American Pop

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  • Animation, Drama, Music , produced in 1981 USA
  • Actors: Frank DeKova, Roz Kelly
  • Directed by: Ralph Bakshi
  • Rating: 6.60 out of 10 (1478 votes)
  • Plot Summary: This sweeping epic of Americana follows four generations of angry young men and their music via the animation of director Ralph Bakshi. As the story begins, Russian immigrant song-and-dance man Louis fathers Benny, a jazz pianist who gets killed in WWII but not before fathering Tony, a sullen Brooklyn youth who runs off to San Francisco to write lyrics for a Jefferson Airplane-style acid rock band. Crippled by low self-esteem, Tony blows his chance at the big time and winds up a New York junkie in the 1970s, along with his illegitimate son, who later becomes a cocaine-dealing cartoon composite of Lou Reed, Bruce Springsteen, and Billy Idol. Featuring music by everyone from Scott Joplin to Jimi Hendrix to Pat Benatar, this rambling feature is a powerfully moving experience thanks to its sheer bravado and endless supply of great music. Bakshi integrates his animation style of rotoscoping (tracing the animation from live film) with historical photos and film footage to tell the story of American popular music in a unique way that sets this ambitious picture into a class all its own.
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