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Trivia / Fritz the Cat

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  • Breakthrough Hit: For Ralph Bakshi.
  • Channel Hop: The film was distributed by Cinemation Industries, before the rights were bought by American International Pictures to produce the sequel, The Nine Lives of Fritz the Cat. Both films are owned by MGM through AIP's legal successor, Orion Pictures. As of 2020, Warner Bros. has acquired distribution rights for digital sales of the first film.
  • The Danza: Humorously inverted. Ralph Bakshi plays the nameless partner of the rookie cop named Ralph.
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  • Descended Creator: Ralph Bakshi is the more competent pig-cop.
  • Disowned Adaptation: In an extreme example, Robert Crumb hated the film so much, claiming it put words in the character's mouth that he never would have said, and later drew the comic "Fritz the Superstar" to kill him off! That didn't stop the producer from making a sequel, though Bakshi also didn't take part in it.
  • Executive Meddling: Steve Krantz objected to the original ending in which Fritz would have been Killed Off for Real by the neo-Nazi's bomb and convinced Bakshi to give the character a happy ending. Bakshi complied and later claimed that he liked this ending better.
  • Follow the Leader: A slew of quickly-forgotten animated films for adults (mostly dubbed versions of foreign language films) which weren't much more than cartoon porn came (no pun intended) in the wake of this film's success, many of which had taglines that read as some variation of "IF YOU LIKED FRITZ THE CAT, THEN YOU'LL LOVE..!" Down and Dirty Duck was probably the most well known of these films, but much like Fritz, it has a cult following, just not as big.
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  • Keep Circulating the Tapes: Now averted with streaming available from Amazon. If you want to buy it, though, the 2002 DVD is still out of print and hasn't had any other release since (interestingly, you could find the soundtrack with more ease).
  • Name's the Same: Blue Bunny shares his name with a popular, long-running, American brand of ice cream. And no, it's unlikely that the latter is laced with drugs, no matter how addictive it is to eat.
  • Playing Against Type: Fritz is voiced by Skip Hinnant, who at the same time was Fargo North on The Electric Company (1971).
  • Real-Life Relative: The three old Jewish men in the synagogue scene are voiced by Ralph Bakshi's father and two uncles.
  • Troubled Production: The film had a whale of a time getting made, mainly due to Robert Crumb's hatred for the project, and Ralph Bakshi's then-inexperience at directing a feature-length animated movie:
    • It took forever for Bakshi and producer Steve Krantz to find a distributor, due to its premise of being an animated film filled with sex, drugs, political themes, and graphic violence. Warner Bros. had originally funded the film, but backed out after Bakshi refused to cast big-named actors and tone down the sexual content. Even after he did get funding, Bakshi still wasn't safe from Executive Meddling, as Krantz forced him to change the original ending where Fritz would have died from the Neo-Nazis' bomb.
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    • Multiple animators were either fired or quit mid-production, either for political reasons (some refused to draw exposed breasts, and one didn't want to draw a black crow shooting a pig cop), or vulgar reasons (such as those who only joined to draw sleazy animal pornography). Veteran animator Ted Bonnicksen ended up dying from leukemia during production. When Bakshi relocated his studio to Los Angeles, he was greeted with both praise and hate from various animators, with the latter camp even posting unwelcoming ads about him in The Hollywood Reporter.
  • What Could Have Been: R. Crumb's only contribution to the film was his suggestion that Ralph Bakshi himself voice Fritz, but Bakshi thought his own voice was "too Brooklyn" and thought Fritz should sound more like a milquetoast Midwesterner being culture shocked by New York.
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