Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988)
It’s 1947 Hollywood. Humans are running the show and using “Toons” as props for their business profits. In fact, the toons are so mistreated that they all live in a ghetto-like crap town named none other than “Toon Town.” Big-shot cartoon producer R.K. Maroon (Alan Tilvern) wants to get his hands on Toon Town for more resource material for his shows, however, nutball funny-man Marvin Acme (Stubby Kaye) has the rights. Maroon hires drunken P.I. Eddie Valiant (Bob Hoskins), who has nothing but hatred for anything animated due to a sinister toon killing his brother years ago, in order to blackmail Acme and get his hands on Toon Town. Valiant is able to take photos of Acme playing “patty cake” with the hottest and sexiest toon around, Jessica Rabbit (voiced by Kathleen Turner), who just so happens to be married to superstar Roger Rabbit – an odd toon who rules slapstick comedy. When Acme ends up dead after the pictures surface of him and Jessica, everyone points their finger to Roger, even the new law in town, Judge Doom (Christopher Llyod) and his Weasel henchmen. Valiant seems to be the only person who believes Roger is innocent, and is willing to help. Only problem is that he really really hates toons!
Directed by Robert Zemekis (Back to the Future, Forrest Gump, Flight), Who Framed Roger Rabbit was a wondrous step forward in the world of animation when it came out in 1988. I was only 6 at the time it came out, so I wasn’t able to enjoy the magic that was Roger Rabbit until several years after its release, but it dazzled and amazed when I finally got to see it. Just like Back to the Future, Roger Rabbit is campy, funny and serious all at the same time. The cross between real world and the animated is seamless that you forget that Eddie is human and Roger is animated! I mean I still look for how they get the water in the sink to splash when the weasel is interrogating Eddie about Roger’s whereabouts. Other scenes such as Jessica with Eddie in his office (the kiss that flies across the screen) and the opening “short” cartoon (just like you would have seen at the beginning of a Pixar film) just adds to the class and style of this gem. The Academy also felt the same way as Who Framed Roger Rabbit took home 4 Oscars for animated and visual effects. Even Disney and Looney Toon characters make appearances such as Dumbo, Mickey Mouse, Bugs Bunny, Donald Duck and Daffy Duck. Not to mention that Who Framed Roger Rabbit is a mystery with a great story that will keep anyone engaged even without the great visuals. For those parents out there, Who Framed Roger Rabbit is more edgy than your typical PG movie so don’t expect something from Pixar or DreamWorks.
10/10 Stars – Great story, great characters, great animation. A great movie that should not be missed!
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