Ralph Bakshi grew up in Brownsville, Brooklyn and attended Manhattan's High School of Industrial Arts. Upon graduation, he went to work for Terrytoons to help support his career in painting; and at age 21, he became the youngest animator in the business. Within a few years, he was promoted to the position of Director, and at age 24, he was named the Creative Director of the entire studio. He later went on to head up Paramount Pictures' Famous Cartoon Studio.
Bakshi left the studio animation system to write and direct his first independent animated feature film, Fritz the Cat. Ralph Bakshi is heralded as the first to introduce personal adult themes to a largely Disney-oriented medium. Subsequently, he has directed eight more animated features, including Heavy Traffic, Coonskin, Wizards, Lord of the Rings, and American Pop. Four of his features were honored by the Museum of Modern Art in New York and were inducted into their permanent collection.
In 1987, Bakshi returned to his roots, reviving the Terrytoons characters in Mighty Mouse: The New Adventures for CBS's Saturday morning schedule. The combination of hip humor and snappy timing was a critical success and the show received an Action for Children's Television, ACT Award. He produced several television specials, including Tattertown and Dr. Seuss' The Butter Battle. Ted Geisel (Dr. Seuss) complimented Butter Battle by calling it the most faithful adaptation of his work ever produced.
Recently, Bakshi directed both the live action and the animation in Paramount's Cool World, he directed a live action television feature for Showtime, and directed two animated shorts for The Cartoon Network's "World Premiere Cartoon" project. Ralph currently resides in New York, and pursues his life as a painter when he is able to take time away from his various film projects.