Who Framed Roger Rabbit
25th Anniversary Edition, 5th Anniversary Edition
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On Blu-ray for the first time ever, this digitally remastered edition of WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT practically jumps off the screen with its brilliant picture, rich sound -- and dangerous curves. It's 1947 Hollywood and Eddie Valiant (Bob Hoskins), a down-on-his-luck detective, is hired to find proof that Marvin Acme, gag factory mogul and owner of Toontown, is playing hanky-panky with femme fatale Jessica Rabbit, wife of Maroon Cartoon superstar, Roger Rabbit. When Acme is found murdered, all fingers point to Roger, who begs the Toon-hating Valiant to find the real evildoer. Complete with hours of bonus features -- including three digitally restored Roger Rabbit Shorts, this multi-Oscar(R) winner (Best Film Editing, Best Sound Effects Editing, Best Visual Effects, Special Achievement In Animation Direction, 1988) is pure magic in Hi-Def Blu-ray.
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But this one does.
I first saw "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" in the theater more than 30 years ago and loved it. I only recently found it on DVD and, remembering how much I enjoyed it back then, decided to purchase it. So glad I did because, despite the fact it's three decades old, it hasn't lost any of its charm. It's funny, very well acted by the humans in the film, and just as fresh in its concept as it was back in the day.
The script has all the plot elements of a classic film noir movie from the Forties: A down-at-the-heels private eye, a long-suffering girlfriend, an intriguing mystery, and a villain worthy of the name. Set in Los Angeles just after World War II, it captures the glory of Hollywood in its heyday when the studios reigned supreme and movie stars were glamorous. It has classic cartoon characters woven into the storyline: Betty Boop as a cocktail waitress, Droopy Dog running an elevator, and Donald Duck and Daffy Duck playing piano at a nightclub are just some of the many cartoon characters that make appearances in this very clever film.
Charles Fleischer, as the voice of Roger Rabbit (and a few other characters as well) is brilliant and Warner Bros. legendary voice actor Mel Blanc brings his special talents to the film as well. The late Bob Hoskins, as the slightly seedy private eye investigating the murder of a man who sells joke gadgets, is great in the role. He brings just the right touch of humor to the role without overdoing it. Christopher Lloyd as the judge of Toontown is downright scary in the role.
The blend of animation and live action is seamless, which is pretty remarkable given the age of this film. These days we've come to expect that from filmmakers but 30 years ago there were very few studios that would have attempted to do it because of the expense, the time-consuming process, and the often-less-than-stellar results. Touchstone Pictures and producer Steven Spielberg are, in my opinion, to be congratulated for taking the risk as is director Roger Zemeckis for agreeing to helm it.
In summary: A great film with memorable characters, a lot of humor, and a movie that you can watch with your kids that is worth every one of 5 stars.
The story is basic: a private eye is hired by Maroon Studios to follow their star attractions wife and see if she's "playing pattycake" with anyone. When the studio's partner is discovered to be the other player and is subsequently murdered and the star, one Mr. Rabbit, is accused of the crime, the way is open for the wildest investigation in animation history.
With a twist at the end as far as the villain goes,this is a movie for everyone...the kids will like it for the cartoon characters, the adults for the sheer absurdity that somehow manages to still make sense.
It's a delightful, wacky entertainment which, because of all the animated elements, should be viewed more than once...for the story, for the puns and gags, and for the characters themselves. Difficult to believe it was filmed 20 years ago because it still holds up today.
This movie was purchased as a DVD and no remuneration as involved in the writing of this review.