Image from Ralph Bakshi's 'Heavy Metal'(Courtesy)

What do you know about Ralph Bakshi? More than you’d ever admit aloud if you’re seen his work. The animator’s X-rated work has been highly influential with homages to his style appearing in shows like South Park. Today on Tablet, Alexander Aciman reports.

Although Bakshi’s unique sense of narrative structure seems to be fraught with a distinct lack of awareness of narrative structure, the animator, who started working in a cartoon studio cleaning gels, was clearly onto something. His funding was pulled several times, he was fired from his own project, and his animators were reluctant—even afraid—to be so unrestricted in showing so much nudity. But he went forward. With Heavy Traffic and Fritz the Cat, despite having directed several benign and even endearing films and shows for adults and children alike, Bakshi’s great accomplishment seems to have been the proliferation of—and as a result, the partial desensitization to—obscenity.

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