Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988) Poster


Roddy McDowall was considered for the role of Judge Doom.
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Since the movie was being made by Disney, Warner Brothers would only allow the use of their biggest toon stars, Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck, if they got an equal amount of screen time as Disney's biggest stars, Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck. Because of this, both sets of characters are always together in frame when on the screen.
This movie marked the only time cartoon characters from both Walt Disney and Warner Brothers appeared together on screen.
The three ingredients of the dip which 'kills' toons, (turpentine, benzene and acetone) are all paint thinners which are used to remove animation from cels.
The first test audience was comprised mostly of 18-19-year-olds, who hated it. After nearly the entire audience walked out of the screening, Robert Zemeckis, who had final cut, said he wasn't changing a thing.
Bob Hoskins said that, for two weeks after seeing the movie, his young son wouldn't talk to him. When finally asked why, his son said he couldn't believe his father would work with cartoon characters such as Bugs Bunny and not let him meet them.
With an estimated production budget of $70 million at the time of its release, Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988) was the most expensive film produced in the 1980s and had the longest on-screen credits for a film.
Pay close attention to Christopher Lloyd's performance as Judge Doom. In every shot where he's not wearing his shades, he never blinks.
Every frame of the movie which featured a mixture of animation and live action had to be printed up as a still photograph. An animator would then draw the particular illustration for that frame on tracing paper set on top of the photo. The outline drawing then had to be hand-colored. Once that was done, the drawing had to be composited back into the original frame using an optical printer.
When Eddie takes Roger Rabbit into the back room at the bar where Dolores works to cut apart the hand-cuffs, the lamp from ceiling is bumped and swinging. Lots of extra work was needed to make the shadows match between the actual room shots and the animation for very little viewer benefit. Today, "Bump the Lamp" is a term used by many Disney employees to refer to going that extra mile on an effect just to make it a little more special, even though most viewers or guests will never notice it.
Jessica Rabbit's speaking voice was performed by Kathleen Turner, and her singing voice was performed by Amy Irving. Turner was uncredited.
Tim Curry auditioned for the role of Judge Doom, but he gave a performance that Robert Zemeckis, Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg and Michael Eisner all found quite terrifying.
When the toon train hits the Dip Machine, each window of the train shows a murder or death taking place (if viewed frame-by-frame).
Although the film's title is a question, no question mark appears in the title, as this is considered bad luck in the industry.
When the Special Edition DVD was released, Robert Zemeckis stated in an interview for a newspaper that Bill Murray was his and producer Steven Spielberg's original choice for the role of Eddie Valiant but neither could get in contact with him in time. Bill Murray states in interviews that when he read the interview he was in a public place at the time but he still screamed his lungs out, because he would have definitely accepted the role.
The movie's line "I'm not bad. I'm just drawn that way." was voted as the #83 of "The 100 Greatest Movie Lines" by Premiere in 2007.
To give Jessica's ample bosom an unusual bounce, her supervising animator Russell Hall reversed the natural up-down movements of her breasts as she walked: they bounce up when a real woman's breasts bounce down and vice versa.
Several voice actors make cameos as the voice of the character(s) they have played before. These are Tony Anselmo (Donald Duck), Wayne Allwine (Mickey Mouse) and Mel Blanc (Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Sylvester and Tweety Bird). But most noticeable is Mae Questel as Betty Boop. Mae did Betty's voice from 1930 until the character was retired in 1939. Mae Questel then became Popeye the Sailor's friend, Olive Oyl.
John Cleese expressed interest in playing Judge Doom, but both Steven Spielberg and Robert Zemeckis refused. Because they both thought nobody would take a former member of Monty Python seriously as a sadistic villain.
Another scene that came about by accident was when Roger and Eddie Valiant arrive at Maroon Studios to interrogate Mr. Maroon. As Bob Hoskins delivered his lines, he looked straight ahead, instead of down at a three-foot rabbit. The animators decided to have Roger stand on tiptoe against the wall to cover up the gaffe.
Bob Hoskins claimed that Jessica Rabbit was not yet sketched by the animators when filming wrapped and he had no idea what the character would look like. Robert Zemeckis told Hoskins to imagine his ideal sexual fantasy. Hoskins claimed that his mental image was less risqué than what Jessica looked like in the completed film.
The truck full of "stuff" (bowling balls, pianos, etc.) that Eddie Valiant crashes into when he returns to Toontown is labeled "ACME Overused Gags".
In the original VHS release, when Eddie and Jessica are thrown out of the car, you can see for a few short frames that Jessica was not wearing any underwear. This was edited out in all future versions for obvious reasons.
Initially, there were to be seven weasels (Greasy, Sleazy, Wheezy, Smartass, Psycho, Stupid, and Slimy) to parody the seven dwarfs.
The Red Car trolley is still sitting in the bone yard at the Florida Disney Studio in 2010.
Judge Doom's master plan to dismantle the Red Car trolley is based in fact. Private corporations conspired to eliminate public transit in the late 1940s and 1950s in order to generate demand for automobiles and ancillary industries to keep said automobiles running.
For this movie, animation director Richard Williams set out to break three rules that previously were conventions for combining live-action and animation: first, move the camera as much as possible so the Toons don't look pasted on flat backgrounds; second, use lighting and shadows to an extreme that was never before attempted; third, have the Toons interact with real-world objects and people as much as possible.
To get the feel of acting with cartoon characters, Bob Hoskins studied his three-year-old daughter playing with her imaginary friends.
The song at the end of the film, "Smile, Darn Ya, Smile", was recorded by most of the film's animators, doing their best character voices.
The Ink and Paint Club's policy of only letting toons onto the premises as entertainers and employees, not as customers or audience members, is a reference to the real-life Cotton Club, which, along with many other segregated clubs before the Civil Rights movement, only allowed Black people to enter as performers.
During production, one of the biggest challenges faced by the makers of the film was how to get the cartoon characters to realistically interact with real on-set props. This was ultimately accomplished in two different ways. Certain props (such as Baby Herman's cigar or the plates Roger smashes over his head) were moved on-set via motion control machines hooked up to operator who would move the objects in exactly the desired manner. Then, in post, the character was simply drawn 'over' the machine. The other way of doing it was by using puppeteers. This is most clearly seen in the scene in the Ink & Paint club. The glasses held by the octopus bartender were in fact being controlled by puppeteers from above, whilst the trays carried by the penguin waiters were on sticks being controlled from below - both the wires and the sticks were simply removed in post and the cartoons added in.
Judge Doom picks up a record and reads its label: "The Merry-Go-Round Broke Down". Then he says, "quite a loony selection for a bunch of drunken reprobates." The song "The Merry-Go-Round Broke Down" is the familiar theme song for the Looney Tunes cartoons.
The password ("Walt sent me") to enter the "Ink and Paint Club" refers to cartooning legend Walt Disney.
In the original novel, Baby Herman is 30. In the film, he is 50. The line "I got a 30-year-old lust in a 3-year-old's dinky" is lifted directly from the novel.
The proposed route for Judge Doom's freeway is the same one the 10 Freeway follows through Los Angeles.
During filming, Charles Fleischer delivered Roger Rabbit's lines off camera in full Roger costume including rabbit ears, yellow gloves and orange cover-alls. During breaks when he was in costume, other staff at the studios would see him and make comments about the poor caliber of the effects in the "rabbit movie".
Jessica Rabbit was based exactly on four movie femme fatales. Writer Gary K. Wolf had based Jessica primarily on the cartoon character Red, Tex Avery's vixen from Red Hot Riding Hood (1943). (In fact, the musical number in Red Hot Riding Hood (1943) is duplicated by Jessica at the Ink and Paint Club.) In addition, animation director Richard Williams said he based Jessica mostly on Rita Hayworth in Gilda (1946), Veronica Lake for the peek-a-boo bangs of her hair, and with the suggestion of Robert Zemeckis, "the look" trademark Lauren Bacall had.
A list of the classic cartoon cameos in the film (which is supposed to be set in 1947, though quite a few post-1947 characters appear), grouped by studio: Warner Bros (Looney Tunes): - Bugs Bunny - Daffy Duck - Porky Pig - Tweety - Sylvester - Yosemite Sam - Foghorn Leghorn - Marvin the Martian (first appeared in 1948) - Road Runner & Wile E. Coyote (first appeared in 1949) - Marc Anthony the bulldog from Feed the Kitty (1952) - Sam Sheepdog from Don't Give Up the Sheep (1953) - Speedy Gonzales (first appeared in 1953) Max Fleischer/Paramount: - Koko the Clown (Out of the Inkwell (1919) - Betty Boop Walter Lantz: - Woody Woodpecker MGM: - Droopy
The case where Valiant keeps his cartoon gun is inscribed "Thanks for getting me out of the Hoosegow - Yosemite Sam".
The gag of the toon pelican falling off his bicycle came about by accident. Originally, the pelican would have ridden straight past the camera, but the effects technicians were unable to keep the bike upright. The filmmakers decided to let the bicycle fall and animate the pelican losing his balance.
Benny the Cab drives across a bridge while being pursued by the Weasels. The bridge is the "Hyperion Bridge," which crosses a freeway near the OLD Disney Studio down in Hollywood; the one they had before they built the one in Burbank (around 1939).
Animation director Richard Williams strove for three things while creating this film's animation: Warner Bros.' Looney Tunes-type characters; Disney-quality animation and Tex Avery-style humor..."but not so brutal."
Famous Studio/Paramount characters Popeye, Bluto, Olive Oyl, Superman, Little Lulu and Casper the Friendly Ghost, as well as Pat Sullivan's Felix the Cat and MGM's Tom & Jerry, were all scripted to appear in a scene revolving around Marvin Acme's funeral, but the rights to the characters could not be obtained in time, although a photo of Felix shaking hands with R.K. Maroon is seen in Maroon's office when he first hires Eddie.
Robert Zemeckis keeps the stop-motion model of the flattened Judge Doom in his office.
Joel Silver's cameo as the director of the Baby Herman cartoon was a prank on Disney chief Michael Eisner by Robert Zemeckis and Steven Spielberg. Eisner and Silver hated each other from their days at Paramount Pictures in the early '80s, particularly after the difficulties involved in making 48 Hrs. (1982). Silver shaved off his beard, paid his own expenses, and kept his name out of all initial cast sheets. When Eisner was told, after the movie was complete, who was playing the director - Silver was nearly unrecognizable - he reportedly shrugged and said, "He was pretty good."
There were over 40 drafts of the script, including drafts that had either Jessica Rabbit or Baby Herman as the villain.
Robert Zemeckis used the 'Benny the Cab' go-kart during the production of Back to the Future Part III (1990). In some shots for the scene where Marty is dragged by the horse, Michael J. Fox was actually being dragged by the Benny go-kart.
The Disney Afternoon character Bonkers Bobcat was created because Amblin Entertainment, co-owner of all of the characters created for "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" refused to allow Disney to produce a TV series incorporating characters from the film. At the time, Amblin was working with Warner Brothers on the animated series Tiny Toon Adventures (1990) and Animaniacs (1993).
The piano duet between Donald Duck and Daffy Duck was storyboarded by animation director Richard Williams and Chuck Jones, who was working as a consultant. Williams drew Donald, while Jones drew Daffy.
Roger Rabbit is described (design-wise) as having a "Warners face", a "Disney body", a "Tex Avery attitude", Goofy's overalls, Mickey Mouse's gloves, and Porky Pig's bowtie. Animation director Richard Williams says he based his Roger color model on the American flag (red overalls, white body, blue tie) so that "everyone would subliminally like it".
Full-size rubber models of Roger Rabbit used as stand-ins so that the human actors could get a feeling for the size and shape of their imaginary co-star.
To convince the Disney and Amblin executives that they could make the movie, the filmmakers shot a short test involving Roger bumping into some crates in an alley and then getting picked up by a version of Valiant played by Joe Pantoliano (this test can be seen in the Behind the Ears: The True Story of Roger Rabbit (2003) documentary on the Vista Series DVD). After viewing the test, several of the Disney executives were convinced they had seen a traditional 'man-in-a-suit' gag with added animation. They couldn't believe it when they were told that it was 100% animation.
The tunnel leading to Toontown is located at Griffith Park (near Los Angeles) and is frequently used in movies and for TV as a generic tunnel.
At the movie theater where Eddie tells Roger his back story, the short Goofy Gymnastics (1949) is being played, which didn't come out for another two years from the period the film is set in (1947). Crew members claimed to have chosen this particular short, despite its inaccuracy, because it was the zaniest thing they could find in the Disney Vault.
The weasel's names are not mentioned in the film. They are Smart Ass (who is the leader), Psycho (in the straight jacket), Stupid (in the striped shirt), Greasy (the "suave" one in green), and Wheezy (the smoker).
326 animators worked full-time on the film. In total, 82,080 frames of animation were drawn. Including storyboards and concept art, animation director Richard Williams estimates that well over one million drawings were done for the movie.
Christopher Lee turned down the role of Judge Doom.
Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote, who briefly appear in the final "roll call" shot, actually had not been created at the time the movie was set (1947). The characters were given a small cameo anyway at the insistence of Steven Spielberg.
Some scenes of Eddie Valiant in the taxi are actually drawings of Eddie Valiant instead of pictures of Bob Hoskins.
HIDDEN MICKEY: Before Eddie begins to juggle, he holds the three black bombs in a manner that mimics Mickey Mouse's head.
The song played by Daffy and Donald Duck in the Ink and Paint Club is the Second Hungarian Rhapsody by Franz Liszt, a song featured in numerous cartoons, including the Oscar winning Tom & Jerry short The Cat Concerto (1947) and the Bugs Bunny Merrie Melodie, Rhapsody Rabbit (1946).
One of the photos in Roger's wallet is of him and Jessica dining at the Brown Derby. The caricatures on the walls are of some of the filmmakers, including Robert Zemeckis, Richard Williams, and Steven Spielberg, as well as one of Mickey Mouse.
Eddie Valiant's initial 30 second stroll through Maroon Cartoon Studios, was so complex that it involved over 180 individual elements, that when assembled with the film pieces, created stacks 8 feet in height.
The Animation director of this movie, Richard Williams, jokingly described the Ink & Paint Club (which has never existed) as the place Walt Disney discovered the penguin waiters to use in his film Mary Poppins (1964).
The tunnel Valiant drives through to reach Toon Town is the same tunnel as in Back to the Future Part II (1989)'s hoverboard/DeLorean chase.
Writers 'Jeffrey Price' and Peter S. Seaman admired the film Chinatown (1974). There was to be two sequels to that film, the first was The Two Jakes (1990), which was later filmed. The second was to be about the corruption in Los Angeles when the streetcar system was removed and freeways were built to replace them. It was to be called "Cloverleaf." Though it is an animated comedy, Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988) pretty much tells the story of this dark period in Los Angeles history.
According to Robert Zemeckis, a major brewing company offered to pay to have their name visible on the liquor bottle that Roger drinks from early in the film. Zemeckis reminded them that Roger "turns into a steam whistle" after taking a shot, but the brewing company reps didn't care, apparently figuring that the publicity they would receive would be priceless. Ultimately, this product placement could not be included as the film was being distributed by Disney.
The Judge Doom character was originally going to have an animated pet vulture that sat on his shoulder, but that idea was dropped in the interest of saving time. However, the vulture later resurfaced with Judge Doom when a bendable action figure was produced.
Screenwriters Jeffrey Price and Peter S. Seaman first adapted the Gary K. Wolf novel, 'Who Censored Roger Rabbit?', in 1981, with a view to making it with up-and-coming director Robert Zemeckis. However, when Disney viewed Zemeckis' two feature films (I Wanna Hold Your Hand (1978) and Used Cars (1980)), they felt that Zemeckis wasn't talented enough to pull off the movie. After Zemeckis made Romancing the Stone (1984) and Back to the Future (1985), Disney reconsidered and the movie was green-lit.
Felix the Cat's face appears as the masks of tragedy and comedy on the keystone of the entrance to Toontown.
Kathleen Turner was nine months pregnant when she recorded the voice of Jessica Rabbit.
Judge Doom originally had a vulture on his shoulder, and seven weasels accompanying him, rather like the Seven Dwarfs. He ended up only having five. He was also to have a jury of kangaroos, as in "Kangaroo Court." These elements were all dropped because animating these extra characters would be too costly.
Lena Hyena, the hideously ugly Jessica Rabbit impostor that Eddie meets in Toontown, is based on the creation of the same name by artist Basil Wolverton. She was first conceived in 1946 for a contest by Al Capp to depict "the world's ugliest woman" to be featured in his "Lil' Abner" comic strip.
Bob Hoskins had to do a lot of his acting in front of a green screen, only visualizing the cartoon characters that were added later. In a 1988 interview for Danish TV, he said, "I had to learn to hallucinate to do it. ... After doing it for six months, for sixteen hours a day, I lost control of it and sort of had weasels and rabbits popping out of the wall at me." Hoskins didn't take another job for a year.
A brief sequence was prepared to test the techniques used to combine live-action with animation. The footage, which showed Eddie Valiant (played by Joe Pantoliano) walking in an alley with Roger Rabbit, touched on all the challenges expected of the production - shading on the cartoon characters, interaction with the live-action actors and environment, matching with the constantly moving camera, etc. The brief, one-minute film, budgeted at $100,000, convinced the filmmakers that the effects could create the illusion of cartoons and live actors occupying the same reality.
An elaborate funeral scene for Marvin Acme set at the famous Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale was discarded from the shooting script in pre-production. It came complete with Foghorn Leghorn delivering the eulogy and the Harvey Toons jack-in-the-box logo springing out of Acme's casket to the tune of "Pop Goes the Weasel" with a giant funeral wreath attached; also in this scene were many cartoon cameos that were eventually cut including Casper the Friendly Ghost (who eventually sends everyone fleeing), Tom and Jerry, Screwy Squirrel, Superman and Lois Lane, Felix the Cat, Chip and Dale, Baby Huey, Mighty Mouse, Crusader Rabbit, Little Lulu, Popeye, Olive Oyl, Bluto, Wimpy, Heckle and Jeckle, Cinderella, Alice, the White Rabbit, the Mad Hatter, the March Hare, Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Piglet, Peter Pan and Wendy, Herman and Catnip, and Little Audrey among others.
Chevy Chase who prefers to do family-oriented movies, turned down the role of Eddie Valiant, as he was afraid a movie where a woman is happily married to a rabbit would affect his family-friendly image.
The crowd scenes at the beginning of the Toontown sequence consist mostly of animation from previous Disney films. (Re-using animation was a common practice for Disney up until the early 1990s.)
Eddie Murphy revealed on Inside the Actors Studio (1994) that he turned down the role of Eddie Valiant. He regrets that decision.
The photograph that Eddie takes of Marvin Acme and Jessica playing "patty-cake" was created during pre-production, and features an earlier design of Jessica than the one that is used in the final character animation. The one shot that was re-done to incorporate the new Jessica design was the insert shot of the picture after it is first developed.
The bottle of chili sauce falling in the opening cartoon had to be re-animated several times as British animators used the UK spelling "chilli".
To create the animation, over 85,000 hand-inked and painted cels were created and composited with the live-action backdrops, live-action characters, and hand-animated tone mattes (shading) and cast shadows using optical film printers. NO computer animation was used in creating the animations. Some scenes involved up to 100 individual film elements. Any live-action that had to be later composited was shot in VistaVision to take advantage of the double-area frame of the horizontal 35mm format. The finished film thus does not suffer from the increased grain that plagued previous live-action/animation combos such as Mary Poppins (1964).
Animation producer Richard Williams fell in love with the character of ("adult") Baby Herman, and insisted on animating pratically every frame of this character himself.
In the documentary Behind the Ears: The True Story of Roger Rabbit (2003), Bob Hoskins refers (jokingly) to Charles Fleischer as "completely nuts". This is likely due to Fleischer's insistence upon wearing a Roger Rabbit suit while voicing the character live on the set, despite reminders that he would never be on camera himself.
Yosemite Sam is the only Looney Tune with lines in the film to not be voiced by Mel Blanc.
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A "prequel" with the working title "Toon Platoon" never got out of the developmental stage.
Four phrases appear in both this film and Zemeckis's previous one Back to the Future (1985): "didn't hear you come in", "you're a sight for sore eyes", "I'm gonna ram him", and (referring to a piece of land) "as far as the eye can see". The latter was said in both films by Christopher Lloyd.
A list of the classic cartoon cameos in the film (which is supposed to be set in 1947, though quite a few post-1947 characters appear), grouped by studio: Disney: - Mickey Mouse - Minnie Mouse - Pluto - Donald Duck - Goofy - Pegleg Pete - Horace Horsecollar - Clarabell Cow - the merry dwarfs from The Merry Dwarfs (1929) - the flowers and trees from Flowers and Trees (1932) - the Three Little Pigs and the Big Bad Wolf from Three Little Pigs (1933) - Peter Pig from The Wise Little Hen (1934) - Toby Tortoise, Max Hare, and the girl bunnies from The Tortoise and the Hare (1935) - Mickey's orphans from Orphan's Benefit (1934) - Little Red Riding Hood from The Big Bad Wolf (1934) - Jenny Wren from Who Killed Cock Robin? (1935) - Elmer Elephant from Elmer Elephant (1936) - Snow White, all seven dwarfs, and the Old Hag/Witch from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) - Wynken, Blynken and Nod from Wynken, Blynken & Nod (1938) - Ferdinand the bull from Ferdinand the Bull (1938) - Pinocchio and Jiminy Cricket from Pinocchio (1940) - the broomsticks, the cupids, the baby Pegasuses, an ostrich, and a hippo from Fantasia (1940) - the Reluctant Dragon and Sir Giles from The Reluctant Dragon (1941) - Dumbo, Mrs. Jumbo, Casey Jr., and the crows (as Jessica's backing band in the Ink and Paint Club) from Dumbo (1941) - Bambi from Bambi (1942) - Chicken Little from Chicken Little (1943) - Jose Carioca from Saludos Amigos (1942) - Monte the pelican from The Pelican and the Snipe (1944) - Peter from the "Peter and the Wolf" segment of Make Mine Music (1946) - Br'er Bear, the groundhogs, and the Tar Baby from Song of the South (1946) - the singing harp from the "Mickey and the Beanstalk" segment of Fun & Fancy Free (1947) - the animals from The Legend of Johnny Appleseed (1948) - Danny the lamb from So Dear to My Heart (1948) - Mr. Toad and his horse Cyril from The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad (1949) - Tinker-Bell from Peter Pan (1953) - Maleficent's goons from Sleeping Beauty (1959) - the penguins from Mary Poppins (1964).
Exteriors of the Maroon Cartoon studios were shot at Ren-Mar Studios in Hollywood, California, formerly the home of Desilu Productions.
The animation production was done mostly in England at Richard Williams's studio. Some fill-in work and production on the "Toontown" sequence was done in Los Angeles.
Wallace Shawn was considered for the role of Eddie Valiant.
Robert Zemeckis wanted to do the Robert Clampett version of Daffy Duck, but Chuck Jones wanted to do his version of the character and had very personally disliked Clampett. Zemeckis had has way and this was one of the main factors in Jones' dislike of the film.
Among the song selections on the Acme "Select-a-Tune" (the device that Eddie "sings" to in order to make the weasels laugh themselves to death) are "Jolson Medley", "Merry-Go-Round Broke Down", "Broadway Selection" and "Mickey's Melody".
Peter Renaday auditioned for the role of Eddie Valiant. In the test footage with an animated Jessica Rabbit (animated by Darrell Van Citters), he resembled Eddie as he did in the books; slender and with a beard.
Early in production, Paul Reubens auditioned for the role of Roger Rabbit. The animation in the screen test using Reubens' voice was done by Darrell Van Citters.
Given the extraordinary process of making this film by shooting the live action first then the animation, which alone took twice as long, left little to no options in the way of editing the final composite. Coupled with the fact that animation could not begin until all the dialogue was prerecorded practically meant finishing the film before it was finished. This also ruled out the option for alternate takes and re shoots, because the animation for those scenes would have been too expensive and the animation for those scenes was already completed respectively. As such, cutting even part of a scene for timing meant the entire scene had to be taken out animation and all.
The film's original budget was projected at $50 million, which Walt Disney Productions felt was too expensive. The film was finally green-lit when the budget decreased to $30 million. However, when the film's shooting schedule lasted longer than originally expected, the budget escalated until it reached $70 million.
Originally when Lena Hyena caught Eddie in her arms, as she kissed him she was to stick her tongue in his ear and it would come out through the other ear, it was cut because they didn't want too many cartoonish things happening to him.
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Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner also appear silhouetted on the elevator door as it goes up.
Visual effects supervisor Ken Ralston donned the Judge Doom costume for the scene where Eddie Valiant shoots cartoon bullets at Doom in Toontown, as Doom runs away from Valiant.
An exposure sheet (a chart for keeping track of the drawings to be shot for animation) can be seen in R.K. Maroon's desk. The exposure sheet can also be seen clinging to Eddie Valiant as Roger jumps up screaming after drinking scotch in Maroon's office.
Chuck Jones received a credit as "animation consultant" but disavowed the movie forever after, complaining that there was something wrong with a movie where the live-action hero got more sympathy than the animated-cartoon star did.
Robert Redford, Harrison Ford, Sylvester Stallone, Jack Nicholson, and Ed Harris were considered for the role of Eddie Valiant.
This was Stubby Kaye's final film before his death on December 14, 1997 at the age of 79.
While the film was very well received by critics, it has not been without criticism, especially - and surprisingly - among actual Golden Age veterans and fans. Chuck Jones in particular, who worked on the film, ended up loathing the final product, citing it as a obnoxious, witless misunderstanding of the old cartoons it set out to homage and even accused Robert Zemeckis of robbing Richard Williams of any creative input - and for apparently ruining the piano sequence that he and Williams had planned together. Cartoon historian Michael Barrier derided the animation direction as "disastrous", and Frank Thomas of Disney's Nine Old Men was strongly disappointed in Richard Williams failing to have any actual pathos come from the main character himself. John Kricfalusi has also not spoken highly of it, thinking that it had "great animators" but was "misdirected", "filled with takes and zany movement but no character or wit."
Before he was the official voice of Goofy, Bill Farmer had his first job as a voice over artist singing ensemble for the closing song, "Smile, Darn Ya, Smile!". He snuck in the voice of Goofy during this song.
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Sting was considered for the role of Judge Doom.
Steven Spielberg's first choice for Eddie Valiant was Harrison Ford, but his price was too high.
The stove in the animated opening has the brand name Hotternell, a play on the phrase "hotter than hell".
The Pacific Electric "Red Cars" are actually rubber-tired replicas of an original electric car from the Orange Empire Railway Museum. The "tracks" were simply metal strips added to the pavement.
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Terry Gilliam was initially offered the job of directing this movie, but turned it down because he considered it "conceptually inauthentic to use the Looney Tunes genre/character stable as a springboard for a variation on the Howard the Duck (1986) story".
During production there was disagreement over the way the Looney Tunes characters would look. Warner Bros. wanted the filmmakers to use the contemporary designs used in their merchandising at the time, while the producers insisted on having the characters looking the way they did at the time period where the film is set, the mid to late 1940s. Dummy footage using the modern designs was sent to Warner Bros. for approval, while the animators used the period appropriate designs on the actual film.
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When panning over the newspaper articles on Eddie's desk of past cases he and his brother worked on, one heading reads "Mayor Mouse Awards ..... Toontown," indicating that Mickey Mouse is the mayor of Toontown.
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Despite the fact that this was filmed in the standard spherical format, "Filmed in Panavision" is listed in the end credits.
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Making this film, filming the live action first then spending another 7-8 months on the animation and post-production, precluded it from being edited like most are. In most cases, editing is simply cutting for time, using different takes or re-shooting. This was not the case because such unusual filming made even the rough cut very linear. So linear that cutting for time even just a little meant entire scenes had to be removed. Furthermore, any problematic scenes could not be re-shot because the animation had already been done for those scenes. Going to an alternate take was not an option either, because the animation for those takes would have been too time-consuming and expensive.
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The film takes place in 1947.
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Both Bob Hoskins (Eddie Valiant) and Charles Fleischer (Roger Rabbit) would later go onto voice the character Boris Goosnivov in the Balto film trilogy. Hoskins voiced Boris in the original whilst Fleischer voiced him in the 2 sequels.
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This was the last film to star Mel Blanc and so was Daffy Duck's Quackbusters (1988) as he died a year later after the films release.
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The scene shot in the cinema (theatre) with the organ was shot in england. specifically the State cinema (a grade 1 listed building) located in the town of Grays in the county of Essex.
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When Valiant confronts Maroon and sprays him with a seltzer bottle, a Roger Rabbit poster can be seen in the background.
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This film contains Disney and Warner Bros. cartoons. Disney went on to produce Marvel comic movies. Warner Bros. went on to produce DC movies. Marvel and DC are two rivaling comic book companies.
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Originally during Roger's song and dance number at the bar when he says ''Who's your tailor Quasimodo" he was to do an impression of a hunchback but the editors cut the scene.
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Alan Tilvern's last film until his death in December 2003.
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Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider.
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First Disney Live Action/Animation Hybird Film to be Rated PG be the MPAA, due to Cartoon Violence, Mild Profane Language, and Sex. Due to the excessive amount of Adult Material and Situations, it would've gotten a PG-13 Rating had it come out after the 80s.
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Don Lane auditioned for Eddie Valiant.
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Eddie Deezen auditioned for the voice of Roger Rabbit.
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Lou Rawls was the original voice for Benny until Charles Fleischer who voiced Roger Greasy and Psycho got the role.
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Charles Grodin was considered for the role of Eddie Valiant.
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Invisible ink appear in both this film and another Steven Spielberg production, Young Sherlock Holmes (1985); also, both films have a scene where the lead character or characters go to a club/tavern and someone behind a grille/slot reluctantly admits them and than violently ejects them; the exotic clientele also recalls Spielberg's Indiana Jones films. Also, both Holmes and Eddie Valiant get almost an exact same line, "I'm/we're on the verge of wrapping up/cracking this case".
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Eddie Deezen who worked with Robert Zemeckis on the movie I Wanna Hold Your Hand (1978) was do the voice of Roger before Charles Fleischer got the role.
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Bill Murray was originally going to play Eddie Valiant before Bob Hoskins got the role. They would later star in Garfield 2 (2006) as the voices of Garfield and Winston.
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Director Trademark 

Robert Zemeckis: [keyhole] Bob Hoskins looks through a keyhole in the Toontown sequence.


The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

In one of the early versions of the script, Judge Doom was revealed to be the one who killed Bambi (1942)'s mother.
The opening track on the Sting album "...Nothing Like the Sun", the song "The Lazarus Heart" was originally written as the movie's musical finale, at an early stage of the movie's production when the book's tragic ending, where Roger is killed in the crossfire during the final duel, was still in the script. When the studio ordered its default ending to be used at the film's end, in which Roger is alive at the end of the duel, however, the song was deleted from the script and ended up on Sting's album instead.
The Weasels in the Toon Patrol are named Smarty, Greasy, Weasy, Psycho and Stupid, but they're never mentioned in the film itself.
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Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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