‘Bob Ross’ review: Netflix’s ‘Happy Accidents, Betrayal & Greed’ documentary paints a complex portrait of the artist’s life, and the battle that followed it

“Bob Ross” begins by dutifully charting Ross’ rise as a TV character. He adopted a stint within the Air Power by instructing artwork, utilizing his soothing voice, trademark mane and knack for churning out landscapes at lightning velocity to safe a spot on tv internet hosting “The Pleasure of Portray.”

Ross achieved these breakthroughs with the assistance of a pair, Annette and Walt Kowalski, who championed him and his work, earlier than assuming management of Bob Ross Inc. after he died of most cancers in 1995 at 52.

It is at that time when the documentary — directed by Joshua Rofé, and produced by Melissa McCarthy and Ben Falcone — kicks into a distinct gear. The filmmakers proceed to discover how the Kowalskis cemented and guarded their authority over Ross’ legacy, and their dispute with Ross’ son Steve, in a bitter struggle that continued lengthy after Bob Ross’ dying and wound up within the courts.

“Bob Ross” in some ways feels just like the oldest of tales, presenting the avuncular artist as a gifted practitioner of his craft who probably lacked the enterprise savvy to guard his pursuits. (The deal with the Ross property considerably glosses over different particulars of the artist’s life, together with his extramarital affairs, that are alluded to briefly.)

New Bob Ross documentary complicates the legacy of an artist who painted 'happy little trees'

Whereas Steve Ross was interviewed extensively, many others declined to be, together with the Kowalskis, who the documentary responded to the filmmakers with a letter that raised the specter of authorized motion towards them. In an announcement to Self-importance Honest, the corporate dismissed the documentary as trying to “relitigate claims introduced towards Bob Ross Inc.” in Steve Ross’ 2017 lawsuit.

Following preliminary publication of this evaluation, a consultant of Bob Ross Inc. contacted CNN with an announcement outlining the corporate’s objections to the movie.

“Bob Ross Inc. takes sturdy situation with the incorrect and closely slanted portrayal of our firm within the Netflix movie, ‘Bob Ross: Completely happy Accidents, Betrayal & Greed,'” their assertion learn partly. “Whereas the producers of the Netflix movie did contact Bob Ross Inc. twice, in late August and October 2020, every request arrived replete with a confounding lack of transparency. At no time did they pose particular inquiries to Bob Ross Inc. or ask for any type of rebuttal to particular assertions that they had determined to incorporate within the movie.”

By working on twin tracks, the movie manages to faucet into the nostalgia relating to Ross, which has grown by means of the years — from a 2019 exhibition to the Bob Ross Experience in Indiana — whereas venturing into murkier corners that threat casting extra difficult clouds over these reminiscences.

“Bob Ross” paints a portrait of the person, who referred to portray miscues as “completely satisfied accidents.” But it is the remainder of the movie’s subhead that serves as its basis, and a reminder that with the lives and legacies of beloved public figures, it is not all the time simple to see the forest for the timber.

“Bob Ross: Completely happy Accidents, Betrayal & Greed” premieres Aug. 25 on Netflix.

This story has been up to date with an announcement from Bob Ross Inc.

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