Cool World (partially lost unreleased screenplay of Ralph Bakshi live-action animated film; 1990-1992)

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Louise05-big.jpg

Storboard panels drawn by Louise Zingarelli.

Status: Partially Lost

Cool World was an early animated and live action hybrid movie directed by Ralph Bakshi which tells the story about Jack Deebs, a cartoonist who escapes prison and accidentally enters Cool World, a comic book he created during his sentence. Prior to Deebs' entrance another man named Frank Harris had entered Cool World in 1945 due to a cartoon's (or in Cool World, they're called Doodles) invention to bridge between Cool World and the real life. Frank became a detective who's job is to keep Doodles in line with the Cool World law, especially keeping the Cool World's top coquette Holli Would from crossing to the third dimension.

Screenplay

Ralph Bakshi prior to Cool World had a long and impressive list of top selling animated films, featuring Fritz The Cat, Heavy Traffic, or Coonskin. In 1990, just seven years after his last film release, Bakshi decided it was time to make another. Bakshi decided to write a screenplay that featured the protagonist Debbie Dallas, a young woman who was conceived by a Doodle and a Noid (a human). Debbie, who had been born a half animated and half flesh hybrid, considers herself a freak and searches to murder her own father that had caused her deformity and abandoned her. After pitching the manuscript to Paramount, they immediately took in the project. During production, producer Frank Mancuso Jr. had Bakshi's screenplay rewritten in secret, which had very little similarities to the original pitch. Mancuso, who was best known for his Friday The 13th franchise, felt he wanted to distance himself from the horror genre. After this rewrite Bakshi and Mancuso's differences got the better of them, leading to a physical fight which then led to Paramount threatening to sue Bakshi unless they finish the film. These creative differences, along with some minor issues that followed, is what led to the film's ultimate bombing in the box office. Known as Bakshi's worst film, it's only good factors were its art and the casting of Brad Pitt.

Whats Left

Currently it's unknown where the screenplay is, if it even survives at all. But what we do have are 28 panels of the storyboard drawn by Louise Zingarelli, which were based directly off the original screenplay and the characters original designs. Along with those 28 panels (out of a much larger and complete set) we also have the comic props drawn by Spain Rodriguez, an artist for Underground Comix. The props themselves were only covers placed on top of stock books, only two pages actually drawn by Rodriguez are shown. These can be seen in the comic book store near the beginning of the film after Deebs' release from prison. These props were to portray the physical comic books that Deebs had drawn, and were most likely done before the screenplay rewrite. Holli in these drawings looks much more similar to herself in Zingarelli's storyboard compared to the film, with a more tough and slight punk quirk instead of her final Marilyn Monroe-esque idea.

Gallery

Selected storyboard panels and comic sketches

External Links