This zany, eye-popping, knee-slapping landmark in combining animation with live-action ingeniously makes that uneasy combination itself (and the history of Hollywood) its subject. Who Framed Roger Rabbit is based on cla... more »ssic L.A. private-eye movies (and, specifically, Chinatown), with detective Eddie Valiant (Bob Hoskins) investigating a case involving adultery, blackmail, murder, and a fiendish plot to replace Los Angeles's once-famous Red Car public transportation system with the automobiles and freeways that would later make it the nation's smog capital. Of course, his sleuthing takes him back to the place he dreads: Toontown, the ghetto for cartoons that abuts Hollywood and that was the site of a tragic incident in Eddie's past. In addition to intermingling cartoon characters with live actors and locations, Roger Rabbit also brings together the greatest array of cartoon stars in the history of motion pictures, from a variety of studios (Disney, Warner Bros., MGM, Fleischer, Universal, and elsewhere): Betty Boop, Bugs Bunny, Mickey Mouse, Woody Woodpecker, Droopy Dog, and more! And, of course, there's Maroon Cartoon's greatest star, Roger Rabbit (voice by Charles Fleischer), who suspects his ultracurvaceous wife, Jessica Rabbit (voice by Kathleen Turner: "I'm not bad; I'm just drawn that way"), of infidelity. Directed by Robert Zemeckis (Back to the Future, Forrest Gump, Contact), not since the early Looney Tunes' "You Oughtta Be in Pictures" has there been anything like Roger Rabbit. --Jim Emerson« less
Israel G. from MT PROSPECT, IL Reviewed on 6/18/2014...
Not just for kids. Love this movie!
1 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.
Jazmyn C. Reviewed on 3/18/2010...
I loved this movie when I was younger although I didn't get many of the jokes until a few years later ;)
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
The Rabbit Gets Some Justice
Gary F. Taylor | Biloxi, MS USA | 03/15/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Filmmakers have been combining animation and live action since the days of silent film--but 1988's WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT not only bested everything done previously, it set a standard that is unlikely to be surpassed. Although it has been available on VHS and in a mediocre DVD release for quite a few years, the film finally gets the star treatment in this "Vista Series" double DVD release, which includes the film in both pan-and-scan and letterbox formats and an assortment of extras, many of which are quite interesting.The concept and story are well known: cartoon characters are not drawings, but are living entities who work in the film industry, and when Maroon Cartoon star Roger Rabbit is accused of murdering Marvin Acme (Stubby Kaye), he turns to private detective Eddie Valiant (Bob Hoskins) for help. Trouble is, Eddie hates "Toons." After all, one of them offed his brother, and Eddie hasn't been sober since. The concept is a clever one, and the story could have gone in any number of directions--but ROGER RABBIT hops down a completely unexpected trail. Set in 1947 Los Angeles, the film uses classic "noir" elements (and references everything from THE MALTESE FALCON to CHINATOWN); it also makes considerable sly social commentary on racism, with the "Toons" performing in a Cotton Club-like nightclub, literally working for peanuts at the studios, and more or less confined to living in "Toontown," which might easily be read as social ghettoization. And all of these sidelights are interesting and entertaining. But the most attractive thing about ROGER RABBIT is that it is just plain fun to watch.Part of that fun comes from the marvelous performances of Bob Hoskins, Christopher Lloyd (as the evil Judge Doom), and Joanna Cassidy (Valiant's sidekick Delores), who lead the live action cast. Another chunk of the fun is the way in which the film cameos a host of famous cartoon characters, ranging from Betty Boop to Bugs Bunny and the Warner Bro.s gang to Dumbo--and animation buffs will love the fact that Betty Boop and Bugs Bunny, to name but two, are voiced by the artists (Mae Questel and Mel Blanc) who created the character voices in the first place. But the big deal here is the extremely believable way in which the "Toons" fit into the real world. They rendered with astonishing detail and remarkable three dimensionality. It's just an amazing thing to watch.The overall DVD package is a bit odd, for it offers less in the way of bonuses than one might expect. The first disk includes a pan-and-scan version of the film, three Roger Rabbit/Baby Herman shorts, a kid-friendly documentary, and a CD-ROM game; the second disk offers the letterbox film with extras that will appeal to more mature viewers, most particularly on-set shots and a nifty documentary called "Behind the Ears." The upshot is really a one-disk release that has been expanded to two by the trick of cramming both pan-and-scan and letterbox versions into a single package. That's annoying--but even so, this is easily the best release of this film to date. It at gives the rabbit some justice at last, and I give it five stars on that basis."
That's what I call one seriously disturbed Toon......
Archmaker | California | 03/16/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"One of the great joys of movie-going is to see a concept, that on-the-face-of-it is so goofy and off-beat that it should never work, but, in the end, does work and works in spades! So it was for me with Who Framed Roger Rabbit. This Vista Series DVD brings the film to us with a crisp & clean picture, THX sound, and a beautifully packaged set of extras that include a very clever interactive menu, plus loads of goodies presented smartly, with humor and surprises.Seeing the film again reminded me how impressed I was with the audacity and accomplishment of Bob Zemeckis and his collaborators on bringing off with care and intelligence, a sharp & funny film that plays to both children & adults. Who would have thunk it?Taking a Chinatown-like story of early Los Angeles with some basis in fact (destroying the Red Line to make way for freeways) complete with murder & intrigue & marrying it to the screwy conceit that cartoon figures, aka Toons, actually lived and worked as live actors and inhabited a section of LA called Toontown is such a manifestly dopey idea that it would take enormous inspiration, intelligence and attention to detail to make it even nominally work. All of those qualities were present, as the extras demonstrate, in abundance here, and the result was movie magic.Made prior to CGI coming into its own, the characters were brought to the screen brilliantly. As one of the animators pointed out, even early CGI was rejected because the film-makers wanted the characters to maintain their cartoon look, only brought into 3 dimensions. The hows and whys of what they did to achieve this magic are worth a look.Anchored by the great casting of Bob Hoskins, Christopher Lloyd and Joanna Cassidy and Charles Fleischer, brilliant technical work, and a clever story strung through with great good humor, dialogue and jokes for kids and adults, this film has some cherished, favorite lines, from Baby Herman's "That's my problem, I've got a 50 year-old lust, and a 3 year-old dinky.", to Jessica Rabbit's: "I'm not bad, I'm just drawn that way.", to Eddie on the wayward bullets "Eh, Dum Dums!" This is great stuff."Toons, gets em every time!" Some kind of classic here, and well worth your while."
Top film, very poor DVD
Tom | Isle of Wight, United Kingdom | 05/18/2001
(2 out of 5 stars)
"I have loved this film ever since it was first made, but this DVD really does not do it justice.Despite being called a 'special edition', it contains not a single extra feature. The widescreen format is not anamorphic, which means that the MPEG aspect ratio is 4:3 and the picture resolution of the viewable area is lower than it should be. The quality of the film print used is poor and contains scratches and white speckling. The film has also had some bits edited out, so I suppose you could say it contains a negative number of special features: i.e. some normal features taken out. This is a shocking misuse of the format because the DVD standard contains the possibility for having optional scenes which can be shielded from young viewers, so why wasn't this used?I doubt it will be long before the next version comes out, the 'collector's special edition' or whatever they will call it, so my advice would be to wait for that."
Tonsa 'toon fun!
K. Stuckey | Port Huron, MI USA | 06/26/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I was 10 when "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?" came out and it is just as much fun to watch now, maybe funnier because I missed some of the humor back then. Roger's a riot and his wife, Jessica Rabbit ("I'm not bad, I'm just drawn that way"), is truly a toon vixen. Bob Hoskin's Eddie Valiant is sent to find out the truth when the owner of Toon Town is murdered after playing patty-cake (literally) with Jessica. Everyone assumes a jealous Roger did it and that washed-up detective Eddie can't hack it anymore. There is lots of subtle humor, like when Eddie asks for a scotch on the rocks in a 'toon bar and instead of ice he gets actual rocks. Eddie seriously hates Toon Town because his brother had a piano dropped on his head, but he eventually becomes pals with Roger, overcomes his hatred of Toon Town and clears Roger's name. Christopher Lloyd's Judge Doom is perfectly creepy and his squad of weasels are funny as they try to stop Eddie and Roger from discovering the truth.
The interaction between the live actors and the toons is seamless, probably why the movie won four Oscars. The behind the scenes features and commentaries are great, the entire 2-disc set is incredibly well-thought out and packaged, making it a must-have for the fan."