Animator Ralph Bakshi's films tend to be somewhat frustrating. He is undeniably talented and his best work conveys a personal and idiosyncratic world view, but most of the screenplays (usually self-penned) are less than satisfying foundations upon which to base the films. Heavy Traffic is entertaining and a great time capsule back to 1973, but the story itself is no great shakes and the dialogue is at times painful. Were it a live-action rather than animated film, the screenplay would do it in, but fortunately Bakshi's bag of visual tricks serves to distract from the script's failings. There's also a genuine sense of urgency to the film, which gives it great energy and life; the scenes often come one on top of another, in a quick succession that doesn't give the viewer time to breathe. Bakshi's animation is as loose and sloppy as ever, which is a great part of its appeal. The milieu is especially sleazy and decadent, and he captures that atmosphere precisely. And even with the screenplay's drawbacks, there's an appeal to the main character that transcends his annoying qualities. Definitely not for young children, Heavy Traffic is odd and quirky and at times fascinating.