Archive for Roger Rabbit

Who Framed Roger Rabbit?

Posted in Action/Adventure, Comedy, Family, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 13, 2009 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

In 1947, Los Angeles, California, Toons commonly interact with the Hollywood studio system and live in a section of the city known as Toontown. Roger Rabbit is the star of “Maroon Cartoon” animated short subjects, but he has trouble following the director’s commands, delaying the production. Rumours are going about that Roger’s wife Jessica has a sugar daddy and studio head R.K. Maroon hires private investigator Eddie Valiant to look into the matter. Eddie, whose brother Teddy was killed by a Toon five years before, reluctantly takes the job. He discovers that the buxom Jessica is “cheating” on Roger by literally playing pattycake with Marvin Acme, owner of the Acme Corporation and Toontown. Eddie reveals photographic evidence to Roger, who sinks into depression. Marvin Acme is found murdered the next day, and Roger becomes the prime suspect.

At the crime scene, Eddie is met by Judge Doom of the Toontown District Superior Court and his Toon Patrol weasel henchmen. Doom is eager to use “The Dip”, a mixture of chemicals that can dissolve any Toon character on contact, on Roger once he can be found. Eddie encounters Baby Herman, Roger’s co-star, who swears that Roger is innocent and that Acme’s will, which would have left Toontown to the Toons, has gone missing; if the will is not found by midnight, Toontown could be sold at a public auction. Roger himself turns up at Eddie’s office and pleads his innocence.

Eddie begins to investigate the case deeper with his on-off girlfriend Dolores and a Toon taxicab named Benny while trying to keep Roger hidden from the Toon Patrol. Eddie discovers that Jessica was forced by Maroon to get close to Acme or else he would have ruined Roger’s career. Maroon himself admits that he was forced into blackmail by another person, but before he can reveal who it was to Eddie, he is shot.

Eddie sees Jessica fleeing from the studio and, overcoming his anxiety, pursues her into Toontown. He recovers the gun that killed Maroon which, Jessica claims, was actually used by Judge Doom. As they attempt to bring Doom to the authorities, Eddie, Jessica and Roger are all captured by the Toon Patrol and taken to the Acme warehouse. Doom reveals his plans: as the sole stockholder in Cloverleaf Industries, he plans to buy Toontown, the Acme Company, and Maroon Studios, and then raze them to make way for a freeway for Los Angeles. To wipe out Toontown, Doom has built a vehicle with a large Dip vat that he plans to spray throughout the district, wiping out all the Toons. As Roger and Jessica struggle to avoid being hit by the spray of Dip, Eddie manages to get free and causes the weasels of the Toon Patrol to die of fatal hilarity through various comedic antics, leaving the Dip sprayer running automatically.

Eddie and Doom then fight, using assorted Toon props found within the factory, until Eddie is able to run Doom over with a steamroller. The crushing does not kill Doom; instead, Doom reveals himself to be a Toon, the same one that killed Eddie’s brother. Eddie manages to open the drain on the Dip sprayer, showering Doom with the mixture and dissolving him. Eddie frees Roger and Jessica, their relationship having been mended, while the Dip sprayer harmlessly crashes through the warehouse wall into Toontown and immediately smashed by a Toon train. As numerous Toons enter the warehouse to see what the commotion is, Eddie discovers Acme’s will. It was an apparent blank piece of paper that Acme had given to Jessica that Roger later wrote a love poem to his wife on, but the will itself was written in disappearing/reappearing ink. With the will in hand, the Toons celebrate the ownership of Toontown and sing “Smile, Darn Ya, Smile” while Roger and Jessica as well as Eddie and Dolores rekindle their relationships.

REVIEW:

I love this film! The animation is done in the style of classic cartoons from the heyday of animation, not to mention it is set in one of my favorite eras, the 40s.

From the time Roger first appears on the screen he steals the show.  Well, I suppose he can’t really steal it, if the movie is named for him.

Bob Hoskins is believable as the gruff and eventually lovable Eddie Valiant. You feel his pain as he tells the story of how his brother was killed.

Christopher Lloyd makes a pretty good villain. His Judge Doom put me in the mind of the Joker. I wonder if he auditioned for that role.

I remember sitting in the theater as Jessica Rabbit made her debut. You could hear all they guys’ jaws drops, including my own.  Who ever designed Jessica really knew what males of all ages wanted to see. Is it any wonder she was recently voted the sexiest cartoon character.

One of the highlights of the film has to be the piano duel between Donald and Daffy Duck. The scene is a piece of vintage slapstick that only these two could deliver.

Just seeing all these great characters, such as Mickey Mouse, Bugs Bunny, Woody Woodpecker, Dopey, Yosemite Sam, etc., together on-screen was amazing. Hopefully a film will come out in then ear future to accomplish this feat again.

This film is not Cool World. While both films are mixtures of animation and live action, this is more family friendly and is actually the better film. It has comedy, lust, greed, a love story, and lots of great classic cartoon characters. I don’t know what else anyone would want. Watch and enjoy, dear readers!

5 out of 5 stars

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