Ralph Bakshi’s follow-up to Fritz the Cat is a mixture of live action and animation. It is a downbeat look at the urban life of a young New Yorker, depressed by the sights and sounds around him, who finds refuge at a drawing board. Along with Fritz ,Coonskin and American Pop , this film stands as a testament to Bakshi’s determined and most welcome effort to create personal animated features aimed at an intelligent, adult audience.
Hal Erickson wrote:
Heavy Traffic represents a follow-up to animator Ralph Bakshi’s first feature film, Fritz the Cat (1972). The central character is Michael, the ingenuous son of an Italian father and Jewish mother. An aspiring cartoonist, Michael leaves home in a huff and outrages his family by conducting an affair with an African-American woman. Heavy Traffic was originally intended to be a cartoon adaptation of Hubert Selby’s notorious novel Last Exit to Brooklyn, but negotiations fell through, and Bakshi was obliged to cook up a similar but not identical “mean streets” plotline. (Last Exit to Brooklyn was made as a live-action film in 1989.)
black humor, powerful grotesquerie and peculiar raw beauty. Episodes of violence and sexuality are both explicit and parodies of flesh-and-blood porn […] a celebration of urban decay.
Language(s):English, Italian, Yiddish