Ralph sent over some new super pencil and brush pen drawings to share, check out this latest stash of textured clusters of characters cranked out in the dark dawn of 2017. See more of what Ralph is up to on Ralph Bakshi Productions website and Facebook page.
Today is Ralph Bakshi‘s 77th birthday and Bakshi Productions has released the new film, Last Days of Coney Island via Vimeo’s video on demand rental service. The film is over twenty minutes long and animated primarily by Ralph himself! Wild drawings, beautiful collage and paint backgrounds and some familiar characters that have haunted previous Bakshi films are all here, with an effective score by Mark Taylor. Ralph’s dark vision of 1960s New York City will be a familiar location to fans of his previous films, and here it is given a digital upgrade with 2D collage art layers of buildings set into a subtle 3D space to create the illusion of depth as the camera pans (perhaps in a stylistic nod to early New York animation innovators, the Fleischer Brothers who sometime used real 3D sets as background pans for their cartoons). In the film, cartoon bullets obliterating skulls and outrageous roomfuls of strewn guts mirror the real-world violence all around us. A love story gone wrong intermingled with the conflicting desires of a cast of misfits and crooks is at the heart of the picture. There are laughs in the film too. An funny extended emotional breakdown and uncontrollable fart scene revels in basic ass-based joy (was it pure visual metaphor for Max losing his shit, or does Max have a medical problem? This deserves a second viewing.) The film also treats one to repeated clips of John F. Kennedy’s head exploding as he is assassinated that primes you for the final hook of the film. Rent the short to be shocked into remembering that there still is no one else working with animated cartoons quite like Ralph Bakshi, and that Last Days is his call to animators everywhere to continue to step up and produce personal, challenging artwork: