Tales of the Rat Fink Review
By Jules Brenner
This animated presentation of hot rods as redesigned by artist-specialist Ed Roth (who became the "Big Daddy" of collector cars), will appeal to car lovers, Roth followers, and automotive hobbyists. For those who don't share the obsessive compulsion about wheeled creations, it's a ho-hum but amiable history of Roth's artistry as it evolved from beat-era printed T-shirts trademarked with the green rat fink image to car model kits and auto detailing. With the advent of fiberglass, Roth's inner muse found the freedom to devise new expression in the use of the hot rod as the motif for a unique, award-winning brand of counter-culture sculpture.
Roth's story includes the elements of iconoclastic rebellion and mechanical genius right up to his death in 2001. The film is immersed in animation by Mike Roberts and a CGI boost to animate available archive stills, all of which suggests the rebel's own grand cartoonish style.
In a nod to Pixar, a series of his great cars speak in the voices of an extensive cast of famed appreciators: the likes of Jay Leno, the Smothers Brothers, Matt Groening of The Simpsons fame, Beach Boy Brian Wilson, Ann-Margret, John Goodman (who also narrates as the featured subject), and even novelist and immortalizer Tom Wolfe. Paying tribute to "Big Daddy," all.
Punk-rock band The Sadies pump up the fun level with their high-test music tracks, and Ron Mann (Comic Book Confidential, Grass) directs this Canadian production with a style of free-thinking that captures the zany essence of his subject.
Facts and Figures
In Theaters: Saturday 11th March 2006
Distributed by: Shout! Factory
Cast & Crew