Movie Review – ‘Who Framed Roger Rabbit’

Hello everyone! 🙂

Welcome to ‘Bradley’s Basement’ blog and I’m Tim Bradley!

On Disney+, I recently saw the 1988 film ‘Who Framed Roger Rabbit’! I used to watch this film when I was a kid back in the 1990s. I enjoyed the film very much as a kid and I still like it to this day. It’s an impressive film combining live-action and cartoon animation. It has a good story with good humour.

The film’s director is Robert Zemeckis, who is well-known for directing the ‘Back to the Future’ trilogy and he directed ‘The Polar Express’. It’s amazing he directed this film containing live-action actors and cartoon characters – most are from the worlds of Disney and Warner Bros themselves. 😀

Set in a 1947 version of Hollywood where cartoon characters and people co-exist, the film follows Eddie Valiant, a private investigator who has to exonerate Roger Rabbit, a cartoon rabbit who has been accused of murdering a wealthy businessman. But Eddie soon discovers who killed his brother.

I like the 1947 period of this film, although there are inconsistencies such as Roger Rabbit’s cartoon shorts being modern-styled as well as Tinker Bell appearing at the end, even though she debuted in Disney’s ‘Peter Pan’ in 1953. It’s also very intriguing that this film was loosely based on a 1981 book.

The book was called ‘Who Censored Roger Rabbit’ and was by Gary K. Wolf. 🙂 The film’s main star is Bob Hoskins who plays Eddie Valiant. Bob Hoskins was in the BBC’s 1978 drama serial ‘Pennies From Heaven’ and he played Smee in ‘Hook’. I enjoyed his performance as Eddie in this particular movie. 🙂

It was fascinating to see him develop from being a cartoon-hating detective to helping Roger Rabbit who needed his help to clear his name. Roger Rabbit is voiced by Charles Fleischer (who also voiced Benny the Cab in this film). Roger can be very zany as a cartoon character when you watch him here.

Watching Roger interact with Bob Hoskins’ Eddie was equally fascinating since it takes a while for the two to get on and for Eddie to like Roger in the end. My Dad did share with me that Bob Hoskins became stressed out from making this movie since it involved a lot of interacting with nothing there.

I can well see that being the case here. The film also features Christopher Lloyd as Judge Doom, the evil villain of this movie. For me, Christopher Lloyd is well-known for playing Doc Emmet Brown in the ‘Back to the Future’ trilogy. ‘Who Framed Roger Rabbit’ was the first time I saw him in anything.

I was terrified when I saw Christopher Lloyd becoming a demonic cartoon by the film’s climax, especially with those red eyes popping out. I had to look away from seeing that when it came to revisiting ‘Who Framed Roger Rabbit’ lately. The high-pitched voice Doom had was equally terrifying.

The film also features Stubby Kaye (who appeared in the ‘Doctor Who’ story ‘Delta and the Bannermen’) as Marvin Acme, the man who runs Toontown and gets killed in the film. There’s also Joanna Cassidy as Dolores, Eddie’s girlfriend and Alan Tilvern (who was in the ‘Dad’s Army’ episodes ‘Battle School’ and ‘My British Buddy’ and the ‘Doctor Who’ story ‘Planet of Giants’) as R.K. Maroon.

By the way, when Maroon asks Eddie how much he knows about show business, Eddie replies, “Only there’s no business like it. No business I know.” They clearly got that line from the 1950 film ‘Annie Get Your Gun’, didn’t they? Correct me if I’m wrong on that score. Though I’m pretty sure I’m right!

Other cartoon characters include Jessica Rabbit, Roger’s glamorous wife (voiced by Kathleen Turner). There’s Baby Herman (who’s sometimes voiced in ‘man mode’ by Lou Hirsch and ‘baby mode’ by April Winchell). There’s also a gorilla at the Ink and Paint Club (voiced by Morgan Deare, who was also in ‘Delta and the Bannermen’ with Stubby Kaye and also plays an editor at Maroon Cartoons). 🙂

There’s also Mickey Mouse from Disney and Bugs Bunny from Looney Tunes, which was a joy to see. There’s also Donald Duck from Disney and Daffy Duck from Looney Tunes, which was also a joy to see. There’s also Porky Pig, Tweety Bird, Sylvester the Cat and Yosemite Sam from ‘Looney Tunes’. There’s also Goofy from Disney and Betty Boop who you may know from the black-and-white days. 🙂

Minnie Mouse was also in the film as well as Dumbo from Disney. There’s also Woody Woodpecker, Pinocchio from Disney, and Droopy himself. A shame Tom and Jerry weren’t in ‘Who Framed Roger Rabbit’. Could the filmmakers get the rights to include Tom and Jerry from MGM? A big pity if true 😦

Like with ‘Space Jam: A New Legacy’, you would need to freeze-frame on the shots featuring the cartoon characters to know who’s who from Disney and who’s who from Looney Tunes, etc. It was a joy for me to see the Disney characters as a kid and I wish more time was spent on them in this film.

‘Who Framed Roger Rabbit’ is a nostalgia trip I enjoyed checking out again on Disney+. The performances of the cast including Bob Hoskins and Christopher Lloyd are a joy to see and I recall this film fondly for seeing Roger Rabbit and other cartoon characters from Disney and Looney Tunes.

Thanks for reading!

Bye for now!

Tim. 🙂

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