Watch Coonskin

"This is it Folks!"
  • R
  • 1975
  • 1 hr 29 min
  • 6.4  (3,669)

Coonskin is a 1974 American adult animated crime film directed by Ralph Bakshi, who is well-known for his controversial animation style. The film follows the story of three African Americans, a rabbit, fox, and bear, who navigate the gritty and dangerous streets of Harlem while engaging in criminal activity. The film features the voice of Charles Gordone as the rabbit, Barry White as the bear, and Scatman Crothers as the fox.

The animated film begins with a live-action sequence that sets the stage for the story to come. The scene is an interesting mix of documentary footage and fiction that is both jarring and thrilling. It depicts two bumbling white police officers, Brer Bear and Brer Fox, in pursuit of a black man named Preach. The chase is set to a funky 70s soundtrack that emphasizes the surreal and unique character design of the animated characters.

The film then shifts to an animated retelling of Uncle Remus' Brer Rabbit stories, but with a decidedly modern twist. The characters in the animation version of the story live in Harlem and are involved in criminal activity. Brer Rabbit has recently been released from prison and reunites with his friends, Brer Bear and Brer Fox. Together, they embark on a mission to become "big time players" in the world of organized crime.

As the trio navigates their way through the mean streets of Harlem, they encounter a gang boss named "The Godfather" who they must appease if they want to remain in business. The story explores themes of racism, poverty, and violence, adding social commentary to the otherwise sensational plot.

One of the most notable features of Coonskin is its animation style. The characters are rendered using a mixture of traditional animation and live-action footage, creating a trippy and surreal visual experience. The film uses the iconic black and white animation style of Bakshi's previous film, Fritz the Cat, to great effect, creating a vivid and gritty portrayal of Harlem's underworld.

While the film is often criticized for its controversial themes and explicit content, it is also lauded for its bold and daring approach to storytelling. Coonskin was made at a time when animation was seen as primarily children's entertainment, and Bakshi's willingness to push boundaries helped to break down those barriers. The film's mix of animation and live-action footage is still considered groundbreaking by many and has influenced countless filmmakers.

Overall, Coonskin is a thought-provoking film that manages to tackle complex issues in a unique and memorable way. It combines elements of traditional animation with live-action footage to create an immersive and surreal experience. While the film may not be for everyone, it remains an important and influential work of animation that has stood the test of time.

Coonskin is a 1975 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 29 minutes. It has received moderate reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.4.

Where to Watch Coonskin
Coonskin is available to watch free on Plex and Kanopy. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at Amazon Prime, The Roku Channel, Fandor and Amazon. Some platforms allow you to rent Coonskin for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 29 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    6.4  (3,669)