Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The secrect spaceman in Bakshi/Kricfalusi's past?

In a recent post, Eddie Fitgerald reveals that Rocket Robinhood, considered by some--including Jerry Beck-- to be one of the worst animated shows of all time.was a big influence on John K. Even as big as Clampett!

In the comments John K. had this to say about the show, when he chatted with Ralph Bakshi;

"It has the greatest theme song of any cartoon.It's like 12 songs in one. And it actually works, unlike Tiny Toons and Animaniacs.

How do you like that rocket on Little John's belt?

There were 2 seasons. the first season was by Shamus and that's the one I like.

The characters are cornier looking, like Clutch Cargo- sort of half cartoon-half realistically but drawn by people who couldn't draw realistically or cartoony.

Ralph (my hero) ruined the show when he took over for the 2nd season, because he made the mistake of adding quality to it.

He brought in serious talented comic artists like Gray Morrow to redesign it, lay it out and make it not look so campy. His heart was in the right place, but it was just much funnier when it was corny.

I was working on the Harlem Shuffle one day and Ralph called me into his office to shoot the crap (a daily ritual).

He had his huge fist wrapped around a bottle of whiskey or something and I could tell he was a bit stewed and in one of his mellow sentimental moods.

He wanted to talk about his adventures in the cartoon world. He talked about his Terrytoons days with much nostalgia, Fritz the Cat, Mighty Heroes and then I innocently asked, "Yeah, all that's great Ralph, but what about 'Rocket Robin Hood?'"

Holy crap. Ralph spat his whiskey all over me.

"What the F@*#$&?!!!" He flew out of his desk and looked out the door into the hallway to see who was listening. Then he slammed it and pulled his chair up close to me, sitting backwards in it.

His gargantuan head was an inch from mine and his eyes squinted. I could feel his hot whiskey breath melting my eyelashes. Dust mites leapt to their death.

He grabbed me by the shirt and said "What the f**k do you know about Goddamn Wocket Wobin Hood, asthhole?"

"What else do you know about me, you little punk? You follow me awound everywhere don't you?"

Then I told him all the reasons I thought it was a great show and how proud he should be to have his named on such a classic of Canadian culture.

It never dawned on him that it was funny. When he realized that, he tossed his head back and started guffawing at the top of his lungs until I thought he was gonna choke to death.

After he settled, he loaned close again and said "You kill me, Belushi. What the f**k else do you know about me thmart guy?

Do you know the story about me being chased across the Canadian border by mounted police?"

The story has to do with Rocket Robin Hood and is worthy of being added to our great animation legend. Maybe I'll tell the story on my blog sometime.

I also met the "creator" of Rocket Robin Hood - Al Guest, who is another real character. So many stories."

Very amusing, and an eye opener in the relative id of both cartoonists.

This is also the perfect chance to showcase an episode of the '69 Spider-Man show,which Bakshi also worked on, that borrowed heavily (or rather, ripped of) entire scenes from the show. Definitely trippy, and overcomes the stilted animation and somewhat bland human design.

Part 1

Part 2

1 comment:

Weirdo said...

That actually wasn't half-bad. it showed a lot of imagination in its plot, but terribly hokey in execution. The plot seems more suited for The Fantastic Four or Dr. Strange. Spider-Man is meant more to be an urban hero.