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Who Framed Roger Rabbit?

USA 1988
produced by
Frank Marshall, Robert Watts, Kathleen Kennedy (executive), Steven Spielberg (executive) for Touchstone, Amblin Entertainment, Silver Screen Partners III/Walt Disney Productions
directed by Robert Zemeckis
starring Bob Hoskins, Christopher Lloyd, Joanna Cassidy, Charles Fleischer (voice), Stubby Kaye, Alan Tilvern, Richard LeParmentier, Lou Hirsch (voice), Betsy Brantley (performance model), Joel Silver, Paul Springer, Richard Ridings, Edwin Craig, Lindsay Holiday, Mike Edmonds, Morgan Deare (voice), Danny Capri, Christopher Hollosy, John-Paul Sipla, Laura Frances, Joel Cutrara, Billy J. Mitchell, Eric B. Sindon, Ed Herlihy, James O'Connell, Eugene Gutierrez, and the voices of April Winchell, Mae Questel, Mel Blanc, Tony Anselmo, Mary T. Radford, Joe Alaskey, David L. Lander, Fred Newman, June Foray, Russi Taylor, Les Perkins, Richard Williams, Wayne Allwine, Pat Buttram, Jim Cummings, Jim Gallant, Tony Pope, Peter Westy, Cherry Davis
screenplay by Jeffrey Price, Peter S. Seaman, based on the book Who Censored Roger Rabbit? by Gary K. Wolf, music by Alan Silvestri

Roger Rabbit, Donald Duck, Daffy Duck, and in cameos: Dumbo, Mickey Mouse, Bugs Bunny, Betty Boop, Porky Pig, Tweety, Droopy, Goofy, Woody Woodpecker

review by
Mike Haberfelner

1947, a parallel Hollywood where cartoon characters and "real" people exist side by side, the former mainly working in the movie business: Eddie Valiant (Bob Hoskins), a washed up, alcoholic private eye who has lost direction ever since a toon has killed his brother, is hired to shadow Jessica Rabbit, star of Maroon Studio's star hare Roger, whose performance has suffered ever since he has begun to suspect his wife is cheating on him. And Eddie has no problems getting incriminating photos of Jessica with toon benefactor and owner of the toon's distric Toonland, Marvin Acme (Stubby Kaye). This drives Roger into a rage, and wouldn't you know it, the next day Acme ends up dead, and Judge Doom (Christopher Lloyd), who's handling the case, leaves no doubt that he's convinced of the rabbit's guilt and that he want to dissolve him in acid, the only means to kill a toon. This is too much even for toon-hater Eddie, so he has Roger convince him to help him actually solve the case. And as slow as Eddie is to pick up clues as quick is Roger to get into trouble. Soon enough, too, everything points to R.K. Maroon (Alan Tilvern), boss of Maroon Studios, but then he's killed right before Eddie's very eyes, but with him gone and Eddie learning that he has just sold his studio to Judge Doom, who will also ínherit Toonland shouldn't Acme's will be found, the clues finally point into the right direction, and after much to and fro Doom almost naturally turns out not only to be a toon himself but also the killer of Eddie's brother, and to nobody's real surprise everything ends happily.

Joanna Cassidy plays Eddie's love interest.


Now first and foremost, Who Framed Roger Rabbit? is of course a loveletter to the cartoons of the 1940s, and in that respect the film noir-ish framing story makes of course perfect sense as well - and it can't be over-stated what an achievement this movie has accomlished by bringing this many of the classic cartoon characters from various studios together for a rather homonogenous whole - which though is also oneo f the weaknesses of the film, it's just over-wought with Easter eggs that at times stand in the way of the film's narrative flow. That said, the film is near-perfet when it comes to paying hommage, so much so that the cartoon gags which are mostly warmed-up mainstays from a by-gone era seem fresh again. And in all, the film seems almost a bit out of time in regards to family entertainment, it's neither as sanitized nor as formulaic, not as continuity- nor as sookie-cutter-obsessed as family entertainment as a whole has become since the 1940s (and even more so since the 1980s of course): There's murder, alcoholism, a very sexualized character with sexual allusions to boot - all of which oddly enough gives the movie some depth not normally associated with "fun for the hole family". That all said, I'd hardly call this the greatest movie ever, despite being rather brilliantly made and played it just leans too heavily on the hommage side of things for that, but as a cartoony hoot it's at the same time just awesome fun!


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review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD