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Unfiltered: The Complete Ralph Bakshi (The Force Behind Fritz the Cat, Mighty Mouse, Cool World, and The Lord of the Rings) Hardcover – April 1, 2008

14 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"...a loving behind-the-scenes tribute to a true American iconoclast." ~Playboy

"The artwork and honor are all contained within, chronicling the acclaimed career of this key animation pioneer that we have to thank for much of popular culture's influence." ~Juxtapoz

"The book, which features hundreds of rough sketches, doodles, and animation cells, is tremendously entertaining, if a little worshipful." ~Planet Magazine

"Stuffed with sketches, paintings and stills from the completed films, the book emerges an eye-candy tribute to an important and idiosyncratic creator." ~Sci Fi Magazine

"...a behind-the-scenes look at the legend from his childhood spent drawing the characters of Brownsville, Brooklyn to his bitter retirement after losing creative control of the...feature Cool World." ~Tokion

About the Author

Jon M. Gibson is a screenwriter, journalist, curator, and author. Chris McDonnell is an artist, designer, and publisher of Meathaus.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 280 pages
  • Publisher: Universe; 1st edition (April 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0789316846
  • ISBN-13: 978-0789316844
  • Product Dimensions: 9.7 x 1.1 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #278,814 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Stephen W. Worth on April 6, 2008
Format: Hardcover
If all you know about Bakshi is his rotoscope pictures, you're in for a surprise. Ralph is one of the most innovative and wildly creative geniuses of recent times. His influence on animation is immense. On the back cover, Frank Frazetta is quoted as saying, 'Ralph Bakshi is one of the finest artists I've ever met.' He isn't exaggerating a bit.

If you are an artist working in animation, whether you know it or not, Ralph Bakshi is the reason you're here. Don't believe me? Throw your mind back to 1970. Look at what the animation business had turned into... Disney was cranking out Robin Hood, a film without a single new idea. On TV, Filmation was lowering the bar so Hanna Barbera could play 'quality limbo' with them. Animation was dying, animators were choosing retirement over flogging the dead carcass of the art form they loved, and it looked like it the situation would never get any better.

Enter Bakshi. With his first three films, he turned animation upside down. He showed that it wasn't just a medium for big bears with Phil Harris's voice and crappy sitcom characters in outer space. His films shocked and terrified people... they were crass and sloppy. They were made on a shoestring, and sometimes it showed. But they had something honest to say, and that got noticed. Ralph showed that animation- the most collaborative art form ever- could be an intensely personal medium.

Ralph's first three films- Fritz the Cat, Heavy Traffic, and Coonskin- came totally out of the blue. They are the animation equivalent of Louis Armstrong's Hot Fives. Great old time animators like Irv Spence, Ambi Paliwoda and Virgil Ross were offered the opportunity to cut loose and make films that weren't just cats chasing mice and dogs chasing cats.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Senior Golfer on April 6, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This book took you behind the scenes to Bakshi's creative & imaginative mind while featuring some great, colorful pictures of his "ahead-of-the-curve" animation. I personally liked how each of his feature films had a section of their own summarizing Bakshi's story-line and how his direction to the artists resulted in some excellent art. I loved the last section of the book showing how Bakshi changed from animator to serious painter. Art lovers and film lovers will enjoy viewing throughout this book.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Douglas Anderson on April 24, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Unfiltered: The Complete Ralph Bakshi is one of the best animator/animation books I have read in the last 10 yrs. It is not only full of information on Ralph Bakshi, but also with tons and tons of his artwork. This ranges from cells to ink drawings to roughs and at the end they have put a bunch of his paintings. This book has really inspired me and is an easy read.
Before reading this book I had only seen Fritz the Cat and some of the Mighty Mouse series. I knew I liked Ralph Bakshi, but after this book I have such a stronger love of his work, and how he changed the Animation industry. His films were real, and based on his experience growing up in New York. They might be vulgar and push the line of decency, but his works reflect who he is and how he grew up. They were vulgar for a reason, not just to be vulgar for vulgar's sake. The movies reflect the man.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Eric Noble on July 10, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This book is a loving testimonial to a fascinating and undervalued artist. Ralph Bakshi is a pioneer in the artform of animation, right up there with Walt Disney, Tex Avery, Chuck Jones, and the Fleischer Brothers. However, while many books have been written upon these cartoon masters, Bakshi has always been a footnote in animation books. Now, it is his time to shine in the literary world.

The book reads as a biography strewn with various artistic pieces from his work and his films, as well as photos taken throughout his life.

The strong points of the book are many. The artwork contained within is absolutely stunning. Everything from concept art to storyboards to film stills are included. Beautifully crafted work by top rate artists including Frank Frazetta, Gray Morrow, and Mike Ploog (well-renowned comic-book/fantasy artists). My favorite pieces were Louise Zingarelli's portraits for "American Pop", as well as David Jonas's drawings of the main characters for "Hey Good Lookin". At the end of the book is filled to the brim with his paintings, which is highly influenced by Chaim Soutine, the Ashcan School, and early 20th century cartoonists.

Another plus are the stories of Bakshi's life and experiences. It tells of his life in Brownsville, his time at Terrytoons, his experiences working on his films, to his latest escapades in the world of fine art. The best story in here is one told about Ralph's experiences with J.D. Salinger. I won't spoil it for you.

However, this book does have weak points. While I love Bakshi, the book turns him into some kind of God. His films are good, but they do have story problems. The authors also tend to give Disney a lot of crap, many times unwarranted.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Gil Velez on April 8, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Very pleased to report that my copy of Bakshi's new book "Unfiltered" arrived yesterday via The pre-order price was $25 which was a amazing for a $40 list hardcover book from Amazon.

The book is insane! Everything you could ask for about his life, history, artistic phases from early cartooning straight through Harlem Shuffle and Spicy City. So pleased to have my Bakshi fix in one "huge" book!

Mostly enjoyed understanding his life and the doodles and art that is sprinkled throughout. Also enjoyed the dedicated sections tied to his movies. Heavy Traffic and American Pop are my favs here.

If you don't have it...get it. What a blessing...
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