Who Framed Rodger Rabbit (1988)

It’s 1947 Hollywood  and Eddie Valiant is a down-and-out drunkard private detective, but today’s his big payday.  RK Maroon has been having trouble with his cartoon star, Roger Rabbit, being distracted due to suspicions of his wife’s infidelity. So Valiant is brought in to spy on Jessica Rabbit to see what’s going down, and despite Eddie’s reluctance to work with toons (as his brother was murdered by a toon a few years back), he needs the money.  He takes some pictures of Marvin Acme (the owner of Toontown, and yes he’s THAT Acme) playing patty-cake with Jessica, and delivers them to Maroon.  Roger doesn’t take the news well and jumps out the window into the night.  The next morning Acme wakes up dead, and of course Roger is the main suspect, but the ominous Judge Doom and his band of weasel henchmen are hot on his trail, which leads them back to Eddie’s apartment where Rodger is hiding.  He tells Eddie that he is innocent and that if they don’t find Acme’s will, Toontown will be sold off and the toons left homeless.

The detective trusts his instincts, and as much as it bothers him to be working with a toon, he knows it’s the right thing to do.  After a few narrow encounters with Doom and the weasels, Eddie and the Rabbits are trapped in Acme’s warehouse, where Doom is ready to unleash his toon killing formula, called Dip, into Toontown to clense the area to make way for a new interstate; but not before killing Rodger and Jesicca.  As Doom starts up his genocidal street sweeper of death, Eddie uses all of Acme’s best cartoon props to defeat the weasels, then make a stab at Doom.  But we learn that Doom isn’t just some toon-hating judge, he is a toon himself, and was the one who killed Eddie’s brother!  Eddie makes sure that won’t happen again, when he is able to dump the load of Dip directly on Doom, melting him and saving Toontown.

Alex’s Thoughts:  While not the first movie to incorporate cartoons and live actors, no other movie had them interacting as much as this movie did, and was a first when it came out.  A young person seeing this for the first time might not be too impressed with this, as the world of GCI makes movies like this possible everyday, but the amount of work it took to create this in 1988 was difficult.  All of the cartoons were played by real people or puppets, then animators came in and drew the cartoon objects in afterwards, on EVERY PIECE OF FILM.  That was an incredible undertaking and at the time it looked great. Too bad this movie really shows its age watching it today, it would be a good family movie if you could get the kids to buy into it.  The actors are great and it’s a fun story. If you haven’t seen it for a while, or are able to get your kids into it, this one is worth another watch.  Alex Rates This Movie 8/10

Tim’s Thoughts: I still love Roger Rabbit, and as a kid wished that this world existed, maybe I still do today. Regardless, this is a landmark in movie history, I have a feeling that we will never see this type of movie made again. Not at this level, and not with this much love. It’s a perfect blend of classic cartoon sensibility, and modern day technique (Well modern for it’s time). As a kid I laughed at this, and like most great cartoons, as an adult I laugh at completely different things. I pick up new jokes with every viewing, and look forward to watching this again. I recommend this for anybody who loves classic cartoons. It’s fun to see how many you recognize, and you will have fun trying to pick them all out. Tim Rates This Movie 10/10

View the IMDB entry for this movie here or add it to your Netflix queue

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