Home Video Notes: Who Framed Roger Rabbit: 25th Anniversary Edition

ATARI ST WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT

Who Framed Roger Rabbit

$0.00
  • Review
  • TAG : High quality, gloss or matt photo of Who Framed Roger Rabbit? [Cast]
ADD TO CART
  • Zemeckis brought in scriptwriters Jeffrey Price and Peter Seaman to knock the story into shape. In 1947 Hollywood, "Toon" star Roger Rabbit (voiced by Charles Fleischer) is having trouble concentrating on his work. His boss, R. K. Maroon (Alan Tilvern) hires a down-and-out private detective named Eddie Valiant (Bob Hoskins) to tail Roger's wife, Jessica Rabbit (voiced by Kathleen Turner). The Toons, who are a carefree bunch with an "anything for a laugh" attitude, live in a segregated area near Hollywood called Toontown. Eddie hates Toons because he had to patrol Toontown when he was a cop; his brother was killed there when a Toon dropped a safe on his head. Tailing Jessica, Eddie discovers that she indeed seems to be "playing patty cake" with a human, Marvin Acme, a prop-supplier for the cartoon industry. When Acme is later found dead (a safe has been dropped on his head), Roger seems to be the natural suspect. Roger has been framed, though, and Eddie agrees to help him clear his name, uncovering a complex plot which involves larger economic and political forces and a plan to eliminate Los Angeles' trolley-car transit system. With its unique blending of Film Noir and golden age cartoons, Who Framed Roger Rabbit is the only movie that can be unhesitatingly mentioned in the same breath as both Roman Polanski's (1974) and Tex Avery's (1943)!

    Early in pre-production it was realized that there would be an enormous amount of animation required for Who Framed Roger Rabbit, much more than in any previous mixture of cartoons and live-action. The task would also require an expert animation director, someone capable of handling the unique requirements of the type of perspective changes seen in live-action photography. Looney Tunes director Chuck Jones had been brought on as a consultant for the picture by his friend Spielberg, and he recommended a Canadian animator working in England, Richard Williams. Jones and Williams had worked together on an Oscar®-winning animated version of Dickens' (1971). Spielberg and Zemeckis screened footage from Williams' unfinished feature film , and were floored by the animator's obvious technical skills. The plan was to shoot all of the live-action footage first, then have Williams and his team in England laboriously animate the "Toon" characters. The final animation, on sheets of celluloid (cels), was flat colors; another layer of cels, called shadow mattes, indicated shadows on the characters. The final compositing of live-action and animation was done by the effects artists at Industrial Light and Magic (ILM), headed by Ken Ralston. There, the hand-drawn shadow mattes were used to create three-dimensional shading on the cartoon characters. All of this was accomplished optically, as was the norm in the days before computer-generated graphics. To minimize any degrading of the image, the live-action portions of the effects shots were filmed in large format VistaVision.

  • When Who Framed Roger Rabbit first came to theaters in 1988, I was three years old. As far back as I can remember, my family had a copy of the movie on VHS, and it was regularly in the VCR. There are many scenes I can play back in my memory like a favorite song, complete with cartoon sound effects. I’ve always loved this movie, but never realized what a technical achievement it was, or that it was my introduction to film noir, for nearly twenty years.

    Richard Williams had his own drawing style, but for Who Framed Roger Rabbit he took his cue from Zemeckis. As Williams told shortly after the film opened, "Bob Zemeckis loves [cartoon directors Tex] Avery and [Bob] Clampett. He told me he wanted three things: Disney articulation, i.e., believability, weight, skill of movement and sincerity when we needed it; Warner Bros. characters, because they're zanier, they do more interesting things; and Avery humor, but not so brutal." Williams also spoke of the reasoning behind the design of the lead character: "Roger has that Tex Avery cashew nut shaped head, the swatch of red hair is like Droopy's, Oswald the Rabbit's overalls, Porky Pig's bow tie, Freddy Moore's Mickey Mouse gloves, and he's the color of an American flag."

  • When Who Framed Roger Rabbit first came to theaters in 1988, I was three years old. As far back as I can remember, my family had a copy of the movie on VHS, and it was regularly in the VCR. There are many scenes I can play back in my memory like a favorite song, complete with cartoon sound effects. I’ve always loved this movie, but never realized what a technical achievement it was, or that it was my introduction to film noir, for nearly twenty years.

Photo & Galerie Who Framed Roger Rabbit Deleted Weasels

Imagine watching cartoon characters and relating to them as if they were flesh-and-blood instead of paint-and-ink. This is the slap-happy effect of Who Framed Roger Rabbit, and - please - a 24-carrot salute to director Robert Zemeckis.