Outrageously filthy and unbelievably obscene, Once Upon A Girl is the kind of film which could only have been birthed in the 'anything goes' 1970s era of excess.
At a time in 1976 where the 'porno chic' era had already turned the grindhouses of New York's former 42nd Street into the hottest date night destination, Once Upon A Girl exists as a mind-boggling curiosity; an attempt from Flintstones, Smurfs and Scooby Doo animators to cash in upon the burgeoning 'sexploitation' market with an X-rated full length of perverse Mother Goose stories.
It's startling, however, how well the film brings together its low-brow mixture of potty humor, live action and explicit animation. The crew involved here on this production-a group which included Spider Man and G.I. Joe director Don Jurwich, Casper/Hong Kong Phooey animator Joel Seibel and others-clearly knew what they were doing from a technical standpoint, for Once Upon A Girl possesses that inimitable Saturday morning cartoon look and feel.
Make no mistake, however: Once Upon A Girl is most definitely NOT for kids...or even some adults, for that matter. The film's loose plot centers around a the mock trial of Mother Goose-a cross-dressing performance from Andy Griffith actor Hal Smith!-who regales the court the '"true" origins behind her "cleaned up" stories. Jurwich and Co. then devolve into various, X-rated takes on the classic Cinderella and Red Riding Hood stories, filled to the brim with cartoon nudity and fornication.
Clearly, those involved with the production here were shooting for the drive-in demographic, while attempting also to capitalize upon the success of a growing number of adult 'reinterpretations' and parodies which were bombarding the B and blue movie biz during this wild 'n wooly decade. In this, the film succeeds as a crass time capsule piece which still manages to raise more than its fair share of eyebrows today.
Once Upon A Girl certainly isn't for the squeamish or easily offended, but rather recommended for the sort who grew up on, or at the very least appreciate, the sort of bawdy humor which permeated flicks like Heavy Metal or the (admittedly) higher minded films from legendary animator Ralph Bakshi, a la Fritz the Cat or Heavy Traffic.
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