[[caption-width-right:350:Bakshi, pictured here with [[WesternAnimation/TheRenAndStimpyShow two unidentified fans]].]]

->''"Ralph Bakshi is a force of nature. He saved the TV animation industry -- the creative part of it -- by giving back the art to the artists."''
-->-- '''Creator/JohnKricfalusi''', creator of ''[[WesternAnimation/TheRenAndStimpyShow Ren And Stimpy]]''

Ralph Bakshi (pronounced Back-Shee, ''not'' Bash-key) was born in Haifa (then part of the British mandate of Palestine) on October 29, 1938. When he was one year old, he traveled with his family to America and settled in Brownsville, New York, the seedy lower-income community that became the inspiration for the [[DarkerAndEdgier dark and gritty]] urban setting of many of his cartoons. UsefulNotes/WorldWarII was about to break out; in fact, when traveling past the Mediterranean, the ship on which the Bakshis were sailing was boarded by Nazi troopers, but the ship's American affiliations prevented the incident from becoming hostile.

Bakshi became interested in cartooning when he encountered a book titled ''The Complete Guide to Cartooning'' by Gene Byrnes in the Brownsville public library (which he promptly stole), circa 1952. Despite being a poor student and disliked by his teachers, who considered him a talentless punk, Ralph was one of only 10 students of art who passed a drawing exam to enter Manhattan's School of Industrial Arts.

He got his start working for famed [[UsefulNotes/TheGoldenAgeOfAnimation golden-age]] American cartoonist [[Creator/{{Terrytoons}} Paul Terry]], a man who regarded cartoons as all business and no art, while mentoring under animators like Creator/JimTyer and Connie Rasinski. Bakshi's inventiveness, disregard for the rules, and all-around moxie eventually earned him a certain degree of prestige. He created the obscure [[NewspaperComics comic strips]] ''Bonefoot & Fudge'' and ''Junktown'', and launched some larger-scale animation projects like his animated film ''{{WesternAnimation/Wizards}}'' and ''WesternAnimation/TheMightyHeroes'', which he pitched on the spot to Creator/{{CBS}} execs, making up the show as he went along.

Nowadays, Ralph Bakshi may be best remembered for his work on a film adaptation of Creator/RobertCrumb's risqué underground comic strip ''ComicBook/FritzTheCat'', which became [[WesternAnimation/FritzTheCat the first American cartoon to be rated X by the MPAA]], much to Bakshi's chagrin. He worked for the [[TheEighties 1980s]] revival of the classic "Franchise/{{Superman}} [[JustForFun/XMeetsY meets]] MickeyMouse" cartoon, ''WesternAnimation/MightyMouse'', which was later canned for [[GettingCrapPastTheRadar getting too much crap past the radar]] (one of which was a scene of alleged cocaine use that freaked out the MoralGuardians). Despite the content and censor interference, the show was extremely influential on pretty much every animated series that followed it over the next decade, specifically ''WesternAnimation/TheRenAndStimpyShow''.

Bakshi's filmography certainly does not stop there; he is also the creative mind behind such underground cartoon milestones as the animated version of ''WesternAnimation/TheLordOfTheRings'', the CultClassic ''WesternAnimation/FireAndIce'', ''Heavy Traffic'' (a gritty, [[BlackComedy darkly humorous]] modern-day fable about urban violence), ''WesternAnimation/{{Coonskin}}'' (his highly controversial re-imagining of the tales of Uncle Remus, considered racist by many due largely to its "blackface" character designs, although the film is supportive of the black community and approved by the NAACP) and ''Film/CoolWorld'', a film he envisioned as the first animated horror film, but was [[ExecutiveMeddling radically changed by Paramount Pictures without Bakshi's consent]] and wound up as a sub-par imitation of ''Film/WhoFramedRogerRabbit''.

Also worth noting is that Bakshi also produced and directed ''WesternAnimation/RocketRobinHood'' and the second and third seasons of the 1960s ''[[WesternAnimation/SpiderMan1967 Spider-Man]]'' cartoon. The latter varied in quality under Bakshi's tenure, although a lot of this was due to ExecutiveMeddling. The suits continually cut both Bakshi's budget and his lead times, forcing him to continually reuse stock footage in the same way that Creator/{{Filmation}} later would. By the end, Bakshi was reduced to literally stitching together new episodes ''entirely'' out of stock footage-including lifting footage from ''Rocket Robin Hood''.

The book ''Unfiltered: The Complete Ralph Bakshi'' provides much information on the life, influences and work. His next work, ''WesternAnimation/TheLastDaysOfConeyIsland'', lingered in DevelopmentHell for years, until he [[http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ralphbakshi/last-days-of-coney-island-0?ref=recently_launched started a Kickstarter campaign]] to fund it, and, as of March 1, 2013, successfully made its goal. It was released on Website/{{Vimeo}} in late 2015 and Website/YouTube in 2016.

As of October 7, 2016, he has announced another animated project, three one-minute shorts called "Short Thoughts", two of which are follow-ups to his previous films ''Wizards'' and ''Coonskin'', with the third one being a surprise.

* ''WesternAnimation/FritzTheCat'' (1972)
* ''WesternAnimation/HeavyTraffic'' (1973)
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Coonskin}}'' (1975)
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Wizards}}'' (1977)
* ''WesternAnimation/TheLordOfTheRings'' (1978)
* ''WesternAnimation/AmericanPop'' (1981)
* ''WesternAnimation/HeyGoodLookin'' (1982)
* ''WesternAnimation/FireAndIce'' (1983)
* ''Film/CoolWorld'' (1992)
* ''Film/CoolAndTheCrazy'' (1994): To date, his only fully live-action film.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheLastDaysOfConeyIsland'' (2015): Was in DevelopmentHell for years, but Bakshi has now crowdfunded it via a successful [[http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ralphbakshi/last-days-of-coney-island-0?ref=recently_launched Kickstarter campaign.]] It was released on Vimeo on Demand on October 29, 2015, just in time for Bakshi's 77th birthday. It was released onto Youtube for free by Ralph almost a year later.
* ''Short Thoughts'' (TBA): His latest project, which are three animated shorts, two of which are follow ups to ''Wizards'' and ''Coonskin'' respectively, with the third one being a surprise.

!!Television animation

* ''[[Creator/DrSeuss The Butter Battle Book]]'' TV special (1989)
* ''Hound Town'' (1989)
* ''WesternAnimation/TheMightyHeroes'' (1966)
* ''WesternAnimation/MightyMouse'': The New Adventures (1987-1988)
* ''WesternAnimation/ChristmasInTattertown'' (1989, ChristmasSpecial produced for {{Creator/Nickelodeon}} loosely based on "Junktown")
* ''WesternAnimation/SpicyCity'' (1997)
* ''WesternAnimation/WhatACartoonShow'' shorts: "Babe He Calls Me" and "Malcom and Melvin" (1997)
!!Some recurring characteristics of Ralph Bakshi's work:
* AdamWesting: He voiced an [[InkSuitActor animated version of himself]] in the ''WesternAnimation/RenAndStimpyAdultPartyCartoon'' episode "Fire Dogs II". It was probably a favor for John, since Ralph was his mentor and John is Ralph's best friend.
* AllJewsAreAshkenazi: Averted; he's a Krymchak, one of the rarest Jewish groups, and was born in Haifa which was then part of Mandatory Palestine.
* BlackAndGreyMorality / GreyAndGrayMorality
* DarkerAndEdgier: His films in contrast to other animated films made at the time. Many of them have explicit adult content and tone to them, and they do ''not'' hold back when it comes to their political messages. Even his lighter works like ''Wizards'' tend to have rather dark elements to them.
* DeathByCameo: He himself makes a cameo in each of his films where he gets killed with the exceptions of ''WesternAnimation/TheLordOfTheRings'', ''WesternAnimation/FireAndIce'', ''WesternAnimation/AmericanPop'', and ''Film/CoolWorld''.
* DerangedAnimation: In most everything he's touched, save for ''WesternAnimation/TheLordOfTheRings'', ''WesternAnimation/AmericanPop'', and ''WesternAnimation/FireAndIce'', which were realistic, rotoscoped animation. [[note]]But that's not saying they're anywhere near normal either.[[/note]]
* DisneySchoolOfActingAndMime: Ralph dislikes Disney acting, feeling that its a stale, cliché and overproduced form of cartoon acting, and that animators [[http://animationresources.org/?p=621 should try and experiment with new types of acting:]]
-->"When I hear 2D animators today talking about acting in hand-drawn cartoons, I ask, what kind of acting? Are you talking about the old fashioned acting that animators have always done? You know… the hand on the hip, finger-pointing, broad action, lots of [[TheTwelvePrinciplesOfAnimation overlapping action]], screeching to a halt- all that turn-of-the-century old fashioned mime stuff. Is that what you’re talking about? Well, forget about it. If you’re gonna compete with computer animation, you better go all out and do something that’s totally different. Call it “new acting”. Blow the computer out of the water."
* FurryDenial: Bakshi's reasoning for why the anthropomorphic characters in his films never act like animals is that it would ruin what he was trying to create, which was a more realistic and mature form of animation.
* GeorgeJetsonJobSecurity: Bakshi is known within the animation industry for this, especially on the ''WesternAnimation/MightyMouse: The New Adventures'' show. Creator/JohnKricfalusi (who's also been fired several times) in particular has stated that he lost count on how many times Ralph fired him from the show.
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: Some people who worked with Ralph would say he is a mad force of nature. However, Ralph also has shown to be a lovable teddy bear who really loves everybody he works with.
* LighterAndSofter: ''Wizards'' is a rather dark film, but its a much lighter film than his first three animated features (it was also the first of Bakshi's films to be rated PG rather than R or X). Obviously, his [[Creator/DrSeuss Butter Battle Book]] TV special and two ''WesternAnimation/WhatACartoonShow'' shorts weren't as adult as most of his theatrical films.
* MoralDissonance: ''WesternAnimation/{{Wizards}}'' has WhatMeasureIsANonCute enforced by [[DesignatedHero Designated Heroes]] who think ScienceIsBad and yet aren't afraid to [[spoiler:[[HypocriticalHumor shoot the villain]].]] Actually, Bakshi has stated that the message behind ''Wizards'' isn't that ScienceIsBad, it's that propaganda is bad. Note that this is a common theme in Bakshi's work.
* MushroomSamba: Heavy traffic, Coonskin, and Hey Good Lookin' have scenes that describe this perfectly.
* {{Picaresque}}: His earlier work in particular owes much to this form of storytelling, with its satirical content, roguish protagonists with stop just short of true criminality and shaggy, episodic plot structure.
* RandomEventsPlot: Invoked; his first three films (and ''Hey Good Lookin' '') deliberately eschewed traditional story structure and narrative in favor of a collage like, improvisational approach, juggling together seemingly unrelated character vignettes or seemingly non-sequitir scenes with an overarching theme or subtext tying them all together, allowing the films to juggle multiple point of views on a subject, as well as aiding his films biographical and satirical undertones.
* RogerRabbitEffect: ''Heavy Traffic'', ''Coonskin'' and ''Cool World''
* {{Rotoscoping}}: On ''WesternAnimation/AmericanPop'' and ''WesternAnimation/TheLordOfTheRings''. Contrary to popular belief, Ralph strongly disliked using it and sees it as a uncreative dead end for animation, which he fell back on due to several factors, including his shoestring budgets, the fact that the veteran animators he previously worked with were retiring, and the new college students coming to work for him weren't skilled enough to animate on their own yet.
* ShownTheirWork: In the special features on the DVD of Wizards, Ralph talks about some of the animators that worked on the film.
* SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism: Aside from perhaps ''Wizards'' and ''Lord of the Rings'', most of his works land squarely on the Cynical end of the scale.
** His version of Might Mouse is probably his most idealistic work.
* TechnicianVersusPerformer: Ralph is 100% performer. All he cares about is the content of his films, and his technique is completely subservient to it--he doesn't give a rats ass about whether or not his animation is polished or stacks up to the standards of Disney, because he knew he would only set himself up for failure if he held his very low budget films hostage to Disney's very high standards for animation.
* TenMinuteRetirement: After behind the scenes trouble in ''Spicy City'', Bakshi retired from film-making for many years and chose to focus on painting, but came back into it with ''Coney Island'' when he realized his films and influence were much more appreciated than he initially realized in later years.