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The years were good for Roger Rabbit and the animation crew. It was three
years since the previous Roger Rabbit cartoon when "Trail Mix-Up" was
released, and the animation was quite contrasting compared to the first two
Roger shorts. The visuals are almost up to feature-animation quality and
are quite crisp and beautiful. Just imagine what Roger Rabbit cartoons
would look like if they were made today!
"Trail Mix-Up" has some very inventive and funny gags; like when Roger runs for safety only to have an unbelievably tall tree crash down on him miles away, and when numerous mini-Rogers appear after Roger goes through some buzz saws. This short even features Jessica Rabbit's sexiest appearance out of all the cartoons (and probably the feature too!). Who knew a cartoon character could accomplish such a thing. Man, I feel like the ultimate nerd by writing that! :P
While watching "Trail Mix-Up" again, I had a hard time remembering why I prefer "Roller Coaster Rabbit" to this. All the gags were top-notch and hilarious, with a sexy Jessica Rabbit thrown in, and then we get to the ending. The water-skiing bear was pretty funny, but it all turned too manic and just not all that funny when they returned to the "real world." I don't know what exactly it was, but maybe I just didn't like seeing a national monument be destroyed or to even see Baby Herman harmed. The ending just didn't sit well with me.
Aside from that, this is still a pretty good cartoon. There are plenty of laughs, and it's just a beauty to see.
My IMDb Rating: 8/10
After the wonderful film WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT, Disney Pictures
experimented by making several short cartoons starring Roger Rabbit and
they were shown before feature films--much like the original purpose of
classic Warner Brothers, MGM and Disney toons. Unfortunately, Disney
also chose to pair these amazing shorts with some of the worst films of
the era--virtually guaranteeing they would never see the light of day!
Today, the only way you can see them is on an out of print videotape
entitled "THE BEST OF ROGER RABBIT". It is NOT available on DVD nor
does it appear it will be.
In this short, Roger in the great outdoors and as usual, he's watching the troublesome Baby Herman. And, as usual, Baby Herman manages to get into a ton of trouble--leading to an amazing finale! You just have to see it to believe it.
Now as to the quality of this cartoon, it is amazingly violent and insane--even more so than the typical Tex Avery cartoon of the 1950s. Because the characters are so funny, the animation quality so superb and the action so intense, this is one of the greatest cartoon shorts you can find---period. Too bad the powers that be at Disney were idiots who didn't realize they had gold on their hands!
UPDATE 2/09--According to IMDb "This animated short can be found on the Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988) Vista Series DVD, released in 2003".
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Mother Herman, Baby Herman and Roger Rabbit are all going for a picnic in the woods. Mother puts Roger in charge of Baby Herman while she goes hunting. Roger declines but Mother stated it was either that or rabbit season opened today. Roger regretfully agreed. While he tried to make a fire, Ranger Jessica stopped by to remind them that only "you" can prevent forest fires. Baby Herman chases a beaver while Roger avoids bugs and bees. Baby Herman follows the beaver and is suddenly taken into a sawmill! Roger races after him and really proves himself to be a cut-up! Luckily, he pulled himself together just in time for the craziest log ride in history! They pick up a fishing bear along the way. The four land on Old Faithful which erupts and sends Roger, Beaver, Baby and Bear crashing into Mt. Rushmore, destroying it. Baby Herman was furious but Roger told him to relax because it wasn't the end of the world--until he planted a flag in the ground which put a hole in the planet earth, causing it to deflate like a balloon.
A good Roger Rabbit cartoon, but not as good as Tummy Trouble or Roller Coaster Rabbit. This was also the last Roger Rabbit cartoon. No new ones have been produced in the last 9 years. Too bad. They were good. Maybe the Roger-Dodger will return someday. Until then, we can experience his best times and mostly worst times babysitting the tiny terror, Baby Herman!
This short was very funny. I like the Droopy scenes. Every Roger Rabbit short has a cameo by Jessica, and this one does too. It is a very funny one. I wish they would make more of these Roger Rabbit shorts, but I can only find three. Oh well do yourself a favor don't miss this one.
This short was just about as good as the second Roger Rabbit cartoon "Roller Coaster Rabbit." Once again I was surprised to see that this one, just like the others, all had slightly differing animation styles from each other and the movie. Baby Herman really stole the show in this one especially with his fascination with the "doggy" (really a beaver). He almost reminded me of Swee'Pea from the old Popeye cartoons when getting into amusing and entertaining predicaments. The final touch at the end was a great addition with that clever and hilarious gag of them coming out of the set into the real world and wrecking Mount Rushmore.
Having recently got one of my all-time favourite films 'Who Framed
Roger Rabbit' on DVD, all three Roger Rabbit shorts were included as
bonuses. And what great bonuses they were, thoroughly enjoyable in
their own way, go perfectly with the film and almost as good.
The final Roger Rabbit short 'Trail Mix Up' (sad that there wasn't more) is perhaps my least favourite of the three, despite its more expansive setting and like 'Roller Coaster Rabbit' being closer to the wild manic spirit of 'Who Framed Roger Rabbit' than 'Tummy Trouble'. It is still however very, very good indeed, with its only mark against it being that all the gags in the other two cartoons worked whereas the ending falls flat a little. The basic story is not that special, if you remember the hilarious made-up short that started 'Who Framed Roger Rabbit' you have the basic story structure for all three Roger Rabbit cartoons except in different settings.
What stops things from being predictable, repetitive and tired is the increasingly intensely frenetic physical comedy/violence (Roger always getting the worst of it), the wonderfully relentlessly madcap pacing that reminds one of a slightly faster paced Tex Avery cartoon (while occasionally feeling a touch rushed) and writing that's never less than very amusing and at its best hysterical (like with the tree, the numerous Roger Rabbits and the bear).
Anybody familiar with 'Animaniacs', 'Pinky and the Brain' and 'Tiny Toons', or who grew up with them, and only saw the Roger Rabbit cartoons recently like me, will love the vibrancy of the colours, the detail of the backgrounds and fluidity of the movements in 'Trail Mix Up'. The music is rousing and energetically orchestrated, Roger and Baby Herman work wonders together and the voice acting is fine. Jessica Rabbit of all the three cartoons is also at her sexiest.
Overall, very, very good final Roger Rabbit cartoon. 9/10 Bethany Cox
By 1993, the cultural footprint and relevance of the smash-hit Who
Framed Roger Rabbit? had faded from the mind of the public, which
explains why Buena Vista decided to attach Trail Mix-Up, the third and
final short film involving the Roger Rabbit character, to a A Far Off
Place, a relatively low-key, small-budget studio release that had
mediocre returns. In addition, by this point, the sheer magic and
originality of blending live action and animation was a novelty that
went by the wayside, so the only thing that was left for Roger Rabbit
to try and remain relevant was to concoct a short that went back to the
basics in terms of what it emphasized; in Trail Mix-Up's case, it's the
juvenile qualities of Roger Rabbit and Jessica Rabbit's assets.
The short opens with Roger Rabbit (voiced by Charles Fleischer), Baby Herman, and Mrs. Herman (April Winchell) setting up camp at a local park, with Roger in charge of looking after Baby Herman, because he has a track record of doing so well at such a task. As one expects, Herman winds up wandering into the forest, and scaredy-cat Roger has few skills that aid him in surviving in a woodsy setting. This is where the busty, gorgeous, and unabashedly sexualized Jessica Rabbit (Kathleen Turner) flaunts into the picture. She's the forest's local ranger, as she shakes her bust and wiggles her petite waist and perfect round rump in order to "help" Roger find Herman before more danger faces him. But not before Roger can have his face flattened like a pancake and be shredded by a sawmill.
Trail Mix-Up, while sporadically funny and still admirably full of energy like the two shorts that preceded it, essentially admits defeat and shows why Roger Rabbit faded out of relevance in the public. With new, ground-breaking animation just two years on the horizon and a cry for more story-based shorts and films that didn't settle for cute dinosaurs and rambunctious rabbits, the reckless Roger, the fearless Herman, and the buxom Jessica Rabbit just didn't seem to hold the kind of ground in the 1990's as they previously held in the 1980's. The good news is that this kind of material doesn't find itself dated in terms of content, and is still just as amusing today because of its slapstick and setups as it was when it was released. Whether it directly calls for future projects, I can't say, but it does work to suggest that this serves more as a "see you later" with an unclear meaning or span of time for that last term.
Voiced by: Charles Fleischer, April Winchell, and Kathleen Turner. Directed by: Barry Cook.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Then again the magic was never really there as I did not like the two short films before this one either. Still, this third and final little movie "Trail Mix-Up", which runs for 9 minutes is probably the weakest from the trio. I cannot believe they still did not come up with anything other than Roger trying to save the baby and in the end he enters the real world and causes mayhem there with the baby actor having a deep criminal voice. Speaking about deep voices, "Jessica Rabbit" sounds like she has been chain smoking for 30 years. Really unattractive and Oscar nominee Kathleen Turner may not have been a great choice for her. Steven Spielberg produced this stinker, so nobody's perfect i guess. They tried to make the cartoon comedy retro-style, but it never reached the charm of these very old cartoons. Not recommended and glad the series ended after this one. You#re not missing much.
WITH THIS THE third ROGER RABBIT short subject, there is both a
familiarity and new ground covered. Whereas the setting had changed
from an urban landscape to the great outdoors, the situational
storytelling and gags were by now routine.
OUR STORY OPENS with some great sweeping, panoramic shots of what looks like a combination of the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone Park. The depth of the shots is reminiscent of those earlier Disney animated films that made use of the Multi-Plane Camera; which rendered a near 3 Dimensional appearance. The flora and fauna portrayed are colorful, lively and definitely non-anthropomorphic.
WE FIND THAT the unseen (except for lower legs)Mother, Baby Herman and Roger Rabbit are arriving at the "Yellowstain" National Park on a vacation camping trip. As is the usual plot device, Mother has to go somewhere and leaves Herman in Roger's charge. Baby innocently follows various birds, animals and insects; leading him into the old saw mill.
WITH THE GRAND finale, we have our guys shot through the air and colliding with the carved side of the Mount Rushmore memorial. The faces of Washington, Lincoln, Jefferson and Teddy Roosevelt react in typical cartoon style; making them perhaps the first anthropomorphic rocks in cartoon history.
AS HAD BECOME the custom, TRAIL MIX UP boasts of cameo appearances by both Jessica Rabbit (Mrs. Roger) and MGM Cartoon star, Droopy; whose scenes in the ROGER RABBIT Feature were so well received.
ALTHOUGH WE ARE somewhat critical of the repetitive and monotonous application of the same situational gag lead-ins, the overall effect of these new ROGER RABBIT Cartoons was very pleasing. It is a shame that the project didn't continue or be revived; as that could well lead to an all out revival of the theatrical cartoons being produced anew.
Robert Zemeckis's "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" was the first movie that I
saw in the theaters (and I was only four years old, so I didn't even
understand the plot). I later saw the short "Tummy Trouble", and then
"Trail Mix-Up". Watching all these, one would get the idea that Roger
was always intended as a whimsical, accident-prone character inhabiting
a completely batty world.
Nothing could be further from the truth. I recently bought a copy of Gary Wolf's "Who Censored Roger Rabbit", the book on which Zemeckis's 1988 movie is based. The book is in fact quite dark. I suspect that while preparing the movie, they realized that it would be hard for people to take the idea of cartoon characters (called toons in the book and movie) coexisting with humans seriously, so they made it more slapstick.
So yes, Roger's mishaps while babysitting Baby Herman in the forest are a far cry from the original dark story. Silly, but nothing else. Zemeckis's movie was really good, but how many spin-offs did they want? I'd kinda like to see a movie version of "Who Censored Roger Rabbit" that follows the novel's original tone. I assume that it's possible.
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