Heavy Traffic
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Heavy Traffic represents a follow-up to animator Ralph Bakshi's first feature film, Fritz the Cat (1972). The central character is Michael, the ingenuous son of an Italian father and Jewish mother. An aspiring cartoonist, Michael leaves home in a huff and outrages his family by conducting an affair with an African-American woman. Heavy Traffic was originally intended to be a cartoon adaptation of Hubert Selby's notorious novel Last Exit to Brooklyn, but negotiations fell through, and Bakshi was obliged to cook up a similar but not identical "mean streets" plotline. (Last Exit… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 89%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Heavy Traffic not only has an authentic tenement toughness but the rough feeling of unassimilated autobiography, of experiences and fantasies still keenly felt."
‑ Jay Cocks, TIME Magazine
"A cruel, funny, heartbreaking love note to a city kept alive by its freaks, and always, always dying."
‑ Roger Greenspun, New York Times
"It's a downbeat, dark fantasia of urban life from a filmmaker trying to understand the darkness of the moment before it slipped away."
‑ Keith Phipps, The Dissolve
"...deliriously perverted..."
‑ Ed Gonzalez, Slant Magazine
"A frenetic, over-the-top combination of live action and crude animation that explores the seedy world of New York's Lower East Side in the early 1970s."
‑ James Kendrick, Q Network Film Desk
"There's something to offend everyone in this melange of crudely conceived, amateurishly animated stuff."
‑ Variety Staff, Variety
"Bakshi manages to offend nearly everyone from transvestites to mafiosi; but the comic distancing achieved by his army of animators manages to bring off a most difficult kind of humor: the humor of pain and despair."
‑ Don Druker, Chicago Reader
"Filled with autobiographical resonance and razor-edged humor, this is a cynical portrait of one young man's coming of age."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
"One of Bakshi's most brazen and bizarrely entertaining."
‑ Scott Weinberg, eFilmCritic.com
"The quality of the animation is cornflake packet standard, the script -- one or two minor moments excepted -- a disaster."
‑ , Time Out
"Heavy Traffic may be a bit dated in terms of its distinct '70s tone, but that doesn't make it any less fascinating. If you're a fan of the animation genre, this certainly qualifies as essential viewing."
‑ Mike McGranaghan, Aisle Seat
"A zesty abstract-jazz riff of a film."
‑ Rob Gonsalves, eFilmCritic.com
"Ralph Bakshi's cartoon Heavy Traffic ferociously mixes in live-action elements, tracing the schizophrenic journey of a struggling cartoonist through a crippling 70s New York City."
‑ Ed Gonzalez, Apollo Guide
More reviews for Heavy Traffic on Rotten Tomatoes