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Who Framed Roger Rabbit

Robert Zemeckis

Who Framed Roger Rabbit
As Who Framed Roger Rabbit opens, the dunce-cap shaped, speech-impeded rabbit goes through an Itchy & Scratchy-ish series of near death experiences in the Maroon Cartoon "Something's Cooking." Then, all of a sudden, the human director appears in the shot. As the foulmouthed, cigar-smoking Baby Herman stalks off the set he walks under a script girl's dress and, if you freeze-frame it, has a decidedly non-infantile leer as he take a quick peak upwards. And with that, the meta-cartoon was born. But the Spielberg-produced, Robert Zemeckis-directed movie is more than just an opportunity to see cartoons interacting with humans (Mary Poppins, been there; Bedknobs and Broomsticks, done that) or a chance for them acting all risqué (hello Fritz the Cat). By using a classic L.A. private eye milieu and filling the frames with murder, blackmail, adultery and other sordid activities — as well as including various company's characters, a grungy Bob Hoskins and a sultry vocal turn from Kathleen Turner as Jessica "I'm not bad, I'm just drawn that way" Rabbit — Zemeckis created an original and timeless eye-popper. Which is why so many were disappointed that the original DVD release in 1999 had no extras? Well, that's been corrected with the jam-packed "Vista Series" double-disc. The commentary is informative, if a little scattered, and the three Roger Rabbit shorts have all been rounded up. Plus, there several "making of" bits and pieces, which demonstrate the difficulty of mixing live actors and animated characters without the use of computers (yep, it's that old). The only thing that chuffs about it is that several single-frame animator in-jokes, such as Betty Boop topless and, allegedly, Jessica Rabbit sans panties, have been edited out to avoid freeze-frame lechery. Curses! Extras: Roger Rabbit shorts; "Who Made Roger Rabbit" mini-documentary; "Trouble In Toontown" game; audio commentary; facts and trivia; deleted scene with commentary; split-screen comparison with and without animation; "behind the scenes" documentary; "Toon Stand-Ins" featurette. (Buena Vista/Touchstone)
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