Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988)

PG | 107 mins | Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy | 1988

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HISTORY

The summary and note for this entry were completed with participation from the AFI Academic Network. Summary and notes were written by participant Michelle Bjornas, a student at Georgia Institute of Technology, with Vinicius Navarro as academic advisor.

       Who Framed Roger Rabbit had several working titles throughout production, including Dead Toons Don't Pay Bills , Eddie Goes to Toon , Murder in Toontown , The Toontown Trial , Toons , Trouble in Toontown , Who Censored Roger Rabbit , and Who Shot Roger Rabbit . The filmmakers give credit to the novel Who Censored Roger Rabbit? by Gary Wolf, although the only similarities between the book and the film are the characters of “Eddie Valiant,” “Roger Rabbit,” “Jessica Rabbit,” and “Baby Herman.” These characters were altered in the movie; in the book, “Roger” was a murderer, “Jessica” hated him, and “Herman” always used “Roger” as a foil, not the other way around.
              All of the credits appear at the end of the film. As noted in a Jun 1988 Time article, a total of 739 people were listed, but Kathleen Turner, the voice of Jessica Rabbit, was not credited.
              A DV review from 20 Jun 1988 reports that the idea to turn Who Censored Roger Rabbit? into a film was first proposed in 1981, when the book was published, and that it was originally planned to be a Disney animated feature. It was not until 1986, however, when Roger Rabbit changed to a mix of live action and animation in ... More Less

The summary and note for this entry were completed with participation from the AFI Academic Network. Summary and notes were written by participant Michelle Bjornas, a student at Georgia Institute of Technology, with Vinicius Navarro as academic advisor.

       Who Framed Roger Rabbit had several working titles throughout production, including Dead Toons Don't Pay Bills , Eddie Goes to Toon , Murder in Toontown , The Toontown Trial , Toons , Trouble in Toontown , Who Censored Roger Rabbit , and Who Shot Roger Rabbit . The filmmakers give credit to the novel Who Censored Roger Rabbit? by Gary Wolf, although the only similarities between the book and the film are the characters of “Eddie Valiant,” “Roger Rabbit,” “Jessica Rabbit,” and “Baby Herman.” These characters were altered in the movie; in the book, “Roger” was a murderer, “Jessica” hated him, and “Herman” always used “Roger” as a foil, not the other way around.
              All of the credits appear at the end of the film. As noted in a Jun 1988 Time article, a total of 739 people were listed, but Kathleen Turner, the voice of Jessica Rabbit, was not credited.
              A DV review from 20 Jun 1988 reports that the idea to turn Who Censored Roger Rabbit? into a film was first proposed in 1981, when the book was published, and that it was originally planned to be a Disney animated feature. It was not until 1986, however, when Roger Rabbit changed to a mix of live action and animation in association with Steven Spielberg, that the project began in earnest. The film was eventually released under Disney’s Touchstone Pictures brand because the adult themes in the film were at odds with the typical Disney film, according to DV . Multiple contemporary news items reported the budget at $45 million, making Who Framed Roger Rabbit one of the most expensive animated movies of its time.
              In an 1 Aug 1988 NYT article, director of animation Richard Williams was quoted as saying: “I just hate animation and live action together; it just doesn't work, it's ugly.” He decided to take on the project, however, under the premise that he would “remove all the inhibitions” and use new techniques for “blending animation and live action.” The article describes how the animators used highlights and shading to give the characters a three-dimensional feel in order to make them appear to be actually interacting with the real world characters. Additionally, the technical crew had to find ways to manipulate the objects that the characters would be moving in the final cut, such as “Baby Herman's” cigar. The technical crew used various resources, such as puppets, mannequins, and even robotics to create the effect of cartoons truly interacting with their human counterparts.
       Live action footage was filmed in both the United Kingdom and in California. According to a 12 Aug 1988 Backstage column, the animation studio in California was already working on another film at the time, so most of the animators were transferred to the British studio.      
              Touchstone Pictures struck deals with Warner Bros. allowing the studio’s trademark cartoon characters to appear in the film. Some of the more famous Warner Bros. characters to make appearances include “Bugs Bunny,” “Daffy Duck,” “Porky Pig,” and “Tweety.” However, agents for Warner Bros. characters placed the stipulation that Disney characters, such as “Donald” and “Mickey,” had to have the same amount of screen time as their Warner Bros. counterparts, according to a 25 Aug 1988 article in Rolling Stone . In fact, most of the classic Warner and Disney characters only appear together: “Daffy” and “Donald” are seen playing a piano duet, while “Bugs” and “Mickey” go skydiving.
              According to a news item in the 24 Jun 1988 issue of DV , Who Framed Roger Rabbit? opened on 995 screens and generated an average $1817 per screen, earning a total of nearly two million dollars on opening night and breaking Disney’s record for the biggest weekday opening gross. The critical reviews of the film were generally positive. Janet Maslin of NYT wrote in her 22 Jun 1988 review: “Although this isn't the first time that cartoon characters have shared the screen with live actors, it's the first time they've done it on their own terms.” A 31 Dec 1987 Var review praised the movie's unique animation techniques, saying “ Who Framed Roger Rabbit is an unparalleled achievement in which animation is brilliantly integrated into live-action.” However, some critics, such as Janet Maslin, questioned what audience the filmmakers were targeting, and pointed to the suggestive themes and racial undertones scattered throughout. Richard Corliss, in his 27 Jun 1988 Time review, claims that the cartoon segment that opens the film outshines the film itself. Later in her article, Janet Maslin mentions that “the film's only problem, and it's a minor one, is that the gumshoe plot of the screenplay... is relatively ordinary.”
              According to a 30 May 2001 LAT article, Gary Wolf, author of the novel on which the film is based, filed a lawsuit against Disney, claiming that the company had not paid him millions of dollars in “gross receipts” which he believed to include all non-monetary promotional partnerships. Disney denied the claim, saying that Wolf was only entitled to contingent compensation. The court ruled against Wolf, who appealed the case in 2004. This time, the court ruled in favor of Wolf, but only granted him $180,000 in compensation instead of the $8 million he sought, according to a 21 May 2008 HR article. In the same article, Disney lawyers are said to have discovered that the studio had been overpaying Wolf and that he owed Disney up to $1 million. The legal battle has reached no conclusive end. In addition to this controversy, some of the animators working on the movie hid racy images in the original Roger Rabbit footage. According to a 17 Mar 1994 article in the LAT , the X-rated frames were not noticeable with the action running at speed on film or in video cassette format, but became obvious on DVD when users could freeze on a single frame. Disney responded by censoring the offending images and re-reissuing the DVD.
              The film received three Academy Awards for Sound Effects Editing, Visual Effects and Film Editing. The lead animator, Richard Williams, was given a Special Achievement Award for animation direction and the creation of the cartoon characters. Additionally, Roger Rabbit received several Academy Award nominations, including Best Art Direction-Set Direction, Best Cinematography and Best Sound. The film also won the Saturn Award for Best Fantasy Film in 1990 and was nominated for a Golden Globe award in the category Best Motion Picture-Comedy/Musical. The movie's success led Disney to produce several animated theatrical shorts featuring “Roger Rabbit,” and talk of a feature-length live-action/animation sequel, which was planned for release in 1992, according to the Jun 1989 edition of Screen International . However, due to cost concerns, the sequel was never produced. More recently, according to a Guardian (London) article posted to its website on 3 Nov 2009, director Robert Zemeckis has hinted that Who Framed Roger Rabbit 2 is still a possibility.
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SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Backstage
12 Aug 1988
p. 26, 36.
Daily Variety
14 Oct 1986
p. 1, 22.
Daily Variety
20 Jun 1988
p. 3, 122.
Daily Variety
24 Jun 1988.
---
Daily Variety
28 Jun 2005.
---
Guardian (London)
3 Nov 2009.
---
Hollywood Reporter
20 Jun 1988
p. 3, 18.
Hollywood Reporter
26 Aug 1988.
---
Hollywood Reporter
30 Sep 1999.
---
Hollywood Reporter
26 Jan 2004
p. 13, 20.
Hollywood Reporter
22 Mar 2005
p. 6, 41.
Hollywood Reporter
21 May 2008
p. 14.
Los Angeles Times
22 Jun 1988
p. 1.
Los Angeles Times
17 Mar 1994
p. 1, 7.
Los Angeles Times
30 May 2001.
---
New York Times
22 Jun 1988
p. 17.
New York Times
1 Aug 1988.
---
Rolling Stone
25 Aug 1988.
---
Screen International
24 Jun 1989
p. 8.
Time
27 Jun 1988
p. 72.
Variety
22 Jun 1988
p. 12.
Variety
21 Mar 1994.
---
Variety
23 Jun 1997.
---
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Dir, U.K. 2d unit
Dir, U.K. 2d unit
Dir, U.S. 2d unit
Prod mgr, U.K. prod
Unit prod mgr/Asst dir, ILM prod
Unit prod mgr, U.S. prod
1st asst dir, U.K. prod
1st asst dir, U.K. 2d unit
1st asst dir, U.S. prod
1st asst dir, U.S. 2d unit
2d asst dir, U.K. prod
2d asst dir, U.K. 2d unit
2d asst dir, ILM prod
2d asst dir, U.S. prod
2d asst dir, U.S. 2d unit
3d asst dir, U.K. prod
3d asst dir, U.K. 2d unit
PRODUCERS
Exec prod
Exec prod
Assoc prod
Assoc prod
WRITERS
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Dir of photog, U.S. 2d unit
Addl photog, U.K. 2d unit
Photog consultant, U.K. prod
Cam op, U.K. prod
Cam op, U.K. prod
Cam op, U.K. 2d unit
Cam op, U.S. 2d unit
1st asst cam, U.S. prod
1st asst cam, U.S. prod
2d asst cam, U.S. prod
2d asst cam, ILM prod
Asst cam op, Industrial Light & Magic
Focus puller, U.K. prod
Focus puller, U.K. prod
Focus puller, U.K. 2d unit
Clapper loader, U.K. prod
Clapper loader, U.K. prod
Clapper loader, U.K. 2d unit
Elec supv, U.K. prod
Gaffer, U.K. prod
Best boy, U.K. prod
Best boy, U.S. prod
Best boy, U.S. prod
Key grip, U.S. prod
Key grip, U.S. 2d unit
Grip, U.K. 2d unit
Dolly grip, U.S. prod
Video asst tech, U.K. prod
Video asst tech, U.K. 2d unit
Video asst tech, U.S. prod
Video playback, ILM prod
Stills, U.K. prod
Stills, U.S. prod
Orion Technocrane & Vistavision cam supplied by
Conveyor equipment supplied by
Elec equipment supplied by
Prints by
Prints by
Filmed in
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Prod des
Art dir, U.K. prod
Art dir, U.S. prod
Asst art dir, U.S. prod
Loc art dir, U.K. prod
Storyboard artist, U.K. prod
Storyboard artist, U.K. prod
Draughtsman, U.K. prod
Draughtsman, U.K. prod
Decor & lettering artist, U.K. prod
Modeler, U.K. prod
Art dept asst, U.K. prod
Prod illustrator, U.S. prod
Prod illustrator, U.S. prod
FILM EDITORS
Film ed
Assoc ed, U.K. prod
Assoc ed, U.K. prod
Asst ed, U.K. prod
Asst ed, U.K. prod
Asst ed, U.K. prod
Apprentice ed, U.K. prod
Apprentice ed, U.K. prod
Negative cutting, Post prod
SET DECORATORS
Set dec, U.K. prod
Set dec, U.S. prod
Set des, U.S. prod
Set des, U.S. prod
Lead, U.S. prod
Const mgr, U.K. prod
Prop master, U.K. prod
Props, U.K. prod
Props, U.K. prod
Props, U.K. prod
Props, U.K. prod
Props, U.S. prod
Supv drape, U.K. prod
Asst const mgr, U.K. prod
Supv carpenter, U.K. prod
Charge hand carpenter, U.K. prod
Standby carpenter, U.K. prod
Standby carpenter, U.K. 2d unit
Supv plasterer, U.K. prod
Standby plasterer, U.K. prod
Standby plasterer, U.K. 2d unit
Supv painter, U.K. prod
Standby painter, U.K. prod
Standby painter, U.K. 2d unit
Standby painter, U.S. prod
Scenic artist, U.K. prod
Supv rigger, U.K. prod
Standby rigger, U.K. prod
Standby rigger, U.K. 2d unit
Supv stagehand, U.K. prod
Standby stagehand, U.K. prod
Standby stagehand, U.K. 2d unit
Supv stage tech, Industrial Light & Magic
Supv stage tech, Industrial Light & Magic
Const storeman, U.K. prod
Stage tech, ILM prod
Stage tech, ILM prod
Stage tech, ILM prod
Stage tech, ILM prod
Stage tech, ILM prod
Stage tech, ILM prod
Stage tech, ILM prod
Flying rig, ILM prod
Flying rig, ILM prod
Flying rig, ILM prod
Flying rig, ILM prod
Greensman, U.S. prod
COSTUMES
Cost des
Ward supv, U.K. prod
Ward mistress, U.K. prod
Set cost, ILM prod
Cost supv, U.S. prod
Men's cost, U.S. prod
MUSIC
Mus ed, Post prod
Asst mus ed, Post prod
Orch, Post prod
Mus scoring mixer, Post prod
Mus performed by, Post prod
Featured soloist, Post prod
Featured soloist, Post prod
Featured soloist, Post prod
Featured soloist, Post prod
Featured soloist, Post prod
Mus rec at, Post prod
Liszt Hungarian Rhapsody, Post prod
SOUND
Sd mixer, U.K. prod
Sd mixer, ILM prod
Sd mixer, U.S. prod
Boom op, U.K. prod
Boom, U.S. prod
Boom, U.S. prod
Sd maintenance, U.K. prod
Cable man, U.S. prod
Supv sd ed, Post prod
Supv sd ed, Post prod
Sd ed, Post prod
Sd ed, Post prod
Sd ed, Post prod
Sd ed, Post prod
Sd ed, Post prod
Asst sd ed, Post prod
Re-rec mixer, Post prod
Re-rec mixer, Post prod
Re-rec mixer, Post prod
Re-rec mixer, Post prod
ADR supv, Post prod
ADR ed, Post prod
ADR ed, Post prod
Asst ADR ed, Post prod
Asst ADR ed, Post prod
ADR rec, Post prod
Foley, Post prod
Foley artist, Post prod
Foley artist, Post prod
Foley rec by, Post prod
Audio programmer, Post prod
VISUAL EFFECTS
Visual eff supv
Mechanical eff supv
Senior spec eff, U.K. prod
Senior spec eff, U.K. prod
Senior spec eff, U.K. prod
Senior spec eff, U.K. prod
Senior spec eff, U.K. prod
Senior spec eff, U.K. prod
Senior spec eff, U.K. prod
Spec eff supv, U.S. prod
Spec eff foreman, U.S. prod
Spec eff tech, U.K. prod
Spec eff tech, U.K. prod
Spec eff tech, U.K. prod
Spec eff tech, U.K. prod
Spec eff tech, U.K. prod
Spec eff tech, U.K. 2d unit
Spec eff tech, U.S. prod
Spec eff tech, U.S. 2d unit
Spec eff tech, U.S. 2d unit
Spec eff wireman, U.K. prod
Spec visual eff produced at
Marin County, California
Opt photog supv, Industrial Light & Magic
Visual eff cam op, Industrial Light & Magic
Chief visual eff ed, Industrial Light & Magic
Visual eff coord, Industrial Light & Magic
Opt cam op, Industrial Light & Magic
Opt cam op, Industrial Light & Magic
Opt cam op, Industrial Light & Magic
Opt cam op, Industrial Light & Magic
Opt cam op, Industrial Light & Magic
Opt cam op, Industrial Light & Magic
Opt cam op, Industrial Light & Magic
Opt cam op, Industrial Light & Magic
Opt cam op, Industrial Light & Magic
Opt cam op, Industrial Light & Magic
Opt cam op, Industrial Light & Magic
Opt cam op, Industrial Light & Magic
Opt lineup, Industrial Light & Magic
Opt lineup, Industrial Light & Magic
Opt lineup, Industrial Light & Magic
Opt lineup, Industrial Light & Magic
Opt lineup, Industrial Light & Magic
Opt lineup, Industrial Light & Magic
Opt lineup, Industrial Light & Magic
Opt lineup, Industrial Light & Magic
Opt lineup, Industrial Light & Magic
Opt lineup, Industrial Light & Magic
Opt lineup, Industrial Light & Magic
Opt processing, Industrial Light & Magic
Opt processing, Industrial Light & Magic
Opt processing, Industrial Light & Magic
Opt processing, Industrial Light & Magic
Opt processing, Industrial Light & Magic
Visual eff ed, Industrial Light & Magic
Visual eff ed, Industrial Light & Magic
Asst visual eff ed, Industrial Light & Magic
Asst visual eff ed, Industrial Light & Magic
Asst visual eff ed, Industrial Light & Magic
Asst visual eff ed, Industrial Light & Magic
Supv modelmaker, Industrial Light & Magic
Modelmaker, Industrial Light & Magic
Modelmaker, Industrial Light & Magic
Modelmaker, Industrial Light & Magic
Modelmaker, Industrial Light & Magic
Modelmaker, Industrial Light & Magic
Stop motion anim, Industrial Light & Magic
Stop motion cam op, Industrial Light & Magic
Stop motion armatures, Industrial Light & Magic
Puppet const, Industrial Light & Magic
Puppet const, Industrial Light & Magic
Puppet const, Industrial Light & Magic
Cam engineering, Industrial Light & Magic
Cam engineering, Industrial Light & Magic
Cam engineering, Industrial Light & Magic
Cam engineering, Industrial Light & Magic
Cam engineering, Industrial Light & Magic
Cam engineering, Industrial Light & Magic
Cam engineering, Industrial Light & Magic
Opt coord, Industrial Light & Magic
Prod asst, Industrial Light & Magic
Prod asst, Industrial Light & Magic
Still photog, Industrial Light & Magic
Spec eff const, ILM prod
Spec eff const, ILM prod
Spec eff const, ILM prod
Spec eff const, ILM prod
Processed eff, Post prod
Titles, Post prod
MAKEUP
Make-up, U.K. prod
Chief make-up artist, U.K. 2d unit
Key make-up, U.S. prod
Make-up prosthetics, U.K. prod
Hairdresser, U.K. prod
Chief hairdresser, U.K. 2d unit
Key hairdresser, U.S. prod
Make-up/Hairstylist for Mr. Hoskins, ILM prod
PRODUCTION MISC
U.K. casting
Casting secy, U.K. prod
Prod accountant, U.K. prod
Prod accountant, ILM
Asst prod accountant, U.K. prod
Prod mgr, Anim
Prod mgr, Addl anim
Prod coord, U.K. prod
Prod coord, Anim
Prod coord, Anim
Prod coord, Addl anim
Prod coord, U.S. prod
Scr supv, U.K. prod
Scr supv, U.K. 2d unit
Scr supv, ILM prod
Scr supv, U.S. 2d unit
Prod controller
Anim admin
Anim auditor
Anim auditor, Addl anim
Prod auditor, U.S. prod
Prod secy, Anim
Prod secy, Anim
Prod secy, Addl anim
Gen mgr, ILM prod
Exec in charge of finance, ILM
Prod supv, ILM
Asst to Mr. Marshall, U.K. prod
Secy to Mr. Marshall, U.S. prod
Asst to Mr. Watts, U.K. prod
Asst to Ms. Kennedy, U.K. prod
Asst to Mr. Hahn, Anim
Asst to Mr. Howard, Anim
Asst to Mr. Zemeckis, U.S. prod
Asst to Mr. Zemeckis, U.S. prod
Asst to Mr. Spielberg, U.S. prod
Loc mgr, U.K. prod
Loc mgr, U.S. prod
Prod buyer, U.K. prod
Chief puppeteer, U.K. prod
Puppeteer, U.K. prod
Puppeteer, U.K. prod
Puppeteer, U.K. prod
Puppeteer, U.K. prod
Puppeteer, U.K. prod
Puppeteer, U.K. prod
Puppeteer, U.K. prod
Puppeteer, U.K. prod
Puppeteer, U.K. prod
Puppeteer, U.K. prod
Puppeteer, U.K. prod
Puppeteer, U.K. prod
Puppeteer, U.K. prod
Puppeteer, U.K. prod
Puppeteer, U.K. prod
Mime coach, U.K. prod
Mime coach, U.S. prod
Choreography, U.K. prod
Choreography, U.K. prod
Pub, U.K. prod
Pub, U.S. prod
Physio, U.K. prod
Prod runner, U.K. prod
Prod runner, U.K. prod
Transportation coord, U.S. prod
Transportation capt, U.S. prod
Prod asst, ILM prod
Prod asst, U.S. prod
Prod asst, U.S. prod
Prod asst, Anim
Prod asst, Anim
Prod asst, Anim
Prod asst, Addl anim
Prod asst, Addl anim
Post prod asst
Post prod asst
Fabrication of Red Car by
STAND INS
Stunt Arranger
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Stunts
Mr. Hoskins stand-in, U.K. prod
Stunt coord, ILM prod
ANIMATION
Dir of anim
Supv anim
Supv anim
Supv anim
Supv anim
Chief exec and supv anim, Addl anim
Anim supv, Industrial Light & Magic
Anim
Anim
Anim
Anim, Addl anim
Anim, Addl anim
Anim, Addl anim
Anim, Addl anim
Anim, Addl anim
Anim, Addl anim
Anim, Industrial Light & Magic
Anim, Industrial Light & Magic
Anim, Industrial Light & Magic
Anim, Industrial Light & Magic
Anim, Industrial Light & Magic
Coord anim, Addl anim
Storysketch
Storysketch
Storysketch
Storysketch
Layout, Addl anim
Layout, Addl anim
Layout asst, Addl anim
Layout asst, Addl anim
Asst anim
Asst anim
Asst anim
Asst anim
Asst anim
Asst anim
Asst anim
Asst anim
Asst anim
Asst anim
Asst anim
Asst anim
Asst anim
Asst anim
Asst anim
Asst anim
Asst anim
Asst anim
Asst anim
Asst anim
Asst anim
Asst anim
Asst anim
Asst anim
Asst anim
Asst anim
Asst anim
Asst anim
Asst anim
Asst anim
Asst anim, Addl anim
Asst anim, Addl anim
Asst anim, Addl anim
Asst anim, Addl anim
Asst anim, Addl anim
Asst anim, Addl anim
Asst anim, Addl anim
Inbetweener
Inbetweener
Inbetweener
Inbetweener
Inbetweener
Inbetweener
Inbetweener
Inbetweener
Inbetweener
Inbetweener
Inbetweener
Inbetweener
Inbetweener
Inbetweener
Inbetweener
Inbetweener
Inbetweener
Inbetweener
Inbetweener
Inbetweener, Addl anim
Inbetweener, Addl anim
Inbetweener, Addl anim
Inbetweener, Addl anim
Inbetweener, Addl anim
Inbetweener, Addl anim
Inbetweener, Addl anim
Inbetweener, Addl anim
Inbetweener, Addl anim
Inbetweener, Addl anim
Inbetweener, Addl anim
Anim eff supv
Anim eff supv, Addl anim
Eff anim
Eff anim
Eff anim
Eff anim
Eff anim
Eff anim
Eff anim, Addl anim
Eff anim, Addl anim
Eff anim, Addl anim
Eff asst
Eff asst
Eff asst
Eff asst
Eff asst
Eff asst
Eff asst, Addl anim
Eff asst, Addl anim
Eff asst, Addl anim
Eff asst, Addl anim
Eff inbetweener
Eff inbetweener
Eff inbetweener
Eff inbetweener
Eff inbetweener
Eff inbetweener
Eff inbetweener
Anim check supv
Anim check supv, Addl anim
Anim checker
Anim checker
Anim checker, Addl anim
Anim checker, Addl anim
Ink and paint supv
Ink and paint supv, Addl anim
Ink and paint, Industrial Light & Magic
Ink and paint, Industrial Light & Magic
Asst supv
Paint mixer
Tracer
Tracer
Tracer
Tracer
Tracer
Painter
Painter
Painter
Painter
Painter
Painter
Painter
Painter
Painter
Painter
Painter
Painter
Painter
Painter
Painter
Painter
Painter
Painter
Painter
Painter
Painter
Painter
Painter
Painter
Painter
Painter
Painter
Painter
Painter
Painter
Painter
Painter, Addl anim
Painter, Addl anim
Painter, Addl anim
Painter, Addl anim
Painter, Addl anim
Painter, Addl anim
Painter, Addl anim
Painter, Addl anim
Painter, Addl anim
Painter, Addl anim
Painter, Addl anim
Painter, Addl anim
Painter, Addl anim
Painter, Addl anim
Final check supv
Final check supv, Addl anim
Final checker
Final checker
Final checker
Final checker, Addl anim
Final checker, Addl anim
Post punch supv
Post punch supv, Addl anim
Post punch asst
Post punch asst
Post punch asst
Post punch asst
Matte and roto supv
Matte and rotoscope
Matte and rotoscope
Matte and rotoscope
Matte and rotoscope
Matte and rotoscope
Matte and rotoscope
Matte and rotoscope
Matte and rotoscope
Matte and rotoscope
Matte and rotoscope
Matte and rotoscope
Matte and rotoscope
Matte and rotoscope
Matte and rotoscope
Matte and rotoscope
Matte and rotoscope
Matte and rotoscope
Matte and rotoscope
Matte and rotoscope
Matte and rotoscope
Matte and rotoscope
Matte and rotoscope
Matte and rotoscope
Matte and rotoscope
Matte and rotoscope
Matte and rotoscope
Matte and rotoscope
Matte and rotoscope
Matte and rotoscope
Matte and rotoscope
Matte and rotoscope
Matte and roto, Addl anim
Rotoscope supv, Industrial Light & Magic
Rotoscoper, Industrial Light & Magic
Rotoscoper, Industrial Light & Magic
Rotoscoper, Industrial Light & Magic
Rotoscoper, Industrial Light & Magic
Rotoscoper, Industrial Light & Magic
Rotoscoper, Industrial Light & Magic
Rotoscoper, Industrial Light & Magic
Anim ed
Animators ed, Addl anim
Asst ed
Backgrounds/renderings
Backgrounds/renderings
Backgrounds/renderings
Background, Addl anim
Background, Addl anim
Background, Addl anim
Anim cam supv
Anim cam
Anim cam
Anim cam
Anim cam
Anim cam
Anim cam
Anim cam, Addl anim
Anim cam, Addl anim
Anim cam, Addl anim
Anim cam op, Industrial Light & Magic
Anim cam op, Industrial Light & Magic
Video
Traffic
Traffic
Traffic
Anim research
Anim consultant
Anim consultant
Anim consultant
Anim coord, Industrial Light & Magic
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col timer, Post prod
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the book Who Censored Roger Rabbit? by Gary K. Wolf (New York, 1981).
AUTHOR
SONGS
"Why Don't You Do Right?", written by Joe McCoy, vocal by Amy Irving
"Merry-Go-Round Broke Down," written by Cliff Friend and Dave Franklin
"Smile, Darn Ya, Smile," written by Jack Meskill, Charles O'Flynn and Max Rich
+
SONGS
"Why Don't You Do Right?", written by Joe McCoy, vocal by Amy Irving
"Merry-Go-Round Broke Down," written by Cliff Friend and Dave Franklin
"Smile, Darn Ya, Smile," written by Jack Meskill, Charles O'Flynn and Max Rich
"Witchcraft," written by Coleman and Leigh, performed by Frank Sinatra, courtesy of Reprise Records, by arrangement with Warner Special Products.
+
DETAILS
Release Date:
1988
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles and New York openings: 22 Jun 1988
Copyright Claimants:
Touchstone Pictures, a.a.d.o. the Walt Disney Company Amblin Entertainment
Copyright Dates:
23 June 1988 23 June 1988
Copyright Numbers:
PA368781 PA368781
Physical Properties:
Sound
Dolby Stereo in selected theatres
Color
Rank Film Laboratories, Denham, England
Animation
Duration(in mins):
107
MPAA Rating:
PG
Countries:
United Kingdom, United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
29171
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In 1947, cartoon producer R. K. Maroon hires Eddie Valiant, a private detective, to investigate cartoon star Roger Rabbit's wife, Jessica, who has been seen with gag king Marvin Acme. Valiant, although reluctant to work with cartoons, “Toons” for short, takes the job. He makes his way to a local bar and asks the waitress, his girlfriend, Dolores, for her camera. A bar regular taunts Valiant about how he works for Toons, sending Valiant into a fit of rage. He storms out of the bar, leaving the patron perplexed, until Dolores explains that a Toon killed Valiant’s brother. Valiant heads to the Ink and Paint Club to watch Jessica perform and runs into Marvin Acme, who is also the owner of Toontown, home of all cartoon characters. Valiant expects Jessica to be another rabbit, but is shocked to find that she is a beautiful female human cartoon. After the show, Valiant follows Acme to Jessica's dressing room and manages to get photos of Jessica and Acme playing patty-cake. He revisits Maroon, who breaks the news to Roger, using the pictures as proof. Valiant tries to console Roger by telling him he will find someone new. Roger becomes agitated, declaring that Jessica is the only one for him. He then bursts out the window, leaving a Roger-shaped hole in the blinds. The next morning, Valiant is awakened by a police lieutenant named Santino, who tells him that Acme was killed the night before, presumably by a jealous Roger Rabbit. They travel to Acme's workshop, the scene of the crime. As Valiant investigates, a forbidding man enters ... +


In 1947, cartoon producer R. K. Maroon hires Eddie Valiant, a private detective, to investigate cartoon star Roger Rabbit's wife, Jessica, who has been seen with gag king Marvin Acme. Valiant, although reluctant to work with cartoons, “Toons” for short, takes the job. He makes his way to a local bar and asks the waitress, his girlfriend, Dolores, for her camera. A bar regular taunts Valiant about how he works for Toons, sending Valiant into a fit of rage. He storms out of the bar, leaving the patron perplexed, until Dolores explains that a Toon killed Valiant’s brother. Valiant heads to the Ink and Paint Club to watch Jessica perform and runs into Marvin Acme, who is also the owner of Toontown, home of all cartoon characters. Valiant expects Jessica to be another rabbit, but is shocked to find that she is a beautiful female human cartoon. After the show, Valiant follows Acme to Jessica's dressing room and manages to get photos of Jessica and Acme playing patty-cake. He revisits Maroon, who breaks the news to Roger, using the pictures as proof. Valiant tries to console Roger by telling him he will find someone new. Roger becomes agitated, declaring that Jessica is the only one for him. He then bursts out the window, leaving a Roger-shaped hole in the blinds. The next morning, Valiant is awakened by a police lieutenant named Santino, who tells him that Acme was killed the night before, presumably by a jealous Roger Rabbit. They travel to Acme's workshop, the scene of the crime. As Valiant investigates, a forbidding man enters wearing black clothes. Lt. Santino introduces the man as Judge Doom. Doom is convinced that Roger killed Acme. Doom explains that since Toontown is in his jurisdiction, he has been trying to make Toons respect the law, and has come up with a mix of turpentine, acetone, and benzene, known as dip, that is the only known way to kill a Toon. Doom's enforcers begin the search for the fugitive Roger. Outside his office, Valiant runs into Roger's coworker, Baby Herman, who claims that Roger did not kill Acme. He also informs Valiant that Acme left a will, even though the newspapers reported otherwise. Once inside the office, Valiant takes a closer look at the patty-cake pictures and notices that Acme actually has the will in his pocket. When Valiant goes to bed, he finds Roger. Panicking, Valiant attempts to throw Roger out, but the Toon explains that he didn't kill anyone. When Valiant tries to call the police, Roger handcuffs himself to Valiant, only to realize that the handcuffs have no keys. Just then, Doom's Toon Patrol weasels park outside, sending Roger scrambling for cover with Valiant in tow. The weasels shoot the door open, but only see Valiant. As the leader tries to question him, Valiant forces him to eat soap, sending the other weasels into fits of laughter. The weasels give up the search and leave. Roger pops out of the sink, thanking Valiant for saving his life. They head to the bar where Dolores has a secret room with tools they use to get out of the handcuffs. Valiant shows Dolores the picture of Acme's will and asks her to look into the situation. He then returns to his office, where Jessica tells him that Maroon wanted to blackmail Acme and set up Valiant to take the patty-cake pictures in order to manufacture damaging evidence against Acme. Just then, Dolores bursts into the room and explains that Maroon is not after Toontown. Instead, a previously unknown company, Cloverleaf Industries, has put in the highest bid for the area and if Acme's will does not turn up by midnight, Toontown will belong to Cloverleaf. Valiant seems confused at this turn of events, but when they hear what sounds ominously like Roger singing, Valiant and Dolores return to the bar, where they find Roger dancing on the tables and entertaining the customers. Valiant quickly throws Roger into the hidden room, furious that Roger put everything on the line for a few laughs. Doom enters the bar and tries to bribe the customers into turning in Roger, but no one provides information. However, when the judge finds a phonograph record with a “loony” tune on it, he is certain Roger is hiding somewhere in the bar. Doom captures Roger and attempts to execute him, but Valiant frees Roger and they escape. Roger releases a cartoon taxicab named Benny from the back of the Toon Patrol car. Eager to escape from the weasels, Benny takes them through the streets of Los Angeles and drops the pair off at a movie theater. A newsreel reveals that Maroon has made a deal with Cloverleaf to sell Maroon Cartoon Studios. Finally seeing a connection, Valiant drives to the studio to confront Maroon. When Valiant and Roger pull into the studio parking lot, Roger agrees to stay behind and watch Valiant's back. As soon as Valiant walks away, a mysterious figure knocks Roger out and throws him in the back of a car. Meanwhile, as Valiant faces off against Maroon, the cartoon producer pulls a gun. The men struggle, but Valiant gets the upper hand and demands to know what is really going on. Maroon claims that he had a chance to sell his studio, but the buyer would not make the purchase until Acme sold his land as well and that he only wanted to blackmail Acme into selling. Before he can continue, Maroon is shot and killed by an unknown gunman. Valiant looks through the blinds and sees Jessica running down the alleyway. He races downstairs to his car and gives chase through the Toontown tunnel. After several misadventures in Toontown, he finds Jessica in an alleyway. She pulls a gun on Valiant, but actually saves his life by shooting at the mystery killer behind him, who turns out to be Judge Doom. The killer flees to avoid being shot. Jessica tells Valiant that Doom is the one behind both the frame-up and the murders. Valiant summons Benny, who gets them out of Toontown, but Doom is waiting on the other side of the Toontown tunnel. Doom pours dip on the road, which causes Benny to crash, then takes Valiant and Jessica prisoner, and transports them to the Acme factory. Meanwhile, Roger drives Valiant's car out of Toontown. He sees Benny along the way and picks him up. At the Acme factory, Doom reveals that he is the sole stockholder of Cloverleaf Industries, and that he recently bought the local trolley system. He plans to completely erase Toontown to make way for a freeway, knowing that without the trolley, people will be forced to drive on the new road. Doom unveils a large vehicle filled with enough dip to destroy Toontown. Just then, Roger bursts through a manhole and threatens Doom with his gun, but he is knocked out by a weasel. Struck with an idea, Valiant starts singing, dancing, and even juggling in an attempt to get the weasels to laugh. His plan works, and the weasels laugh themselves to death. Valiant rushes to stop the machine, but Doom forces Valiant to face him. The two fight, using various Acme inventions, and in the struggle it is revealed that Doom is actually a Toon. Laughing maniacally, Doom declares that he murdered Valiant's brother as he attacks. Thinking quickly, Valiant opens the drain on the dip vehicle, turning Doom into a puddle of ink. The dip vehicle is destroyed, and Acme's will is revealed to have been written with disappearing-reappearing ink. An apparently blank piece of paper he gave to Jessica is the will that gives Toontown to its cartoon inhabitants. Roger, Jessica, Valiant, and Dolores walk into the Toontown sunset, followed by a crowd of celebrating cartoon characters. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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