Tales of the Rat Fink


Generally favorable reviews - based on 11 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 11
  2. Negative: 0 out of 11

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Critic Reviews

  1. 88
    A nonstop cavalcade of Roth-style animation starring Rat Fink, vintage footage, artfully animated black-and-white film, and fanciful "interviews" with beautifully preserved cars of the era.
  2. 83
    In addition to a vast array of incredible autos crafted from fiberglass, Roth also created the anti-Mickey cartoon character Rat Fink, a deranged-looking, filthy rodent.
  3. Tales of the Rat Fink is an ebullient survey of Roth's life that revs along with the zest a souped-up hot rod.
  4. The colorful cultural history lesson in an idiosyncratic key is entertaining and informative, if a little indulgent in its adoration of Roth and his counter-car culture.
  5. Mann (Comic Book Confidential) plays with archive, animation and music (hot soundtrack by the Sadies), illuminating another worthy counter-culture corner. Pure fun, fun, fun.
  6. Some of Roth's cars become characters, their voices furnished by Ann-Margret, Jay Leno, Brian Wilson, Matt Groening, Tom Wolfe, and others. The pace never flags, and the enthusiasm is infectious.
  7. 70
    These hunks of greased lightning tell how a gearhead SoCal teen got wind of the post-World War II hot-rodding craze, crossed paths with a pinstriper named von Dutch and ended up as the automotive visionary whom Tom Wolfe famously called “a genius of the only uniquely American art form.”
  8. 70
    A breezy and lightweight primer, but to really make Roth's work and influence into more than just a nostalgia trip would require a discipline and wit seemingly beyond Mann's easygoing, feel-good survey.
  9. Depending on your age, sex and mechanical inclinations, Tales of the Rat Fink will convince you that Mr. Roth should either have been canonized or smothered at birth.
  10. 50
    Full of interesting visuals and illustrations, Tales of the Rat Fink would have made a really great introduction to a film that I never got to see.
  11. 50
    To those filmgoers who wouldn't know Rat Fink from Barton Fink, this reviewer's advice is: Pass. The latest counterculture tribute by Mann, director of 1988's "Comic Book Confidential" and 1999's "Grass," is as proudly silly as it is informative, and it can't help that a critical amount of brand coolness gets lost in the translation.
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 5 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 0 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 1 out of 1
  1. Dave
    Dec 30, 2006
    This video is really well made, but there's not much in it about Ed Roth. It's a generic history of California hot rodding, with This video is really well made, but there's not much in it about Ed Roth. It's a generic history of California hot rodding, with the occasional mention of Roth. In fact, if they had called it "A History of California Hot Rodding" it would be a lot more accurate. Full Review »