One of the great hallmarks of animation, 1988’s Who Framed Roger Rabbit? was a rare example of a film that tried (and managed) to be everything to everyone. Inspired by but bearing very little resemblance to Gary K. Wolf’s novel, Who Censored Roger Rabbit?, Jeffrey Price and Peter S. Seaman’s brilliant screenplay is a wild tale drawn around the Great American Streetcar Scandal in a Chinatown send-up so dead-on that Jack Nicholson was originally considered for the role of hard-drinking private eye Eddie Valiant. Fortunately the part went to British character actor Bob Hoskins, who served up one of the decade’s most joyous performances—only made more amazing when one realizes he spent most of the production alone on camera. Roger Rabbit is notable for its stunning animation/live-action interactions, but remains beloved for uniting scores of classic characters from various studios, resulting in classic moments like Donald and Daffy Duck’s “Hungarian Rhapsody” duel and a thrilling Bugs/Mickey buddy cameo that elicited cheers from audiences. Animation director Richard Williams designed the original characters and was responsible for many of the movie’s most famous sequences, including Jessica Rabbit’s iconic “Why Don’t You Do Right?” number and the spectacular three-minute cartoon short that opens the film. At the time of its release it was one of the most expensive movies ever produced, and director Robert Zemeckis was terrified when audiences walked out of early test screenings, but the Rabbit proved his worth with glowing reviews, huge box-office returns, and Academy Awards for editing and both visual and sound effects, plus a special Oscar for Williams’ contributions. Careening slapstick comedy, witty noir parody, big-hearted buddy adventure, high-minded concept film, knee-slapping cartoon romp, and shockingly perverse sex farce, Who Framed Roger Rabbit? succeeds on every level and stands as a filmmaking triumph.



December 02, 1988


Robert Zemeckis


Gary K. Wolf (novel), Jeffrey Price (screenplay)


Buena Vista Pictures


Animation, Comedy, Crime, Family, Fantasy, Mystery




104 minutes