Watch American Pop
- 1 hr 36 min
American Pop is a 1981 animated musical drama film directed by Ralph Bakshi. The movie follows the life and times of four generations of a Russian Jewish immigrant family living in America. It depicts their struggles, triumphs, and their passion for music. The movie uses popular music to tell the story of the family, from vaudeville to rock and roll. The movie's story starts in the early 20th century with Zalmie, a young Russian Jewish boy who immigrates to America with his family. Zalmie's father works in a sweatshop while he dreams of becoming a performer. Soon, Zalmie's mother dies, leaving him alone in the world. He becomes a successful vaudeville performer, but his fame is short-lived as he is drafted to serve in World War I. After the war, Zalmie becomes a movie projectionist in New York City and falls in love with a young girl named Bella. Together, they have a son named Benny. However, their happiness is short-lived as Zalmie dies in a freak accident while Benny is still a young boy. Benny is taken in by his aunt and uncle, who raise him in the 1930s during the height of the great depression. Benny is a talented jazz pianist, but he is forced to leave home after a disagreement with his uncle. He ends up performing with a band of black musicians and falls in love with its singer, a woman named Luba. As the movie progresses, the story follows Benny's son, Tony, who becomes a street thug and gets involved in the drug trade in the 1960s. However, he eventually discovers his love for music and becomes a successful rock and roll performer. Throughout the story, we see the cultural shifts and changes happening in America and how they impact the lives of the family members. We see the transition from vaudeville to jazz, from swing to rock and roll. The movie depicts the evolution of American music through the eyes of the family, and how music serves as a means of expression, hope, and healing. The animation style is unique, and the movie combines live-action with animation to create a realistic and gritty portrayal of the times. The characters are well-developed, and the voice cast does a fantastic job of bringing them to life. The movie has a fantastic soundtrack, featuring music from artists like Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin, and The Doors. Overall, American Pop is a captivating and powerful movie that tells the story of the American Dream through the lens of music. It is a testament to the perseverance and resilience of the immigrant experience in America and how music serves as a universal language that transcends cultural, linguistic, and generational barriers. The movie is a must-see for anyone who loves music, animation, and great storytelling.