Portal:New York (state)/Selected biography/6

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Ralph Bakshi (born October 29, 1938) is an American director of animated and occasionally live-action films. As the American animation industry fell into decline during the 1960s and 1970s, Bakshi tried to bring change to the industry as a pioneer of adult animation. Bakshi started his career as a cel polisher at the Terrytoons studio, working his way up from cel painter to inker, then animator, and eventually began to direct animated television shows for the studio. Bakshi moved to Famous Studios in 1967, before starting his own studio in 1968. Through developing a work relationship with producer Steve Krantz, Bakshi made his debut feature film, Fritz the Cat in 1972, the first animated film to receive an X rating from the Motion Picture Association of America. The film was followed by Heavy Traffic and Coonskin. All three films were extremely controversial for their content and approach to animation. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Bakshi became a spokesperson for a new direction in animation with American Pop and the fantasy films Wizards; Fire and Ice, with fantasy painter Frank Frazetta; and the first film adaptation of J. R. R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, a film that laid the groundwork for future adaptations of the book.