Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988)

who framed roger rabbit poster 1988 movie
9.0 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Acting: 9/10
Visuals: 10/10

Amazing visuals and great acting by Hoskins

Too many innuendos for young kids, too kiddie for older kids

 
Movie Info

Movie Name:  Who Framed Roger Rabbit

Studio:  Touchstone Pictures

Genre(s):  Animated/Comedy/Mystery/Suspense/Family

Release Date(s):  June 22, 1988

MPAA Rating:  PG

who-framed-roger-rabbit-roger-and-eddie-bob-hoskins

I hate working with toons.

Eddie Valiant (Bob Hoskins) doesn’t work for toons, but when he gets assigned to catch Jessica Rabbit (voiced by Kathleen Turner), the wife of famed toon Roger Rabbit (voiced by Charles Fleischer), in an act of infidelity with Marvin Acme (Stubby Kaye), he takes the job for the money. When Acme turns up dead and Roger is accused of the murder, Eddie realizes he’s been set-up. Now Eddie and Roger must work with Eddie’s girlfriend Dolores (Joanna Cassidy) to uncover the truth before Roger is caught by the nefarious Judge Doom (Christopher Lloyd) and his weasels. Why was Acme killed, and who’s framing Roger?

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I’m not bad…I’m just drawn that way.

Directed by Robert Zemeckis with funding from Steven Spielberg, Who Framed Roger Rabbit loosely adapted the 1981 book Who Censored Roger Rabbit? by Gary K. Wolf. The movie was released to much critical acclaim and won Academy Awards for Best Visual Effects, Best Film Editing, and Best Sound Editing (with nominations for Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography, and Best Sound).

I was the perfect age for Who Framed Roger Rabbit when it was released. The movie had a lot of sexual innuendos that would be a bit much for kids, but teens might feel it is too much of a kids’ movie.  Zemeckis screened the movie for a bunch of late teens who hated it…he chose not to change it. Sure, there are parts that never quite worked for me in the movie even at a young age, but for the most part, the movie is stellar and a visual feast.

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Disney? Looney Tunes? It’s all good!

What really helped Who Framed Roger Rabbit is that the movie feels like a real agreement to create the world you imagine as a kid. When you’re young you don’t see Looney Tunes and Disney as separate entities; they are all cartoons. This movie creates a world where the two work together, rival each other, and generally are friendly to each other…just what a kid would expect. It was a great thrill seeing Bugs Bunny hanging out with Mickey Mouse and some of Disney’s classic characters (and really obscure characters) getting new life. When the movie was made, there wasn’t much new coming out from either studio…to see new Mickey and Bugs stuff was nice.

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Catchin’ a cab!

The movie is also held together by a fairly strong script. The movie is loaded with sex jokes (Is that a rabbit in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?) and clever dialogue like one of the all-time great cartoon lines “I’m not bad.  I’m just drawn that way”. I do feel as an adult the script is a bit too obvious especially in regards to the will…Roger’s proclamation of finding a nice clean piece of paper in Acme’s after Eddie seeing the will on a paper in Acme’s pocket gives too much away…plus it is obvious throughout the movie that he’s holding on to the paper when in all reality he would have thrown it away (though it is amusing when he uses the actual will unknowingly as the fake will…something you wouldn’t see on a first viewing).

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Nope, not terrifying at all…

Hoskins is also amazing. You have to consider that other than his girlfriend and Judge Doom, he was barely working with anyone. I guess Hoskin’s son was young at the time the movie was released and was angry his father didn’t introduce him to the cartoons. Lloyd is effectively creepy as Doom and you have to credit both Roger and Jessica as “actors” for their part in the film since they do come off as living toons.

Who Framed Roger Rabbit was a pretty amazing accomplishment. The film was pre-Disney Renaissance (and is often credited for reigniting interested in animation) and looked fantastic using classic animation. The movie was a great coming together of a lot of factors and is still a great film twenty-five years later (and has a nice clean Blu-Ray release).

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Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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