February 21st, 2017
(The title sequence is shown (but is still the same as 2016), then open on the NC)
NC: Hello, I'm the Nostalgia Critic. I remember it so you don't have to. Let's talk about Ralph Bakshi.
(Cut to a shot of Bakshi)
NC (vo): From the '60s to the '80s, he was one of the few animation directors that insisted animation shouldn't just be for kids. In fact, some should be explicitly for adults.
(Cut to clips of some of Bakshi's work, such as Fritz the Cat, Heavy Traffic, Lord of the Rings, and Wizards)
NC (vo): This resulted in him making films that often gained critical and even box office success. Most of the time, these movies were weird, political, raunchy, and usually in bad taste. Bakshi himself also gained a reputation as being weird, political, raunchy, and usually in bad taste, usually splitting people's opinion of it. Some say he's a genius, others say he's mad, I say he's a mad genius.
NC: Yes, the madness can overshadow the genius, but the genius can also overshadow the madness. And since his passing recently, I figure it only makes sense to look at his greatest work, American Pop.
(Briefly cut to the title for American Pop)
NC: So, in loving memory of one our greatest animation legends, I give you– (suddenly, his phone rings and he answers it) Hello?... He's not dead? Oh. I coulda swore I heard that somewhere... What? (his eyes widen in shock) He's coming over here? (suddenly alarmed) OH, HELL NO, YOU KEEP THAT LOON AWAY FROM ME!!
(But it's too late: he hears an explosion and looks over toward the front door to see Ralph Bakshi himself (played by Rob) standing there)
Bakshi: You lazy asshole!
(He walks up to the NC and tries to swat and grab at him)
NC: (sputtering) Ow! (pushing Bakshi away) Stop it, stop it!
Bakshi: (as he speaks (in a lisp), various bits of Bakshi-type animations appear) You need to fight the crypto-fascist system of the Man... by throwing big-titted ladies in blackface waving around bananas... yeah, which represent our economic downfall!
NC: What the hell are you talking about?
Bakshi: I'm talking about... ah... (holding up a deranged-looking puppy) Here, have a puppy!
(Bakshi throws the puppy at the NC)
NC: (being hit with the puppy) Ow! (Bakshi walks up and slaps NC on the back) OW! Look, I kinda thought you weren't alive, meaning I could praise your genius without having to actually deal with you.
Bakshi: Stop sucking my cock, Critic, and talk about something really interesting.
NC: Like what?
Bakshi: Like the last feature film I ever mades [sic], Cool World!
(Cut to footage of Cool World)
NC (vo): Wait a minute, I thought that was one of your biggest cinematic disasters. It was critically panned, bombed like crazy, it didn't even really get a big cult following like your other films.
(Cut back to the NC and Bakshi)
Bakshi: Yeah, but, Critic, it's important to understand your failures. Isn't that what that show is about?
(Cut to more footage of Cool World)
Bakshi (vo): Through recognizing our mistakes and missteps, we can discover how not to fall into the same traps. It also helps us appreciate when we overcome these challenges...
Bakshi: ...as well as give an idea of what the artist originally had in mind.
NC: Wow. That's... actually kind of profound.
Bakshi: Have I mentioned how many producers I've punched in the face lately?
NC: (sighs) Well, nevertheless, you have a good point.
Bakshi: Yeah, more producers need to be beaten.
NC: NO! (beat) Maybe. (looking into camera) I'm talking about reviewing Cool World.
(Footage of the film follows)
NC (vo): Analyzing how it didn't work, why it didn't work, and how it wasn't necessarily a great director's fault.
(Cut back to Bakshi and NC)
Bakshi: Hey, did you ever see the movie I made for kids that had...
(Cut to shots of Wizards)
Bakshi (vo): ...swearing, gore and Nazi propaganda?
Bakshi: It's a (imitating NC's "idiot" voice) FAMILY picture!
NC: (sighs) Pray for me, guys. This is Cool World.
(The title is shown)
NC (vo): So nothing says cool, risque and badass like (a shot of a plane approaching McCarran Field in Las Vegas, Nevada, circa 1945, is shown) 1945's Nevada.
NC: The Lindy Hop could not be contained.
NC (vo): ...as World War II vet Frank, played by Brad Pitt, returns home to his mother...and he has the perfect surprise for an aging woman in her 40s: a motorcycle!
(We see Frank show his mother Agatha her new motorcycle)
Frank (Brad Pitt): You ready? We're going for a ride.
Agatha (Janni Brenn): Oh, no, no. I have to finish dinner.
Frank: Mom, one ride.
NC: (as Frank) Come on!
(As NC imitates Frank, we see clips of the following of what NC is saying)
NC (vo; as Frank): Let's go riding ten miles per hour in the middle of the desert in my best suit. We'll go down to the hottest spot in town: the Gambling Casino.
NC: Right next to the (image of...) Drinking Bar!
NC (vo): But a drunk couple are driving recklessly on the road and crash into Frank and his mom.
NC: Oh, no, not that couple. This one.
(We see a clip of Raoul Duke and Dr. Gonzo from Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas, edited together with the scene of Frank and Agatha crashing into the drunk couple's car. The motorcycle flies above the sky as the Goofy Holler is heard, before crashing to the ground. Frank is shown struggling to get up as war sounds are heard)
Man (stock audio): War is coming! War is coming in!
NC (vo): Frank, for a minute, thinks he's back in the war, until he realizes it's very unlikely his mother enlisted.
(Frank is shown cradling his dead mother's body while looking at the sky)
NC (vo; as Frank): Well, at least the bike's okay.
(Paramedics quickly appear to carry Agatha on a gurney into their truck. An added caption is shown in front of the scene)
Announcer: Don't ride motorcycles. This PSA brought to you by Canadian Broadcasting.
(As Agatha is being taken out, we then cut to an animated world where a spike is lit up by a cartoon scientist named Dr. Vincent Whiskers; the spike fires a laser)
NC: (startled yelp)
(The laser tears open a hole that reveals the real world where the ambulance is taking Frank's mother away)
Dr. Whiskers (Maurice LaMarche): Well, it works. My spike works.
NC: (looking around shiftily) Boy, if you started watching this movie with no idea what it's about, that would be totally out of left field, wouldn't i?
NC (vo): (as police tend to Frank) I wonder what's gonna happen? Maybe he'll get revenge on the driver, or ask how he reenlists to distract from the pain, or...
(Suddenly, Frank screams as he starts glowing cartoonishly, then disappears in a cartoon explosion; he is teleported into Cool World)
Dr. Whiskers: Oh, bother! (storms off in frustration)
NC: (blinking eyes) Dr. Wily...
NC (vo): ...creates Brad Pitt Man.
Frank: (dazed) You're not real...
Dr. Whiskers: We may not be real to you as yet, but we will be.
NC (vo): Just as Frank is wondering why he is in a different movie – presumably called Who Plagiarized Roger Rabbit – (in the movie, the words "Las Vegas 1992" pop up, followed by shots of a prison) we cut a mere 47 years later, where a prisoner named Jack, played by Gabriel Byrne, is getting dragged into his cartoons.
(Jack Deebs is seen in his cell drawing a sexy girl (Holli Would), but suddenly, the hands of the drawing come to life and he suddenly starts glowing and disappears into Cool World; he is falling through through a cartoonishly hellish cityscape)
NC: Wow, the ultimate ending to Shawshank Redemption is much more classic Stephen King.
(Jack enters a nightclub in this cartoon universe)
NC (vo): Thus, he's given his introduction not only to Cool World, but to Holli Would, played by Kim Basinger.
(Jack stares in awe as Holli does a very sexy dance to hard rock (edited in by NC for copyright purposes))
NC: (as Jack; staring and swaying his head) My God, I've created anime!
(Jake reaches his hand out to Holli as she dances toward him)
NC (vo): Man, this guy knows all the smooth moves, doesn't he?
NC: He's doing the classic (reaches out hand towards camera, in imitation of Jack) "put boob..."
NC (vo): "...here" technique.
(Suddenly, Jack finds himself back in his jail cell)
NC (vo): But Jack is... immediately sent back... I guess Holli just wanted to ask if her body was as impractical as (image of...) Jessica Rabbit's? (Frank, who hadn't aged a bit in 47 years apparently, walks out on a Cool World street) ...as we see 47 years have been pretty kind to Brad Pitt.
NC: Actually, who am I kidding? (a shot of present-day Brad Pitt, who looks well-preserved for his age, appears in the corner) They fucking have!
NC (vo): But he's angry because Holli apparently brought a human, or "Noid", as they call them, into their world.
Frank: Rumor has it, Holli, that you had a Noid visitation at the Slash Club last night.
NC: (as Frank) Don't you know what they do to pizzas? (a shot of the Noid of Domino's Pizza fame appears in the corner)
Holli (Kim Basinger): You're just a regular true believer of law and order, huh?
(Frank walks around and sees a group of cartoon rats playing poker; one glares at Frank)
Rat (Maurice LaMarche): Beat it, copper.
NC (vo; as rat): We're gamblin' on Fievel's ransom.
(Other cartoon characters are seen in the area, including a goofily-dancing figure, two biplanes engaged in a dog fight, and a cat getting clobbered by random falling objects)
NC (vo): And by the way, if you think some of these animated sections seem... random, check the rating on the what-the-piss-o-meter with these scenes during their chat.
Holli: (running her hands over Frank's body) You could help me...
(As she speaks, a drawing of the head of a pitbull wearing sunglasses, looking translucent, floats by; the head shakes)
NC: (more than a little perplexed) Ghost of Spuds MacKenzie does not approve?
NC (vo): Get a load of this one...
Holli: Don't you see?
(As Holli talks to Frank, various other cartoon characters randomly run around, including a large, bearded man bitten by a dog, a headless woman holding her head on a plate, a bear with a spear in its rear, and the Grim Reaper crazily wielding a scythe, among others; these animations happen not once, but twice, then abruptly cut out)
Holli: They're real! (NC shakes head in confusion) They really taste it! (the random animations from moments ago play AGAIN!) And when they do it with a man... ohhhh!
NC: (turning to Bakshi) So, Ralph...
Bakshi: (holding a sub sandwich with eyeballs in it) Yeah, what?
NC: First of all, what are you eating?
Bakshi: An eyeball-and-mustard sandwich, of course.
NC: Of course. Second, what's with the random bits of animation not tying into anything?
Bakshi: Oh, well, we were gonna have all sorts of cool stuff, but then the s-s-studio got involved, and next thing you know, we didn't even have a script! So, with nothing to do, I was just like, "Hey, friends, uh, just draw some random shit and we'll just toss that on the screen somewhere."
NC: Yeah, but some of those animations aren't even finished. In fact, you actually played...
(The random animations from during Holli and Frank's chat are shown again)
NC (vo): ...this animation twice in the same scene – literally drawing attention to the problem!
NC: Did you think showing it twice would somehow complete it?
Bakshi: Hey, I wanted to show the s-s-studio what happens when you mess with an artist's vision!
NC: You have a bad movie with your name on it.
Bakshi: And get paid for it!
NC: ...I can't tell if you're my hero, or the worst kind of crazy.
Bakshi: Can't it be both?
(Cut back to the film, where we see still more nonsensical cartoon characters)
NC (vo): So while I'm enduring the side cartoons you see in MAD Magazine...
(Jack is seen leaving the prison, a free man, and goes to a comic shop, where "Cool World" is being sold)
NC (vo): ...it looks like Jack is let out of prison, and he goes to a comic shop, where he sees his comic "Cool World" is being sold. (referring to the young woman at the cash register, with whom Jack is conversing) And if I had a nickel for every comic shop employee who looked like this...
Cashier (Carrie Hamilton): I mean, I know people, friends who wanted to be Holli Would when they grow up.
NC: (puzzled) "When they grow up"? How old are your friends, five?!
(Cut to a shot of a little girl in a conical costume, during the film)
NC (vo; as little girl): I always wanted to be a personalityless shell! (normal) But we find out a little more about why he was in jail.
Customer (Stephen Worth): (to Jack) Why don't you do a book on that guy you murdered? (the cashier glares at him while Jack feels guilty) You know, that guy you found in bed with your wife?
NC: (stunned) Whoa! Well, uh... that's a big development. Holy smokes, one of our main characters is a killer. Well, I... wonder where they're gonna take this... (in the film, Jack leaves the store) Right out the door! That's where they take it, right out the goddamn door!
NC (vo): Our hero is apparently a murderer, who... (looks closely at Jack's new book, "Cool World and Beyond") judging by the picture on his book, was not in jail very long! And it's never referenced again, and we're supposed to just sympathize with him when he goes back to Cool World, which also has no explanation on how that's happening!
NC: You know, maybe it's supposed to be like one of those deep character studies where you're not supposed to know if he did it or not. I mean, after all, they do give him a lot of deep writing, like...
Jack (Gabriel Byrne): (to Holli) Am I dreaming?
Jack: (in the passenger seat with Holli driving) Yeah...
Jack: (to Holli) I drew you.
Jack: (to Frank) Yeah...
NC: Not forgetting...
Jack: (to Holli) What?
NC: Okay, was this dude charged by the letter? WHY ARE HIS LINES SO SHORT?!
NC (vo): We can't even get to know this guy, because he has as much dialog as (image of...) Gromit! In fact, Gromit has more personality than this guy ever has, and he never says a word!
(Holli jams her lit cigarette into the back of Jack's hand; he reacts in pain, while she smiles at him)
NC (vo): But then again, maybe that's good when you do hear the dialog that actually happens.
Jack: Why did you do that?
Holli: Because I dig you.
NC: To be fair, if I had to say lines like this, I'd kill someone, too.
(In the film, Jack meets Slash, Mash, Bash and Bob, Holli's henchmen)
NC (vo): So while he indulges the Nightmare On Elm Street babies, (cut to Frank meeting Lonette, another cartoon woman) Frank stops by... um, Black Hair Holli.
Frank: Word is, you got a thing for Noids.
Lonette (Candi Milo): Tough guy.
(She giggles as Frank puts her arm around her and she puts her arm around him – it looks unrealistic)
Frank: All right, where do want to go, uh, movies?
NC: Amazing how well that syncs up, isn't it?
(A green arrow is pointed towards the bottom, presumably at Lonette's feet, to approximate her height compared to Frank's)
NC (vo): How big did he think she was when filming this? (Lonette is stretched-out, Photoshop-style) She'd have to be stretched out like a squashed Wile E. Coyote to match that push!
(Frank's partner, a cigar-smoking cartoon spider named Nails, runs up)
Nails (Charlie Adler): Hey, boss, we gotta go!
NC (vo): But he gets interrupted and has to head out. (Frank and Nails gets in the car) So their car suddenly turns into... a... cartoon...
(As he says this, the car suddenly takes off like a rocket – a cartoon rocket, leaving behind a trail of smoke and a squashed cartoon cat in its wake)
NC: Okay, Ralph. (Bakshi appears out of thin air) Why are sometimes things animated and then other times they're three dimensions? Like the car or the cardboard cutouts?
Bakshi: Why does everybody call my characters that?!
NC: I mean the actual cardboard cutouts.
Bakshi: Oh. See, I wanted it to be like a live-action painting.
(To Beethoven's "Fur Elise", cut to a montage of several paintings by Bakshi)
Bakshi (vo): You see, that's what I did for years and years: paint!
(Cut to footage of Cool World)
Bakshi (vo): And I wanted to transform the lights and shadows of my work into a more physical dimension.
Bakshi: In fact, originally I was gonna call it, (holds up both hands) "Background: The Movie".
(Suddenly, a woman (played by Tamara) appears from behind Bakshi)
Woman: You just don't understand, Critic. (NC lets out a startled yelp at the arrival of the woman) He's showing the anguish of our utilitarian world colliding with the abstract of untapped potential.
Bakshi: With boobies!
NC: Where the hell did you come from? Follow-up question: who the hell are you?
Woman: I'm Julie Taymor, director of countless Broadway hits (posters of several Broadway plays that Taymor directed pop up: The Lion King, Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, A Midsummer Night's Dream and The Magic Flute) and kind of good movies. (posters for movies that Taymor directed pop up: Across the Universe, Frida and Titus)
Bakshi: She helped me escape!
NC: Oh, okay. So– What the fuck do you mean "escape"?
Taymor: Oh, escape. Don't you know? We were in the Institute for the Artistically Insane.
NC: Oh, my God, I've heard of that. That's where artists go when their ideas stop obeying logic and reason.
Taymor: I don't know why I was there. Having Bono do Spider-Man: Turn of the Dark, it killed!
NC: Literally. It literally killed.
Taymor: Hey, you can't make an omelet without breaking some heads, yo.
Bakshi: It's true.
(A black man (played by Malcolm) in a beard, glasses and baseball cap reading "King" appears from behind Bakshi)
Man: Yeah, you just don't get us, Critic.
NC: (at the sight of the black man, facepalming himself) Oh, God, Spike Lee!
Lee: Can you believe they put me in there? After I directed 65 projects and at least 1/3 was watchable?
Bakshi: (putting his arms around Taymor and Lee) It's why I love you guys. You understand me! And the struggle! Which is real!
(NC watches with disbelief)
Lee: His work is about the oppression of blacks against whites, as told through an animated backdrop of color and no color. (to Bakshi) Right?
Bakshi: Yeah! With boobies.
NC: Well, at least nobody else escaped.
Taymor: Oh, well, there was that one guy who almost got away, but they caught him just in time.
(Cut to a jail cell, where Shyamalan is being imprisoned)
Shyamalan: But I had two hit movies, back to back!
(As he says, it is revealed that Shyamalan has a cellmate: Woody Allen (played by Jim Jarosz))
Allen: Don't worry about it. Just get yourself nominated for another Oscar, and they'll forget all the horrible things that you've done.