Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988) Review


Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988)

It's the story of a man, a woman, and a rabbit in a triangle of trouble.

Promotional movie poster

This one’s bound to at least emit nostalgia out of your childhood if you grew up staring at the idiot box. This movie is like a cross between Disney, Warner Bros., and Dick Tracy (which will be reviewed next time). Based on a novel by Gary K. Wolf “Who Censored Roger Rabbit?”, the film was directed by Rober Zemeckis (same director of Back to the Future) and was notable for bringing back a fanbase to the golden age of American animation, which brought along the Disney Renaissance era (The Little Mermaid in 1989, until Tarzan in 1999). The film was also one of the final films that Mel Blanc voiced Looney Tune characters before his death in 1989.

It is 1947 in Hollywood, humans and cartoons co-exist together and cartoon shorts are acted in the same manner as a live-action actor does. A toon rabbit named Roger Rabbit (voiced by Charles Fleischer) is supposedly framed for the murder of Marvin Acme , owner of Toontown and Acme Corporation. Eddie Valiant (Bob Hoskin), alcoholic private investigator whose former partner and brother was killed by a toon with a piano to the head, is made a scapegoat to Roger’s motivation to murder Mr. Acme, having previously shown scandalous picture of Mr. Acme and Roger’s seductive and gorgeous wife, Jessica Rabbit, together. He must clear his name (and Roger’s) and figure out who the real killer is, while coping with his own inner demons and a looney cameo of toons (no pun intended), ranging from old-timey Betty Boop to despicable Daffy Duck. Meanwhile, Judge Doom (Christopher Lloyd) is scheming a diabolical plan to change the ways of the town and get rid of the toons.

Kathleen Turner voices the eye-candy (not to mention, ear-candy) character Jessica Rabbit

"I'm not bad...I'm just drawn that way."

It is no surprise this one has a 98% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. It has a good mixture of cartoon violence and humor, as well as a touching story. Spielberg helped in asking permission for the usage of the copyrighted characters of Warner Bros, Fleischer Studios, King Features Syndicate, Felix the Cat Productions, Turner Entertainment, and Universal Pictures/Walter Lantz Productions to appear alongside each other, particularly Donald Duck with Daffy Duck and Bugs Bunny and Mickey Mouse (which as also the first an only time both appeared together on screen before). The film also spawned a new dance move named The Roger Rabbit dance which involves skipping backwards doing a flapping gesture as if hooking one’s thumb on suspenders. The miming by the live actors and the moving of live action props when used by the cartoon characters by moved around on strings or used robotic arms in holding, which felt realistic and perfectly timed in its quality. Recommended highly for cartoon fans who want to take a break from all the 3D hype (it may be three decades old, but it still has some kick in it). It’s one of the many films you’ll be able to watch many times without getting bored!

A sequel is also planned (or still thought of, at least) but with the emerging computer animations these days, will it do well? Only time will tell on that one, but they assure us that it’ll be just like this one: no CGIs, just traditional 2D animation combined with live action.

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One Response to “Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988) Review”

  1. Wow, you reviewed a movie I have actually seen or heard of. This was a groundbreaking movie when it came out, and what a sexy rabbit.

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