Daffy Duck, to Donald Duck: "Thith ith the latht time I work with thomeone with a thhpeech impediment!"

American film noir/comedy, part live action, part cartoon, released in 1988. It was produced by Steven Spielberg, directed by Robert Zemeckis with animation direction by Richard Williams, and written by Jeffrey Price and Peter S. Seaman, based on the novel "Who Censored Roger Rabbit?" by Gary K. Wolf.

The film starred Bob Hoskins as Eddie Valiant and Christopher Lloyd as Judge Doom--both turned in brilliant performances, acting against characters who weren't really there. Charles Fleischer provided the voice of Roger Rabbit, Benny the Cab, and other characters, and Kathleen Turner was the voice of Jessica Rabbit (singing voice by Amy Irving). Other actors/voice actors included Joanna Cassidy as Dolores, Stubby Kaye as Marvin Acme, Alan Tilvern as R.K. Maroon, Richard LeParmentier as Lt. Santino, Lou Hirsch as Baby Herman, Joel Silver as Raoul J. Raoul, Mae Questel as Betty Boop, Mel Blanc as Daffy Duck, Tweety, Bugs Bunny, Sylvester, and Porky Pig, Tony Anselmo as Donald Duck, Richard Williams as Droopy Dog, Wayne Allwine as Mickey Mouse, David L. Lander as the lead weasel, June Foray as Lena Hyena, and Cherry Davis as Woody Woodpecker.

In a world where humans and cartoon characters exist side by side, hardboiled private eye Eddie Valiant, whose brother was killed by a mad Toon, agrees to dig up evidence that cartoon star Roger Rabbit's gorgeous wife Jessica is playing patty-cake with gag king Marvin Acme. When Acme ends up dead, Roger goes on the lam from the sinister Judge Doom, and Valiant reluctantly helps him out. In the process, Roger and Eddie discover a mysterious plot to buy and destroy Toontown, the beloved home of the Toons.

When this movie was made, no one cared for cartoon animation. Most of the movie studios had closed or drastically scaled back their animation shops, and most of the cartoon characters were considered so worthless that they didn't mind loaning them out for another studio's movie. Of course, "Roger Rabbit" was wildly popular (with much credit going to people enjoying the spectacle of Bugs interacting with Mickey, of Daffy fighting with Donald, of Droopy Dog, Lena Hyena, Yosemite Sam, Goofy, and Betty Boop all living in the same world) and ended up kick-starting the animation boom in Hollywood. You couldn't make a movie like this today--none of the studios would agree to let their characters be used...

Shhhh, don't tell anyone--this movie is a spoof of 1974's "Chinatown".
Note: Who Framed Roger Rabbit is set in Los Angeles, California, some time after World War II.

Post-WWII Los Angeles looked significantly different from the LA of today. Besides being considerably smaller, early 20th century LA was criss-crossed with a comprehensive electrified trolley system. In the years after the war, the trolley system was slowly dismantled as the freeways, now synonymous with LA, were built up.

According to rumour, General Motors, through its American City Lines and Pacific City Lines affiliates, bought up trolley systems in cities across America for the sole purpose of destroying them, thereby depriving the American public of transportation alternatives to the car. Although there is no real evidence of conspiracy (GM was convicted of conspiring with others in the automotive industry to monopolize the sale of supplies to local transportation companies), this meme forms the subtext of "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?"

Marvin Acme is killed because he was going to turn ownership of Toon Town over the the toons themselves. This would foil the plans of the mysterious company Cloverleaf, which wanted to purchase Toon Town so that it could raze it in order to build a freeway, paving the way for for LA's modern freeway system and spelling the end of cheap, clean public mass transit.


Judge Doom quotes, courtesy of imdb.com:

Judge Doom: A construction plan of epic proportions. We're calling it a freeway.
Eddie Valiant: Freeway? What the hell's a freeway?
Judge Doom: Eight lanes of shimmering cement running from here to Pasadena. Smooth, safe, fast! Traffic jams will be a thing of the past.

Judge Doom: You lack vision, but I see a place where people get on and off the freeway. On and off, off and on all day, all night! Soon, where Toon Town once stood will be a string of gas stations, inexpensive motels, restaurants that serve rapidly prepared food. Tire salons, automobile dealerships and wonderful, wonderful billboards reaching as far as the eye can see! My God, it'll be beautiful!

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