Ralph Bakshi sent shockwaves through the entertainment world as the enfant terrible of cartoons as he ushered a long-fluff-oriented children's medium into new platforms, audiences and cultural relevance. The Brooklyn born Bakshi established a career as an animator of children's cartoons, foremost among them the long-running "The Mighty Mouse Playhouse" (CBS, 1955-1967) and the original animated "Spider-man" (ABC, 1967-1970). Seeking to create a more personal vision reflective of the times, he translated Robert Crumb's underground comic into an adult-oriented feature film, "Fritz the Cat" (1972). A vulgarity-strewn funhouse mirror of American counterculture, "Fritz" drew moralist outrage, blazed new trails for the medium, and launched his sequence of daring, socially critical X-rated features, most notably "Heavy Traffic" (1973) and "Coonskin" (1975). Bakshi veered into fantasy fare with "Wizards" (1977), "Fire and Ice" (1983) and his unfulfilled vision of Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. He took fire again upon a return to children's television when a Christian watchdog group took umbrage at an off-the-wall moment in his groundbreaking reboot "Mighty Mouse: The New Adventures" (CBS, 1987-88). After the ill-received animation/live-action feature project, "Cool World" (1992) and a short-lived HBO series, "Spicy City" (1997), Bakshi mostly bowed out of screen work. Iconoclast-to-the-core and ever at odds with polite society, Bakshi's work transcended his critics' worst aspersions and ensconced him in the pantheon of animated entertainment alongside the likes of Walt Disney, Tex Avery and Chuck Jones.