Top 365 Films – #159 – Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988)


Top 365 Films - Who Framed Roger RabbitDIRECTED BY: Robert Zemeckis

STARRING: Bob Hoskins, Charles Fleischer, Christopher Lloyd, Kathleen Turner, Joanna Cassidy, Alan Tilvern, Stubby Kaye, Lou Hirsch and David Lander

BUDGET: $70m

EARNED (Worldwide): $329.8m

AWARDS: 3 Oscars (Best Film Editing, Best Sound Effects and Best Visual Effects) and 1 BAFTA (Best Special Effects)

 

SYNOPSIS

A toon hating detective is a cartoon rabbit’s only hope to prove his innocence when he is accused of murder.

 

We’re taken back to 1940’s Los Angeles, in a world where humans and ‘Toons’ (cartoons) co-exist. One morning it’s revealed that Marvin Acme, owner of Acme Company and Toontown, has been murdered with all the fingers pointing at Roger Rabbit being the prime suspect, a Toon star at Maroon Cartoons. His only hope to prove his innocence is a Toon hating, alcoholic private investigator named Eddie Valiant.

 

Who Framed Roger Rabbit was a personal childhood favourite of mine growing up. For those now thinking about just how mind-blowing it was to see the Avengers assemble on the big screen a few years ago, just flashback to how mind-blowing it was to see Mickey Mouse and Bugs Bunny/Daffy Duck and Donald Duck be on screen, on the big screen, at the same time! While the film in my childhood kept bringing me back for multiple viewings because of the Toons, now as an adult I keep being brought back because of Bob Hoskins performance, because without him and the way he performs his character arc in this cartoon-noir-like era, I can’t possibly imagine anyone else in the role of Eddie Valiant. You get the reasoning of his hatred towards the Toons which plays an important part in the plot. The overall production holds up incredibly well still to this day with how the effects of adding the Toons into particular scenes and especially how the Toontown scene is down in the films final act is astounding: this film is 27 years old! There’s plenty of jokes, inside jokes of the cartoon characters and even a few throwaway jokes that only adults will get (some I didn’t notice as a kid…how about that) making it perfect for all audiences. Worth noting that one of the most iconic female cartoons, Jessica Rabbit, is not in it as much as I thought she was or remembered and Christopher Lloyd is fantastically villainous as Judge Doom or creeped the unholy hell out of me as a kid.

 

FAVOURITE SCENE: Eddie pursues Jessica Rabbit into Toontown….and we witness the random chaos of Toons surrounding Eddie in the process, even giving us a random on screen moment between Eddie, Micky Mouse and Bugs Bunny. There is another memorable scene though of Judge Doom putting a random Toon shoe into the dip that scarred many a child.

FAVOURITE QUOTE: ‘That’s right, my dear. I’d love to embrace you, but first, I have to satisfy my sense of moral outrage.’ – Roger Rabbit

DID YOU KNOW?: Bob Hoskins said that, for two weeks after seeing the movie, his young son wouldn’t talk to him. When finally asked why, his son said he couldn’t believe his father would work with cartoon characters such as Bugs Bunny and not let him meet them. Also this movie marked the only time cartoon characters from both Walt Disney and Warner Brothers appeared together on screen.

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