Who Framed Roger Rabbit
Who Framed Roger Rabbit is a 1988 American fantasy comedy film directed by Robert Zemeckis. The film combines live action and animation. The screenplay by Jeffrey Price and Peter S. Seaman is based on Gary K. Wolf’s novel Who Censored Roger Rabbit?, which depicts a world in which cartoon characters interact directly with human beings and animals.
Eddie Valiant: You crazy rabbit! I’m out there risking my neck for you, and what are you doing? Singing and dancing!
Roger Rabbit: But I’m a toon. Toons are supposed to make people laugh.
Eddie Valiant: Sit down!
Roger Rabbit: You don’t understand. Those people needed to laugh.
Eddie Valiant: Then when they’re done laughing, they’ll call the cops. That guy Angelo would rat on you for a nickel.
Roger Rabbit: Not Angelo. He’d never turn me in.
Eddie Valiant: Why? Because you made him laugh?
Roger Rabbit: That’s right! A laugh can be a very powerful thing. Why, sometimes in life, it’s the only weapon we have.
Mrs. Herman: Mommy’s going to the beauty parlor, darling, but I’m leaving you with your favorite friend, Roger. He’s going to take very, very good care of you, because if he doesn’t… HE’S GOING BACK TO THE SCIENCE LAB.
[the Toons gather around Judge Doom’s remains]
Mickey Mouse: Gosh, I wonder who he really was?
Bugs Bunny: I’ll tell you one thing, Doc. He weren’t no rabbit.
Daffy Duck: Or a duck.
Goofy: Or a dog.
Pinocchio: Or a little wooden boy.
Big Bad Wolf: Or a… sheep.
Woody Woodpecker: Or a woodpecker.
Sylvester: Or a pussy.
Although the film’s title is a question, no question mark appears in the title, as this is considered bad luck in the industry.
The three ingredients of the dip which ‘kills’ toons, (turpentine, benzene and acetone) are all paint thinners which are used to remove animation from cels.
Since the movie was being made by Disney, Warner Brothers would only allow the use of their biggest toon stars, Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck, if they got an equal amount of screen time as Disney’s biggest stars, Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck. Because of this, both sets of characters are always together in frame when on the screen.
Charles Fleischer provides the voice of Roger Rabbit, an A-list Toon working for Maroon Cartoons. Roger is framed for the murder of Marvin Acme, and requests Eddie’s help in proving his innocence. To facilitate Hoskins’ performance, Fleischer dressed in a Roger bunny suit and ‘stood in’ behind camera for most scenes. Animation director Richard Williams explained Roger Rabbit was a combination of ‘Tex Avery’s cashew nut-shaped head, the swatch of red hair…like Droopy’s, Goofy’s overalls, Porky Pig’s bow tie, Mickey Mouse’s gloves and Bugs Bunny-like cheeks and ears.’ Fleischer also provides the voices of Benny the Cab and two members of Doom’s Weasel Gang, Psycho and Greasy. Lou Hirsch, who supplied the voice for Baby Herman, was the original choice for Benny the Cab, but was replaced by Fleischer
Who Framed Roger Rabbit stars Bob Hoskins as private detective Eddie Valiant, who investigates a murder involving the famous cartoon character, Roger Rabbit.
The film co-stars Charles Fleischer as the eponymous character’s voice; Christopher Lloyd as Judge Doom, the villain; Kathleen Turner as the voice of Jessica Rabbit, Roger’s cartoon wife; and Joanna Cassidy as Dolores, the detective’s girlfriend.
Executive Producer Steven Spielberg’s first choice for Eddie Valiant was Harrison Ford, but Ford’s price was too high. Bill Murray was also considered for the role; however, due to his method of receiving offers for roles he missed out.
Mel Blanc voiced Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Tweety and Sylvester, while Joe Alaskey voiced Yosemite Sam in place of the elderly Blanc (Who Framed Roger Rabbit was one of the final productions in which Blanc voiced the Looney Tunes characters before his death in 1989). Animation director Richard Williams voiced Droopy. Wayne Allwine voiced Mickey Mouse, Tony Pope voiced Goofy (the latter of which was also partially voiced by Bill Farmer) and The Big Bad Wolf, Russi Taylor voiced Minnie Mouse and some birds, Cherry Davis voiced Woody Woodpecker, Tony Anselmo voiced Donald Duck, Frank Welker voiced Dumbo, Mae Questel voiced Betty Boop, Pat Buttram, Jim Cummings, and Jim Gallant voiced several of Valiant’s animated bullets, Les Perkins voiced Mr. Toad, Mary Radford voiced Hyacinth Hippo from Fantasia, Nancy Cartwright voiced a Dipped shoe, and Peter Westy voiced Pinocchio.