Who Framed Roger Rabbit


(out of 5)

An absolute classic, this is the best marriage of live action and animation on film and one of the best detective stories in recent years. Films have tried to make the technologies mix since this classic was released but have failed miserably (Space Jam anyone?) A tale that blends the Looney Tunes with Raymond Chandler, it stars a terrific as a burned-out Los Angeles private investigator who no longer has the will to live a decent life since his brother died in a toon-related accident. When he is hired by an animation studio boss to spy on Jessica Rabbit (voiced by ), a sexy femme fatale who might be stepping out on her beloved husband Roger, he initially resists because he no longer “does toons”. When Jessica’s friend Marvin Acme () winds up dead, Roger (a cartoon rabbit) is instantly fingered as the murderer and begs Hoskins to help clear his name. Thanks to magical visual effects, cartoon characters (from both the Warners and Disney studios, a first) interact with live humans quite naturally on studio backlots and throughout the city of 1940s L.A., while a trip to Toontown later on finds Hoskins as the minority resident surrounded by nothing but animated characters and sets. The effects (which utilize no computer graphics) are absolutely seamless, but the screenplay backing them up is also fantastic.  The detective story is convoluted and complex, perfectly Maltese Falcon-ish in the best of ways, featuring good-time gals, murky bars and has-been acts dishing the dirt to the bitter detective. Great acting by Hoskins and a lovely  as his girlfriend, and marvelous voice work by the actors playing the toons (that’s  doing Jessica’s singing, by the way).

Touchstone Pictures, Amblin Entertainment, Silver Screen Partners III

USA, 1988

Directed by

Screenplay by , based on the novel Who Censored Roger Rabbit by

Cinematography by

Produced by ,

Music by

Production Design by

Costume Design by

Film Editing by

Academy Awards
Best Film Editing (Arthur Schmidt)
Best Sound Effects Editing (Charles L. Campbell, Louis L. Edemann)
Best Visual Effects (Ken Ralston, Richard Williams, Edward Jones, George Gibbs)
Special Achievement Award (To Richard Williams for the animation direction)

Best Art Direction (art direction: Elliot Scott; set decoration: Peter Howitt)
Best Cinematography (Dean Cundey)
Best Sound (Robert Knudson, John Boyd, Don Digirolamo, Tony Dawe)

Golden Globe Award Nominations
Best Motion Picture-Comedy or Musical
Best Performance By An Actor in a Motion Picture-Comedy or Musical (Bob Hoskins)


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