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R is for Roger Rabbit...






Roger Rabbit: Who Framed Roger Rabbit is a 1988 American fantasy-comedy directed by Robert Zemeckis and released by Touchstone Pictures. The film combines live action and animation, and is based on Gary K. Wolf's novel Who Censored Roger Rabbit?, which depicts a world in which cartoon characters interact directly with human beings. Who Framed Roger Rabbit stars Bob Hoskins as a private detective who investigates a murder involving the famous cartoon character, Roger Rabbit. Charles Fleischer co-stars as the titular character's voice, Christopher Lloyd as the villain, Kathleen Turner as the voice of Roger's cartoon wife, and Joanna Cassidy as the detective's girlfriend.

Walt Disney Pictures purchased the film rights to the story in 1981. Jeffrey Price and Peter S. Seaman wrote two drafts of the script before Disney brought in Steven Spielberg and Amblin Entertainment to help finance the film. Zemeckis was hired to direct the live-action scenes with Richard Williams overseeing animation sequences. Production was moved from Los Angeles to Elstree Studios in England to accommodate Williams and his group of animators. While filming, the production budget began to rapidly expand and the shooting schedule ran longer than expected. However, the film was released to financial success and critical acclaim. Who Framed Roger Rabbit brought a re-emerging interest in the golden age of American animation and became the forefront for the modern era, especially the Disney Renaissance. It also left behind an impact that included a media franchise and the unproduced prequel, Who Discovered Roger Rabbit.

Plot: The story is a murder mystery set in 1947, in a surreal world where cartoon characters, commonly called "toons", are living beings who act out cartoons in the same way that human actors make live-action productions. Toons interact freely with humans and live in an area near Hollywood called Toontown. R. K. Maroon (Alan Tilvern) is the human owner of Maroon Cartoon studios; Roger Rabbit is a fun-loving toon rabbit, one of Maroon's stars; Roger's wife Jessica is a gorgeous toon woman; and Baby Herman is Roger's costar, a 50-year-old toon who looks like an infant. Marvin Acme (Stubby Kaye) is the prank-loving owner of Toontown and the Acme Corporation.

The trouble begins when Maroon hires private detective Eddie Valiant to investigate rumors that Jessica is having an affair. Eddie and his brother Teddy used to be friends of the toon community, but Eddie has hated them, and has been drinking heavily, since his brother Teddy was killed by a toon a few years earlier. When he shows Roger photographs of Jessica "cheating" on him by playing patty-cake (literally) with Acme, Roger becomes distraught and runs away. This makes him the main suspect when Acme is found murdered the next day. At the crime scene, Eddie meets Judge Doom and his Toon Patrol of weasel henchmen. Although toons are impervious to physical abuse, Doom has discovered that they can be killed by dissolving in a mixture of paint thinners he calls "The Dip".

Baby Herman insists (correctly) that Acme's will, which is missing, bequeaths Toontown to the toons. If the will is not found by midnight, Toontown will be sold to Cloverleaf Industries, which recently bought the Pacific Electric system of trolley cars. After noticing the will in one of the patty-cake photographs, and after Roger shows up at his office professing his innocence, Eddie investigates the case with help from his girlfriend Dolores while hiding Roger from the Toon Patrol. Jessica tells Eddie that Maroon blackmailed her into compromising Acme, and Eddie learns that Maroon is selling his studio to Cloverleaf. Maroon explains to Eddie that Cloverleaf will not buy his studio unless they can also buy Acme's gag-making factory. His plan was to use the photos to blackmail Acme into selling. Before he can say more, he is shot dead by an unseen assassin and Eddie sees Jessica fleeing the scene. Believing she is the killer, Eddie pursues her into Toontown. When he finds her, she explains that Doom killed Maroon and Acme in an attempt to take over Toontown.

Eddie, Jessica, and Roger are captured by Doom and his weasels and held at the Acme Factory, where Doom reveals his plan: Since he owns Cloverleaf and Acme's will has yet to turn up, he will take control of Toontown and destroy it to make room for a freeway, then force people to use it by dismantling the trolley fleet. He has also built a mobile Dip sprayer with which he intends to wipe out the toon population. With Roger and Jessica tied up, Eddie performs a vaudeville act that makes the weasels literally die of laughter. In the climactic struggle between Eddie and Doom, Doom survives being run over by a steamroller, proving that he is a toon. He admits that he killed Teddy, and Eddie dissolves him in Dip by opening the drain on the Dip machine. As toons and the police arrive, Eddie discovers that an apparently blank piece of paper on which Roger wrote a love poem to Jessica is actually Acme's will written in disappearing/reappearing ink. Eddie gives Roger a big kiss, and the toons celebrate their victory.

5 comments:

  1. I love who framed Rodger Rabbit! :D

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  2. I loved this movie when it first came out and I still do. I love Baby Herman! A cigar-smoking infant rules the silver screen.

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  3. Great movie. Definitely going to have to watch that again. Thanks! :)

    Cheers!

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  4. I LOVE ROGER RABBIT!!!!!!! Yay for you posting this!!!!! You know what? I used to have a vhs copy of this movie a long time ago. I need a dvd of it now.

    Brilliant movie and brilliant post :)

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