April 12, 1972: Fritz the Cat

“We’re not X rated for nothin’, baby!”

Fritz_The_Cat-1972Fritz the Cat is a 1972 American adult animated comedy film written and directed by Ralph Bakshi. It was Bakshi’s feature film debut and is loosely based on the Fritz the Cat comic strips by Robert Crumb. It was the first animated feature film to receive an X rating in the United States.

The film stars Fritz (voiced by Skip Hinnant), an anthropomorphic cat in mid-1960s New York City who explores the ideals of hedonism and sociopolitical consciousness. The film is a satire focusing on American college life of the era, race relations, the free love movement, and left- and right-wing politics.

Cinema-US-04-12-1972

The film had a troubled production history and controversial release. Crumb had disagreements with the filmmakers over the film’s political content. Fritz the Cat was controversial for its rating and content, which many viewers at the time found to be offensive. It was produced on a budget of $850,000 and grossed over $90 million worldwide. Its success led to a slew of other X-rated animated films and a sequel, The Nine Lives of Fritz the Cat (1974), made without Crumb’s or Bakshi’s involvement. [Wikipedia]

See the trailer on the Movieclips Trailer Vault YouTube Channel (NSFW).

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