Retro Review: COOL WORLD (1992)

In 1988, Who Framed Roger Rabbit came out. It had a mix of live-action and animated characters and caught everyone’s attention. A few years later, in 1992, Cool World came out, with the same idea of live-action actors mixing with animated cartoons.

I don’t think I’ve ever seen this, although I had heard of it, but while looking up Cool Hand Luke for the LMO Film Club, I found Cool World and decided to give it a watch, so here is my review.




The movie stars Brad Pitt, Gabriel Byrne, and Kim Basinger, as the main cast. Directed by Ralph Bakshi and written by Michael Grais and Mark Victor. Bakshi is known for things like Fritz the Cat, the animated Lord of the Rings (1978), episodes of Mighty Mouse: The New Adventures, and something called Coonskin. I haven’t seen Felix, but it’s going on the list.

The Story

Frank Harris, played by Pitt, returns home from fighting in WWII in 1945. He, and his mother, are then involved in a motorcycle accident and mom dies. Frank is transported to Cool World, an animated universe, where he gets a job as a police detective.

Jump to 47 years later and Jack Deebs, played by Byrne, is being released from prison, for the murder of his wife’s lover. While he was in jail, he drew a series of cartoons about Cool World, including Holli Would, a femme fatale. Holli is voiced and then played by, Kim Basinger.



Holli wants to escape Cool World and enter the real world. She can do this if she has sex with a real-life person. If Who Framed Roger Rabbit was a kid’s movie for all the family, Cool World is not. In fact, I have no idea who it was aimed at, aging horny men like… umm… Matt?

Anyway, the movie is mixed up and set in both the animated Cool World and the real world. I won’t ruin the ending, in case you do plan on watching it, but it was honestly one of the oddest movies I’ve ever seen.

Sexy Cartoons

As I just said, Roger Rabbit was a fun movie for all the family. There is slapstick comedy, whacky noises, and also Jessica Rabbit. Now, Jessica was hot, a well-drawn cartoon, with curves in all the right places. However, she was also not overly sexualized. Sure, she was caught playing Pattycake with a guy, but this wasn’t a euphemism, it was just genuinely Pattycake.

In Cool World, there was no subtlety about the sexualization of Holli. In the first scene, she is dancing in a very sexy outfit and has more than curves in the right place. Honestly, she’s hotter than some of the Hollywood starlets from today.

The over-sexualization, and the fact that Holli was trying to bang Jack, was just weird. The movie is rated PG-13, suggesting it’s for kids. I’m not sure I would let younger kids watch this. It’s pretty over the top in places, and that’s me saying that.




This did make me think though: Who is hotter? Jessica Rabbit or Holli Would? Jessica is lovely, but she loves her husband and only likes to play Pattycake. She’s the vanilla option. Holli on the other hand seems like the kind of girl that would give you a (edited out by management).

The Animation

Compared again to Roger Rabbit, the budget for Roger had the full weight of Warner Brothers behind it. You had all the classic characters and the same animators doing the same quality work on them all. It’s slick, polished, and very well done.

In Cool World, the animation is very much more basic. Very repetitive, with background characters doing the same gesture over and over and it just looks cheap. I’m not saying this is a bad thing, but it’s like comparing Empire Strikes Back to The Book of Boba Fett. One is a lot more crap than the other.

Fritz the Cat is a movie I need to sit down and watch, just for the sake of it as a movie lover. I know the animation will be sub-par, but that’s what makes it the way it is. I was hoping the animation for this might be a little better, but it just wasn’t.


Cool World is something I hadn’t seen until now and it’s probably one of the oddest movies I’ve ever seen. The story is decent and I liked the characters, but overall, it was just too sexy to be enjoyable. I imagined what it would have been like watching it with a kid, asking questions all the way through. Like when Holli enters the real world, why did she hide a couple of peanuts in her bra?

Holli is sexy, this was also confusing since she was a cartoon. At least at the end of the movie, you see Basinger, in all her glory (that’s in human form, not in the nude) and she was a stunner. I’m trying not to sound like a “cartoon pervert”, but I just can’t. To quote Kevin from The Office:



This was an odd movie, but I’m glad I’ve seen it. I can’t say I’ll watch it again any time soon though.


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