Fritz the Cat (1972)
It's hard to exaggerate the impact Fritz the Cat has had on today's cartoons. At the time it was made the cartoon tradition was declining. It was the transition between the sixties and seventies, when the US was at a crossroads with itself. Disney made harmless chartbuster family movies. Hanna-Barbera had lost it's charm and ruled the TV scene generating mediocre productions at a steady stream. The Academy winners in animation are completely forgotten today.
If you haven't any relationship with the late sixties and early seventies, don't bother about this movie. You probably don't get it.
Fritz the Cat did for animation what Lenny Bruce did for stand-up comedy. It is the antithesis of any animated film produced by Walt Disney. It was launched at the end of the hippie era and the height of the sexual revolution. Movies at that time were made either for the older generation or for families. This was the first for the college kids too young to be hippies, who just wanted to get out and rebel.
Fritz the Cat is a comic strip created by Robert Crumb. Basically it's a road movie and a clever satire on the pretentiousness of the 60s revolutionaries, drug romanticists and a smart comment on racism. Fritz's trippy surroundings and his pseudo-intellectual thoughts were part of the times. Yes, some feels juvenile, but almost all of the film's dialogue, except for a few of the main characters, was recorded entirely on the streets of New York, which make the dialogue is very spontaneous. Fewer films truly capture the raw edge of New York in the 70’s.
A landmark film for good or bad. South Park, Beevis and Butthead, and Family Guy – all have their heritage from Fritz the Cat.
This film is well worth the time.
My fav scene: