One of my favorite films of all time turns 29 years old today. Who Framed Roger Rabbit was first released in theaters on this date, June 22nd, in 1988 and combined the animated cartoon world with a real world, “who done it” plot line. In today’s Throwback Thursday, we are celebrating the underestimated (and perhaps even forgotten) awesomeness that is the film, Who Framed Roger Rabbit.
Who Framed Roger Rabbit was sent in the late 1940s and starred Bob Hoskins as Eddie Valiant, Christopher Lloyd as Judge Doom, Joanna Cassidy as Dolores, and Charles Fleisher as Roger Rabbit plus a slew of other animated characters in the film. When wealthy businessman Marvin Acme (played by Stubby Kaye) is murdered, cartoon bunny Roger Rabbit is the prime suspect (or is he just a scapegoat?). It’s up to private detective Eddie Valiant to prove his innocence in the case, that is if he can stand being around a toon long enough to do so before Judge Doom’s goons catch Roger and send him to his ultimate demise in “the dip,” a toon destroying liquid.
This film pretty much had it all including cameos from some famous cartoon icons such as Donald Duck, Goofy, Mickey Mouse and more. As a kid, I remember loving the silly and quirky cartoon characters but not really understanding, or, I guess the better way to say it is, not really noticing the plot. Just the happy, funny cartoon characters.
As I got a little older and rewatched the film, I began to appreciate the clever plot and writing that watch captured so wonderfully within the film like, for example, how the humans in the film used classic cartoon tactics to get what they want. Who could forget the clever scene where Eddie Valiant uses reverse cartoon psychology to get Roger to take a shot:
Or the classic cartoon themed police car chase:
And, of course, the “adult theme” that went completely over my head as a child, Jessica Rabbit:
The film received mixed reviews upon its release but, the majority were positive. Regardless, this is still one of my favorite films to watch and definitely ranks up there on the list of “movies I will always watch when I randomly find them airing on television.”
Do you remember Who Framed Roger Rabbit? What did you think of the film when it first came out and what do you think of the film now? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.