Here is my latest project, Last Days of Coney Island

Verification photo

Click here to view my IMDB profile.

Update: I'm getting tired, I'll try to answer a bunch more and that's it. Thanks very much. Ralph

Final Update: Ralph is very tired, he thanks everyone for your questions. He liked doing this, maybe we can do it again soon!

Comments: 227 • Responses: 68  • Date: 

ProjectX2626 karma

What is your opinion of Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings movies? I loved both yours and his take on Tolkien's story.

RalphBakshi54 karma

Peter Jackson saw my Lord of the Rings and thought, now there's a good idea. He's right. but, I don't see why he doesn't go on kickstarter and now help fund my new film. After all, he has enough money to buy kickstarter the company.

sencinitas24 karma

Dude, you are a legend. First off, thank you for all your great movies. I remember watching "Wizards" while coming down after my first experience with LSD. It was amazing, I loved the faces in the background, the story, it was exactly what I was looking for. Anyways, your films have been known to be quite trippy, were any of them really inspired psychedelic experiences, if so which ones? And which is your favorite?

RalphBakshi51 karma

No, you could not make animated movies and be on drugs, but now that I hear you, maybe I should've pumped stuff in the air conditioner to increase box office potential.

FishyFred22 karma

Are there any animated movies that have made you shake your head and say to yourself, "Wow. That is beyond my ability"?

RalphBakshi45 karma

Yeah, mostly all of them. My pictures were very low budget, no pencil tests, no retakes, no nothing. Everything else I look at looks better. But not real.

sexyladypants21 karma


RalphBakshi21 karma

I appreciate your response.

OperaTicket16 karma

Hi Mr. Bakshi! I have a question about Madigan, the ultra-racist/homophobic cop in "Coonskin."

I read an interview you gave once, and you said how Madigan's own racism brings about his death. Back in high school, I wrote a literary analysis of "Coonskin," with an emphasis on queer theory. I made sure to incorporate that quote.

But in my paper, and to this very day, I've wondered about Madigan's sexuality. Why? His introduction scene, after he shoots the rats and heads off to a bar. If he hates the queer community so much, why does he go to that bar specifically?

When he talks to the bartender, some of his reactions seem...engaged. At a very subtle level. I have often wondered if Madigan secretly had homosexual feelings, but was unable to accept them. Clearly, he is a violent person. But combine this with his own, silent self-hate, and he begins to terrorize black Harlem residents, other gays - anything to distance himself from the truth, or to reinforce a sense of white/male/cisgender superiority. I see him as a violent, desperate, unhinged character.

Nonsense, or valid reading? I have always wondered what your intent was.

Edit: spelling

RalphBakshi22 karma

You got it. You're the first person to get it. Same shit's going on today.

shakha14 karma

Hello, Ralph. I just found out about this about 20 minutes ago and I got so excited. I wanted to thank you. When I was a child, I found a VHS copy of American Pop in the library. After watching it, I immediately fell in love with it. It is still my favourite film and I credit it as the film that began my love of the cinema.

Now, since I have the opportunity, are you planning any more features? I recently finished your feature filmography and I'm aching for more. (Although, don't get me wrong, I am looking forward to Last Days of Coney Island).

RalphBakshi9 karma

Last Days of Coney Island can become a feature, which is my intent, if we're funded on kickstarter. Then, I have a pilot, and proof that people like my kind of movies.

djtoell13 karma

Ralph, how do/did you react to Crumb's negative reaction to your film adaptation of FRITZ THE CAT?

RalphBakshi26 karma

I figured that's fine. It's my film, it's my hard work, if he didn't like it, it's still my film.

vinylrules7812 karma

Why are the heavy traffic and background cels so hard to come by? I never see them for sale!!! much respect!

RalphBakshi21 karma

Well, the producer, Steve Krantz, burnt all of them because he was embarrassed by the film.

vinylrules789 karma

wow!! so anyone who has them should consider themselves lucky!! how many do you personally own? respect!

RalphBakshi10 karma

Just a couple.

hermeown12 karma

Mr. Bakshi,

First, thank you for your fantastic contributions to the film world. I can't appreciate you and your work enough.

Second, how do you feel about the direction of the animation industry today? Is there any advice you could give for aspiring animators based on your sentiments?

RalphBakshi20 karma

The quality of work is incredible. The amount of people doing their own shorts is amazing. Now it's up to someone to break through in areas I can't even consider now, because it's your turn at bat.

NicHam11 karma

BAAAKSHI!! My man! Words can't describe how awesome it is to see you up here. Fellow animator and huge fan.. I'm filled to the brim with questions.. I've got a few.. (answer as you like..)

1) 'Heavy Traffic' chaaanged my life. I love the limited style and the story is my most favorite from you-- it truly feels like a dreamlike very 'you' of a movie. My FAVORITE part out of the whole thing is Ida's monologue about her past and family.. it just felt so raw and real, never fails to stir me. I always wondered where the pictures came from-- if they were from you or just collaged from found footage. I'd love to know..

2) How are you picking and choosing who works on Coney Island? Is the team growing as the Kickstarter grows? Checked out the current roster (specially Colleen Cox) and it's great to see her work grow and develop as this project blooms.

3) This one's about 'Hey Good Looking'-- The Bakshi art book briefly touches on the original live action footage, what happened to that? Was the footage destroyed or was it just not working out?

That's it. GOOD LUCK ON THE KICKSTARTER SIR! Much love, Nicole

RalphBakshi13 karma

  1. Wow. That sequence I hid from the producer, he never saw it until he saw the movie. it was never in the original script. The script itself I kept changing. at a certain point, the picture started telling me what to do. Things came out of my subconscious that I never remembered before. It was a total dream. Those photos, most of them, were my mother's family. You've got to keep it personal on a personal movie.
  2. Everyone that's been hired sent me demo reels. I don't look at resumes, I just look at drawings. I hired Colleen because I love the way she drew. That's all there's ever been with me. If I like your drawings, if you're not trying to copy another studio style, if you don't Bob Clampett me up the ass, if you're reaching through your own crudeness for a certain honesty, I'll hire you.
  3. The studio didn't think that people would believe it, until the same studio years later did Roger Rabbit. Then, they asked me, I can't go into it. Next question.

Nate_Pottker11 karma

Mr. Bakshi, What drew you back into animation? You've been missed!

RalphBakshi27 karma

A couple of things, the internet, the computer, which allows me to work with anyone in the world from my home, and all the fans that want me to do this. I'd like to do a couple more for them, and release it on the internet. You guys are the ones that got me back. Thanks.

Gimli_The_Dwarf11 karma

No question - I just wanted to let you know that I read about Wizards in Starlog back in '78, got to see it at Necronomicon in '83, and to this day it moves me as an incredible, unique work of art. Thank you for being part of what fertilized my imagination early on!

RalphBakshi13 karma

I love Wizards. Thank you. Ralph

IYGFAA10 karma

Favorite music?

RalphBakshi20 karma

Hard question, very hard question. I love 40's swing, with the great girl singers and great bands. I love Jerry Mulligan, Chet Baker, and other jazz giants. I love salsa, all kinds of afro-cuban jazz. I love the Four Tops, and Bo Diddley. I love so many blues singers, and I love Bach.

blubberbot9 karma

Your version of Mighty Mouse is amazing. Really great work. Elwy and the Tree Weasels was my favorite episode.

RalphBakshi15 karma

That's John K. Mighty Mouse was mainly his. I respect his crazy approach to animation, and set him free. He chased every girl I had in the studio around.

Actionfanatic19958 karma

Just wondering, Ralph. Is this new project going to be a theatrical release or straight to DVD one?!

RalphBakshi24 karma

I would like to release it, if possible, directly to my website for everyone to see. That would be, for me, enough. Being online is total freedom.

NightSurgeon7 karma

What about the internet appeals to you so much? What makes you want to release Last Days of Coney Island straight online?

RalphBakshi21 karma

Because there's no one there to tell me that I can't do that, or I can't do this. or I can't write that. Or that some monks in Tibet will get offended if I say that.

HaggisRash6 karma

1) In your experience, how has the animation industry changed since the seventies? What major differences between when you started out and recent years have you observed?

2) What was the most frustrating instance of your work being censored?

RalphBakshi11 karma

  1. The animation industry has changed because suddenly it became world popular. In the animation 60s and 70s, it was dying because the Disney thing, which was the only thing, had run out of steam and was just a merchandising vehicle. On my low budget adult movies, including Lord of the Rings, kept things going, started a new interest, and now is turned into an explosive medium due to the special effect nature of the computer, but if they're not careful, the same kind of stories they're doing is not gonna work. That's why, with a twinkle in my eye. I'd like to do a $4 million feature film "Last Days of Coney Island" that could show another story direction.
  2. I have a lot. The original Hey Good looking live action animation torn to shreds by the distributor. All live action had been thrown out. Coonskin, not released, lied about, hidden from view, for years. Lord of the Rings 1 breaking my contract that had in it that it had to be advertised as Lord of the Rings part 1. The distributor thought nobody would come, so when the story did not end, the audience thought they were cheated.

RalphBakshi8 karma

There's more, but this is enough.

commyostrich6 karma

What kind of drawing binges do you go on when you're animating? Or slow and steady?

RalphBakshi9 karma

I'm always drawing, I think drawing is everything. I loved animating, I loved all that drawing, day in and day out, at the animation table. Frank Sinatra on the record player. Different colored pencils on the sheets of paper trying to find the right pose. It was the greatest time in my life.

chernoby5 karma

You're films are outstanding because of your intuition with character development, the emotional connection you're able to sustain, and the "performances" of both your animators and voice artists. Your animation is always great because of how fearless you are with style, tone, and approach, but I would really like to see you tackle a live-action film. Do you have any interest in doing a live-action film?

RalphBakshi11 karma

No, I'm still trying to make a perfect animated film.

cynictheapache5 karma

Why did you stop teaching at SVA?!

RalphBakshi11 karma

I loved it, but really I always pour everything I have into what I'm doing. Even when I'm eating pizza. At the end of the day, I was to tired to paint and draw at home.

Spartimo4 karma

Nice to have you on reddit. Considering that you directed the first film adaptation of The Lord of the Rings, I was just wondering what your thoughts were on the modern film adaptations (LOTR Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and The Return of the King). Also, how much creative inspiration, in the cinematic sense, do you think Peter Jackson took from your version of the film as opposed to the novel?

RalphBakshi11 karma

Well there's no question that I had nothing to look at when I designed costumes, backgrounds, staging, acting, I wish I had something to look at as he had on my film. That's a way for a director to say "I like that, I hate that". And certainly, that's the history of movies. I was very terrified, I still remember, in every decision I made on something as small as what kind of knife does frodo carry. Peter Jackson had a computer for special effects, which we never did, etc., and a film to look at. I never saw his pictures, the reasons for that I won't explain now. And I'm not accusing him of anything. So why doesn't he just go to Kickstarter and pay up?

Filmitforme4 karma

I will forever love Fritz The Cat, my father showed me it when I was in high school and the craziness of it all really resonated with me.
I actually just watched Coonskin with him for the first time too, while I see the same humor and social issues there was something that threw me off with the inclusion of live action with the animation, like a raunchy 'Songs of the South.'

1) Any crazy stories to share during the time for promotion of Fritz? 2) How was working with Barry White and Scatman Crothers? 3) What was the creative drive behind Coonskin?

RalphBakshi7 karma

Working with Barry White, Scatman Crothers, and Charles Gordon was unbelieveable. What fun we had. They called me the craziest white man they ever saw. What do you think?

shutupSS5gokuisreal4 karma

What advice would you give to any aspiring animators who would like to create adult orientated animated films?

RalphBakshi9 karma

You know, the technology is here, do 4 or 5 minutes on your own to use to show people who have money. That's not a bad start.

rynukit4 karma

Greetings, Mr. Bakshi. Just a few questions.

  1. Do you consider your animated LOTR to be better than Peter Jackson's version?

  2. What started your animation career?

  3. Did you get picked on at an early age?

RalphBakshi10 karma

  1. I never saw Peter Jackson's version, but he saw mine.
  2. I wanted to be a cartoonist. I love cartoon strips. I failed geometry, I failed french, I got a job at an animation company Terry Toons after high school. Loved it.
  3. Let's clear one thing up. I did the picking on.

kcvisuald4 karma

Hello Mr. Bakshi,

I am currently a Visual Developer in the lovely city of San Francisco, and am curious about your stance on the effects of global outsourcing in the animation industry?

RalphBakshi8 karma

I have nothing against foreign animation, unless it costs american animators jobs. It hurts, look what they did to most of American manufacturing in all areas. It's disgusting.

StalinSunday4 karma

Do you believe that your work on the 60s Spider-Man show sizes up in quality to the rest?

RalphBakshi6 karma


myself1184 karma

What film was the most challenging and for what reasons was it challenging?

RalphBakshi5 karma

Heavy Traffic, because there was nothing to look at in animation to show me where I was going.

wizardvictor4 karma

What do you think of the battle between 2D and CG animation? Do you think that traditional hand-drawn animation will survive in this environment?

RalphBakshi16 karma

We're doing 2d, I would do CG, the only thing that counts is what you're saying. It doesn't matter whether its oil paints or watercolor you're working, the only thing that matters is you have something to say. Certainly, toy story 2 and cars 2 is a waste of time and art.

ricree3 karma

Have you tried Flash at all?

It's mostly known for shovelling out cheap animation, but people like Adam Phillips have done some very impressive work with the program.

As I understand it, he swears by it as a way for solo artists or small teams to produce good animation.

RalphBakshi9 karma

We use Flash, Toon Boom, Photoshop, After Effects, and paper.

errieee4 karma

Hi Ralph, thank you for the AMA! My question is about business; I'm an animation student about to graduate in six months, but I don't have many prospects. In your experiences, what was the best way to go about marketing yourself, or starting out in general?

RalphBakshi12 karma

Every generation has its own problems due to the changing times. With the extraordinary power that the major animation companies have, I would try to get a job there, learn the business, find out what their flaws are, go out on kickstarter or the internet, and do what you think they're not doing.

RalphBakshi10 karma

I spent 12 years at Terry toons learning about animation before I ventured forth.

petosky4 karma

what do you think about the job of Alexander Petrov, the soviet animation?

RalphBakshi7 karma

Hey, my background was Russian, he's gotta be great.

MattPerdue4 karma

Do you know if the original live-action/animation version of Hey Good Lookin' still exists? I remember reading you talk to Warner Bros and they were looking for it but hadn't found it at the time.

RalphBakshi6 karma

Everyone's looking for it, they're telling me, my wife Elizabeth thinks it's the best picture I ever did.

Speaking_in_Tongues4 karma


RalphBakshi15 karma

What inspired me was the total boredom that had set in with me on all the Disney, Warner Brothers, use of animation not to tell the real story of life, which was why cartooning started in the first place. Goya, the great Spanish painter, with his great drawings and etchings in cartoons, taught me so much. So did jazz musicians, whose improvisations and love of the art form they were doing, taught me that lying to kids to sell toys is ridiculous. I didn't want to spend my life being an idiot.

fa534 karma

When you write a character, do you sometimes give that character the voice of a famous actor?

RalphBakshi11 karma

No, I like characters not to be identified with actors who are famous because you start thinking of the actor and not the drawn character you're doing. That doesn't mean that I won't use a famous actor now, but certainly only for a role. All the rest of the people are real.

JudgeFudge7273 karma

Hey Ralph, love your stuff. I remember seeing Fritz the Cat when I was a teen, got me into my Robert Crumb phase.

As a student studying animation, any advice for getting into a career in the field?

RalphBakshi9 karma

Keep drawing, get a reel together, apply for a job. Marry the director's daughter, have your father buy the company.

tutoredzeus3 karma

Hi, I'm a huge fan of your work. Heavy Traffic is a personal favorite. I'd like to know, what do you think of the prevalence of CGI animation in movies and on TV? Do you dislike it, or see it as inevitable progress? Did you ever even think you'd live to see the day when computers would be capable of such a thing?

RalphBakshi6 karma

There was no way to anticipate the computer. In my studio, my entire Bakshi productions is in a box on my desk called a computer. It boggles my mind. I've said this before, it's not style, it's not technique, it's trying to say something you really believe in than saying stuff that is strictly trying to entertain people for the sake of giant box offices. That's what I'm opposed to, for animators. That's why Disney died in the 70s.

dayofthedead2043 karma

Hi Mr Baskshi!

Were you still close with Frank Frazetta before his death? What was he like to work with?

RalphBakshi8 karma

Frank got sick on Fire and Ice, it was very difficult trying to support him. No one knew what was wrong. He was my friend, he was a genius, he was a great guy. I miss him dearly. I don't have anyone to beat at stickball anymore. That Frank says I never beat him once. Haha last tag.

banzai263 karma

What do you feel is the hardest part of your career? What has surprised you the most about the film industry?

RalphBakshi6 karma

The hardest part of my career was trying to explain to my family why I worked so hard and was so nervous.

d0hhhboy3 karma

Do you find that art schools are worth the time and money when it comes to finding jobs in the animation field?

RalphBakshi5 karma

I haven't been to school in 57 years. The animation industry today seems to have more jobs than general motors. I don't think schools can help. Get jobs. A good animation reel can.

MarkHaasBakery3 karma

So, what ~is~ your favorite pizza?

RalphBakshi8 karma

New York thin crust soft anchovies, pepperoni, the kind that bends in your hand and the cheese starts to slip off. After that, it's a day and a half old pizza, we're in the studio at 2 in the morning and afraid to go out and buy something. It tastes great. I had pizzas delivered all day in all my studios, it's the only thing an animator needs.

NobuyoshiAraki3 karma

Regrettably, I haven't seen everything you've made, but what I've seen has been amazing.

Do you feel that you and John Kricfalusi had influences on each other's work? How so?

Do you have plans beyond Last Days of Coney Island?

RalphBakshi4 karma

John K was influenced by Bob Clampett. I have a different style totally.

gigaflar33 karma

Thank you for animating my childhood. I must have watched LOTR a hundred times growing up, and I plan to continue the tradition with my own. Is there any other licenced product or story you'd like to take a swing at? Do you prefer your own stories? Also, Glenn Miller is fantastic :)

RalphBakshi12 karma

When the hell were you ever in the Shire?

Trapt453 karma

What did you think of Kanye West's music video for heartless? Apparently it was inspired by American Pop and it's pretty obvious.

RalphBakshi8 karma

I loved it, he said it was inspired, now I wish that somebody could get a hold of him and inspire him to Kickstarter.

greyrevell3 karma

Mr. Bakshi, if I hadn't seen your work in LOTR, Wizards and American Pop when I was growing up I have no doubt my life would have been very different and no where near as vibrant and cool..thank you. I'm going on Kickstarter right now to support your newest venture. 2 quick questions:

a) I heard that at the end of American Pop you originally had a different song planned for the climactic studio scene, when the kid finally strong arms his way to a breakthrough..the song used was "Night Moves" and I know from previous interviews that you regretted that..Do you remember the song that was previously intended? Was it something from the New York punk scene a la "Blank Generation" by Richard Hell, etc ?

b) I've heard you mention in the past how important music figured into your work..Do you still keep an ear out for inspiring music, and how could someone get music to you if they wanted to collaborate with you one day?

Thanks've inspired and motivated me in ways you'll never know..:)

RalphBakshi3 karma

a. Maybe, whatever happened at the last moment we could not get the rights, and I was mixing the film. I felt Night Moves was a nice song, but it wasn't right for Pete's future. b. First of all, I have songs I love throughout my life. These songs are cut into my films as I make my movies. They strengthen my belief in the scene. Andrew Belling, who did the Wizards score brand new, was amazing. If your music makes me feel a certain way, then there's no problem selling me music. Music is everything, does anyone ever stop listening?

CLXcool3 karma

Hey Ralph. Any chance we will see an official DVD/Blu-ray release of the animated show Spicy City? I'd love to own a DVD of it that isn't bootlegged.

RalphBakshi4 karma

It's all out of my control.

grapthar4 karma

I smell another kickstarter to secure the distribution rights to some of your more obscure things!

RalphBakshi9 karma

You smell right, except, unless we get help, we're not gonna make this one.

ScoochMcChairin19913 karma

Hey Ralph, what are some works of animation produced, let's say, within the past 10 years that have really impressed you? Who do you think is producing the best stuff today, mainstream, underground, or otherwise?

RalphBakshi5 karma

I see great animation all the time. I love a lot of the Japanese animation, French animation has gotten very good, the Triplets of Belleville, and this film called Junkyard that was absolutely brilliant. Pixar does high quality work.

alternateaccount1123 karma

What was it like working with John Kricfalusi? I've heard he's a real asshole, but considering you were something of a mentor to him, you might have seen his better element.

I loved Fritz, Wizards, Mighty Mouse, and all the rest by the way.

RalphBakshi18 karma

Don't ask.

pontius_pirate3 karma

Mr Bakshi....

Again...thank you for all your amazing work. I've been a fan for years.

I know you've gotten questions on LOTR on here and I am not going to ask about your opinion on the Jackson version. To me, each vision is different and each is perfectly cromulent in it's own way. I loved them both. Sadly I also understand you had gotten shafted by the studio over Part II and for that I'm deeply sorry.

I've always far along were you able to get on LOTR part II .... did you have a script? Any raw live action footage? Is there any chance you might be interested doing a commentary track for a future re-release?

RalphBakshi5 karma

I have nothing against Peter Jackson or his movies, which i never saw. No, my interest is not in Tolkien anymore. Part 2 and 3 were done by Peter Jackson. There's no reason for another version.

darkprof2 karma

Is there any advice to people that want to do what your doing now? I'm sure there are plenty of people like me that are dying to know!

RalphBakshi6 karma

It's very hard for me to give advice, really, I don't really know how I did what I did. It's a mystery to me how lucky I got. It's hard to give advice in a different time and place. My place was 35, 40 years ago. That's a long time ago. Before computers, internet, colored television, before rock and roll.

everything-is2 karma

  1. I know your work with Wizards and The Streets reflects on the significance of nature. Can you talk a little bit about the importance of nature in your work?

  2. Do you think that symbols can be very powerful in animation, and what function can they serve?

  3. Do you have some resources you would recommend like books, artists, and music?



RalphBakshi4 karma

  1. What's important are the textures, the colors, the stuff we walk around in, we can't lose sight of it by chasing money or fame. It will support and feed us.
  2. Symbols, if they're hidden, but are there, can be very effective. All my films have them.
  3. Wow. Books, find writers you love, figure out why. Learn from them. Artists, search the world for art you love, search the world museums for paintings, try to be understanding of what makes each painter different, even if you don't like them. Give credit to every artist you love, you're not in competition with them. You're all in the same boat. Music, I have always, for some reason, found love in music from Jewish frelaughs, to swing, to afro-cuban, to salsa, to jazz, to rock, to middle east. There can be found greatness in all of it. It gets confusing, but I don't jump from one to the other, I usually stay with one kind for a couple of years before I move on.

theRealBoltMitch2 karma

Hey Ralph! I'll be greedy and ask three: 1) Your character designs for Coney Island are akin to 1930s designs, but with great angles and volume. What's your influence in these designs? 2) Can you comment a bit on your Construction paintings? How are they made and what themes influence them? They have a delicious texture! 3) How can one eager animator apply to work on Coney Island? I've been biting my nails over this project for years! Thanks!

RalphBakshi7 karma

I deliver rough character designs to my animators. They redraw, restructure, or not, every drawing is part of my past in cartooning which is old school that I love so much, because it's wonderfully drawn as a cartoon. My construction paintings have to do with my life in Brooklyn, the environment, how I felt about it.
When we get the money, we'll add jobs. You can contact us on Kickstarter.

cleaveland_g2 karma

If you could remake The Lord of the Rings in an animated format today, would you design the characters in a way that represents the actors from the Peter Jackson movies? Or your personal interpretation (like the first time)?

RalphBakshi6 karma

I would always use my personal interpretations.

Archarzel2 karma

Real Quick:

1) Someone mentioned spicy city here, and that was a brilliant series that was painfully short lived. With your current animation projects being shorts, have you considered making an animated tv/web series?

2) What are the nuts and bolts of your system now? Animation software? tablets or scanning in hand drawings and processing?

RalphBakshi4 karma

We have artists that hand draw and scan, and we have artists that work directly on the tablet. I'm not opposed to mixing styles in a movie. If it fits the emotional content of the scene. This 'one style for the whole movie' is not anything that I agree with. All my films are collages.

everything-is2 karma

  • I got the Art of RGK book - did you ever hear about Roy G. Krenkel's story about a cosmic chop bone that fell out of nowhere on his dinner table?

  • Did you ever have any magical experiences or bizarre encounters while animating?

RalphBakshi3 karma

Roy G Krenkel and I were friends. I met him through Grey Morrow. Roy was the funniest, most wonderful, scientific, artistic artist I've ever known. I heard about the bone thing, I have a million other stories to tell you about Roy that I won't tell you here. He was going to work as a background artist on Fire and Ice but got sick. I miss him a lot.

StewarttheSir2 karma

whats your biggest inspiration?

RalphBakshi3 karma

Music is everything.

edgepaiva2 karma

Hey Ralph! Thanks for this moment! first of all, i'd like to congratulate you for your beautiful work! i'd like to ask you about how do you feel about rotoscoping technique. I mean, you are one of the animators that really had the chance to manipulate it in a beautifull way, and use the uncanny feel of it to help in the experience and this control is very difficult to achieve. i'd like to know a little more about you experience with it, and how do you deal with the movement, the kinesthetic experience that the animator must have to manipulate the rotoscope frames. Do you think rotoscope artists should be real animators, i mean, like they have to know all the basic principles of animation, to do a better work in rotoscope? and how about the actors for the rotoscoping? should they know about these principles as well, to do a better acting for the final media? many thanks!

RalphBakshi5 karma

In brief, good question. The more the actor knows about animation, the more he can hit poses animators like. To animate over photographs is distasteful, and very unpleasant. But if it's realism, you need to tell your story, then photos were the only way in my day. And every animator approached it differently. Some were successful and loosened up the photos, some just traced them, that was terrible. today we have motion control, which is rotoscope, but it's called motion control. The computer now does all the animating. Sometimes the machine is good, sometimes the machine is bad. Animators have turned into machines. I like the kind I can fire.

RalphBakshi3 karma

Motion control is easier.

grapthar2 karma

Hello Mr. Bakshi! first of all, thanks for taking the time to come by and answer some of our questions, its always a pleasure to hear what one of your heroes has to say.

I had the pleasure of listening to you speak at the convention in Dallas last year, and was lucky enough to ask your briefly about your live action work and specifically "This Ain't Bebop". My question is this: Whats a guy got to do to watch this thing!? Do you guys ever plan to screen it again in Silver City? Any chance it will ever get a home video release, even as a bonus feature on a future blu-ray (or a late added kickstarter incentive!), or are the licensing issues with PBS not worth the trouble. From what I've read, and the few frames I've seen, it seems like an incredibly personal work and something I would do nearly anything in my power to see(as a fan of the Beat Generation and Ralph Bakshi its like a dream). Thanks again for stopping by and doing an AMA, and keep up the great work!

Edit: Just wanted to say, I love The Cool and the Crazy. Took me forever to track down a copy!

Edit2: Also, you may want to stop by There is a large amount of amateur animators putting up their work. You called for people to send you their reels, maybe you'll find something you like here.

RalphBakshi3 karma

My son Eddie is transfering it to a dvd and probably put it up for a few bucks to cover costs for you guys to buy.

seanomenon2 karma

Ralph, I love your films. You are one of the very few consistently thought-provoking animators I know of. I can't wait to see the new one.

Coonskin, a.k.a. Street Fight, was available on video in the 1990s. It was difficult to find, but I did rent it on VHS, and saw it once. It was one of the most challenging and thought-provoking films about race in America that I have ever seen. Can you tell us what difficulties you had releasing and distributing the film?

Is there any plan to re-release the film on DVD or digital distribution? I'd love to see it again and can't seem to find it anywhere. EDIT: Coonskin is available on DVD, my mistake! Maybe I was always searching for "Street Fight", the title I always saw on the VHS. I might have to order myself a copy.

RalphBakshi3 karma

Coonskin never really got released. I can't go into it.

appleanimator2 karma

Only one quickie, RB... Who's the most "emotionally honest" animator you've worked with?

RalphBakshi3 karma

Well, Irv Spence, Manny Perez, Jim Tyre, Bob Carlson, Amby Palowado, Johnny Gent, Nick Tafierre, Brenda Banks, they were all great, but Irv Spence was the greatest.

thatartistguy2 karma

Hi Mr. Bakshi, I was curious if you had finished staffing the last days of Coney Island or if you will be hiring once the kickstarter has finished?

RalphBakshi3 karma

We will be hiring, I've got a couple of animators and designers working, one in Brooklyn, one in Manhattan, one in Las Cruces, one in Hollywood. If we get the money I'll be looking for more.

pharmlet2 karma

Mr. Bakshi, do you have any memories of working with Korean animator Tayk Kim, who apparently worked with you in the mid-1970s, now runs his own Asian-based animation production company called LUKFilm and regards you affectionately as a mentor?

RalphBakshi3 karma

Oh sure, he was a good guy, very talented, and I'm glad he's doing well.

[deleted]1 karma


RalphBakshi2 karma


Moezephead370 karma

Hello Ralph Bakshi, my name is Moe and I'm from Cleveland, Ohio and I just frickin' love your ideas and features. I really identify with your concepts of animated realism and fantasy storytelling, and I was curious what you'd think about maybe accepting some interesting story and character ideas in the form of real life events of my own here in the streets of Cleveland, OH. I actually live in an area near Harvey Pekar and have met and chatted with him and been to his home before he passed away. I come from a large orthodox, baal-teshuva parents, Jewish background and am a musician with my younger brother (who is dating a really cool former Catholic girl from a rural county near Cleveland who wants to convert, whom we met while playing music at the bars) in the city, an older brother who is an incredible artist/cartoonist who is an ardent atheist (something we have great disagreement upon), have had a long relationship with an older Arab woman who was a real character, among others, gotten into trouble in my community, ran an open mic downtown, went to community college here, work as a server in a Turkish restaurant, have a slew of wide ranging different friends (Cleveland is a crazy melting pot!), etc. etc. etc. I greatly dig your movies and feel sometimes as if i am living one of them.. wish i could delve deeper, but what do you think?

RalphBakshi1 karma

I think you're perfect to work with, you can message us on Kickstarter, but right now, you know, we're trying to start up. I don't know how it's gonna end up.