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Blast from the Past Movie Review – “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?” (1988)

April 8, 2012

It’s Easter time! It’s the week of Passover! I’m sure many of you thought I’d be reviewing either “The Ten Commandments” or even “Night of the Lupus”, and now I think about it “Night of the Lupus” would’ve been an epic review for this edition of Blast from the Past, but in the end I decided to review Robert Zemeckis’ “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?” Why? It was on TV last night, it has a bunny in the movie, therefore it’s appropriate for this Easter edition of Blast from the Past Movie Review!

“Who Framed Roger Rabbit?” is very close to my heart, in fact very close to my birth to be more percise, my mother went to the movie theaters to see this film and the very next day she went into labor and…the rest is history. So, in a way I’m the birth of Zemeckis/Spielberg classic. Besides the point, the movie is simply enjoyable and never gets old watching. The movie was ahead of it’s time, that set the standard for animation, filmmaking, and special effects wizardry. The concept is beyond weird, and should’ve not worked at all, in fact, the end result should have been left in bad taste; combining murder mystery film-noir to the world of Disney cartoons, somehow that just doesn’t sound like a good mixture. The film is based on a novel by Gary K. Wolfe, and thanks to a clever adaptation by screenwriters Peter S. Seaman & Jeffrey Price, brilliant direction by Robert Zemeckis, and the perfect casting of Bob Hoskins. “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?” was indeed a success.

‘Toon star Roger Rabbit (Charles Fleischer) is worried that his wife Jessica (Kathleen Turner) is playing ‘pattycake’ with someone else, so the studio hires detective Eddie Valiant (Hoskins) to snoop on her. But the stakes are quickly raised when Marvin Acme (Stubby Kaye), founder of all products labeled with that infamous ACME sticker, is found dead, and Roger is the prime suspect. Roger goes to Eddie for help, Eddie is reluctant at first being that he doesn’t like toons, since one particular murdered his own brother. Soon enough, Roger & Eddie are caught in a web of conspiracy, a formula based on the foundation of greed, sex, and murder. And this is a Disney movie, you know, FOR KIDS!

Ok, so with all the dark themes said in the films overall plot, this sounds like a “Double Indemnity” kind of film…and in more ways it is, but it’s still funny, and is still appropriate enough for kids to enjoy. It’s not everyday you find both Bugs Bunny & Mickey Mouse parachuting together like a couple of old college buddies. That’s one of the main reasons I loved this movie, it’s surrealistic blend of characters from seperate universes colliding together in one of the same. It’s every kids fantasy to see all their favorite cartoon characters come to life in a real-world, and are all together. Being a fan of film-noir, I can appreciate this movies intentions today far more than I did when I was a child. There are some respectful hints to classic film-noir’s such as “The Maltese Falcon”“Kiss Me Deadly”“Double Indemnity”, and “Laura”.

The movies greatest strong suits come from the brillant creation of having animated characters interacting with live-action actors, the film was recognized without questions with a few Oscar wins. The casting is stellar, love Bob Hoskins, especially when he plays a gritty grouch of a man. Christopher Lloyd plays a delicioulsy evil baddie and has fun with it in the process. So, if I were you turn off that Jesus loving TV special, eject that Charlton Heston biblical epic, and watch “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?”

GRADE: A

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. April 8, 2012 8:27 pm

    I spent today watching Hop and Monsters vs. Aliens. No connection to Easter on the 2nd one, just wanted to watch it. I think it’s interesting that Roger Rabbit is a Disney movie with some collaboration with Warner Bros. because it feels a lot more like a Looney Toon than a Disney toon. I remember watching the behind the scenes for this movie and Bob Hoskins had gotten so into the role that he claimed he was actually starting to see the actual toons he was interacting with. It’s oddly appropriate for kids, and I’m not sure why but my five year old daughter absolutely loves Jessica Rabbit, oftentimes even more than other Disney Princesses.

    • April 8, 2012 9:29 pm

      Because Jessica is a bad ass chick. She sort of emulates the sexy female characters of 1970’s explotation cinema, at least that’s how I see her. She’s basically everything that’s not a Disney Princess. You’re right though, it’s oddly appropriate for kids, but the film-noir aspect is the perfect balance for adults.

  2. Zachary permalink
    April 23, 2012 4:29 pm

    Dude, who framed Roger Rabbit is still a classic to me. Props to Dick Williams for directing the animation!

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