic fate that traps them.

The movie punctuates by a notice that it's 1972 and rated X (no one under 16 admitted).  I wouldn't recommend this film to anyone under 35, personally.

It's a dark reflection of humanity.  All of Ralph Bakshi's work usually is pessimistic of people's souls as a whole, that they cannot change and that people are generally wicked and selfish and that society rewards this nature of Neutral Evil, though sometimes Chaotic Evil or Lawful Evil.  There is not goodness anywhere in his world.  At best, goodness is naivete, only waiting to be corrupted eventually.  There's no escaping it anywhere, in any town, in any place.  Characters are demanded to be evil and if they're not, they'll be violated and destroyed utterly until they become so themselves.  It reminds me of Mother Nature; it almost smacks of True Neutral that things exist without conscious, only hunger.  If a wolf devours a rabbit violently, is the wolf evil or just surviving?  It's hard to tell.  I think Bakshai makes these same parallels in inner-city life.  Deep stuff, and worth a watch.

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