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Inkwolf's Review of Who Framed Roger Rabbit

rated it: posted: Apr 16, 2006
Reviews: 202 | KF Animation Editor
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Roger Rabbit, the one live action/animation film that really did it right, and brought back animation's glory!

Unlike the sad attempts at adding Looney Tunes and such to their own live-action films, old cartoons stars make cameos in Roger Rabbit with all their original gusto, life and energy. It would be a treat to watch even if the live-action plot had been one of the lame afterthoughts we've seen in the wanna-bes. Roger Rabbit isn't just eye candy, though--it has the meat and potatoes to go with the view.

The film is based on the book "Who Censored Roger Rabbit" by Gary K. Wolf, science fiction author.

In the original book, the toon world produces comic books, toon models working with still photographers to produce frames. Toons can spawn off temporary doppelganger stuntmen for the dangerous shots. There is a lot of snobbery in the toon world between the people and the talking animal toons. If I recall correctly, Roger was believed guilty of a murder and suicide. One of Roger's doppelgangers is still around, though, to help get to the bottom of the crime.

The book is quite different from the movie, and worth a read...though this is one of the few cases where I think the movie was better. Or more fun, anyway.

Bob Hoskins is dead-on perfect as the drunk, down-on-his-luck crusty, cynical detective who animated-cartoon actor Roger comes to for help. (I understand they originally wanted to cast Harrison Ford or someone like that--sheesh!) He is the perfect foil to the manic, idealistic, goofy and innocent Roger. They are wonderful together. Add to that Eddie's own personal life and problems, and you have a strong background for any plot. And the plot is good, too. Roger has been accused of a murder, and there is no justice in Toontown--if Judge Doom catches him, he will be plunged into Dip (the wash used to clean off cartoon cels!) without a trial. Added to this, all of Toontown is in danger, and only by solving the case can Eddie save the toons. Judge Doom (played by--naturally--Christopher Lloyd) is a truly excellent villain, and very easy to loathe.

On every level, this movie satisfies. If I had any criticism, it would be that Eddie's song and dance routine is cringingly cheesy, but within the context of the movie, it's pardonable.

A true classic.

animated movie Who Framed Roger Rabbit © Amblin / Touchstone Pictures / Silver Screen Partners III
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Who Framed Roger Rabbit
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