Who Framed Roger Rabbit
is a groundbreaking achievement in motion picture technology. This critically acclaimed film is the loving labor of director Robert Zemekis, riding a career hot streak following the phenomenal success of Back to the Future
. This seamless blend of animated characters and live action is meticulously designed and produced. Arriving at time when traditional animated films were in a creative lull, (The Black Cauldron
, anyone)? This astonishing movie was a shot of life into a dying genre. On the heels of this films’ box-office performance Disney would see an uptick in creativity and attendance in their follow-up cartoon films, The Little Mermaid
, Beauty and the Beast
The story follows Eddie Valiant (Bob Hoskins), a Los Angeles based private eye hired by a cartoon film mogul to spy on his main star’s cheating wife. Roger Rabbit is a fading star in the big business world of cartoons. Lately his performances have been less than adequate due to his distraction dealing with a (possibly) two-timing spouse, Jessica Rabbit (Kathleen Turner). Eddie tales the luscious Jessica and photographs her playing patty cake with the heir to the Acme fortune. This sets in motion a plot exploring set-ups, hidden identities and the invention of freeways. Mixed into this is an undercurrent of satire revolving around Hollywood culture, private dick movies, and the golden age of cartoons.
The amount of technical wizardry involved with this production is staggering. Camera movements are fluid and many, yet the animated characters are always the appropriate scale, and seem to occupy real space. Within the first few minutes we are totally immersed and accepting of this world and the interactions between human and toons. Who Framed Roger Rabbit doesn’t get the kind of acclaim it once was hailed with, particularly in the Pixar era, but it still holds up well. A touchstone in modern filmmaking and a one-of-a-kind experience for movie lovers of all ages.
Director: Robert Zemeckis
Stars: Bob Hoskins, Christopher Lloyd, Kathleen Turner