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When you see Bob Hoskins drive into Toon-Town and seamlessly enter a new world of crazed toons and never ending skyscrapers, your hairs will suddenly stand on end. It's a realisation that over 40,000 hand-drawn animation cells, hours and hours of endless acting to imaginary characters, and the back-up of real special effects props have been combined to create one of the greatest cinematic achievements ever, that would inevitably set the benchmark for other acting/technology hybrid films, such as Terminator 2 in 1992.

The basis of this film shouldn't be over-looked though; it's a classic case of 1940's detective work, hosted by a moody and slightly alcoholic Bob Hoskins who has never been a complete man since his brother was killed by a Toon... Thats right - Toons and Humans both live together in society. But further weight is put on Hoskins shoulders as he's put into a trap, and is left with having to protect an eccentric Toon called Roger Rabbit, who like all great toons, has an over-whelming sense of humour!

Once a mysterious murder is uncovered down at the ACME (The film is endorsed by Warner Brothers and Disney amazingly!) factory, it's up to Hoskins to discover why Roger is being put in the frame for the murder... And who the murderer 'really' is...

Prior to buying this DVD, I had a rather worn out TV-Copy of this film that simply needed replacing. Low and behold, the DVD is sitting their at my local Oxfam shop for a mere two quid! So I got it and was amazed at the picture quality. The colours have really been brought out, and although it hasn't been "stated" to have been remastered, the transfer to digital is crisp enough, with very few speckles/white spots.

Their are also some extras, though I was put off by the annoying and long menu system. Theirs a particularly short documentary on the making of this film, though I believe for a film of this stature, is really too short. But never the less, it's very interesting, and I was suprised to see Steven Speilberg was a Co-Producer! Though you realise when looking at the film, many of his trademark camera angles and shots are right there.

This is where a funny hybrid in the film exists.... Speilberg and Zemakis have created a totally original filming style combines tricky, and some how gravity defying camera angles in Toon Town (particularly the skyscraper scenes) yet in the real world, the actors and animation-equipment blend seamlessly - a feat which has yet to have been surpassed so seamlessly. To have the knowledge and perfection of knowing how to shoot a scene in just the right way that will leave the animation to come in precisely is often mesmerising; something which yes, a computer could do, but would it have the same impact knowing that a PC took over the jobs of hundreds of artists and technicians?

The documentary goes into detail on how the artwork was created, and how George Lucas rather generously (As we all know, his wallet is rather bulky these days after 6 Star Wars films...) completed the films animation by applying textures and shadowing through a special machine, where workers applied shadow effects to all the animation cells. This is one of the beauties of the film - it feels and looks 3-D, all thanks to this process.

But what about the input of the actors? To be fair, I've never seen Hoskins as a 'dynamic' actor by any means. After all, anyone who would even attempt to take on the role of a certain video games character called Mario must be crazy. However, his performance in this movie is undeniably strong, which proved me wrong that most actors do have their strengths/weaknesses. And for anyone to even try and imagine the co-actor being a hand drawn bunny rabbit... Well, that takes some beating. Yet it has to be said, he takes it off perfectly, with all his gestures, body language, and eye contact freakishly brilliant. Its as if he was almost made for the part!

I feel that for what this film has accomplished when combining acting, art-work, and animotronics, we will never see anything like it. It was filmed at the end of a special era; when the input of humans and the process surrounding it was appreciated, and companies didn't hesitate on spending the money to this effect. Now though, producers take the easy route; slap some CGI here and there, get the actors to work "tirelessly" in front of a Green Screen for a month, theirs quick few million.


Who Framed Roger Rabbit is an absolute classic that reminds me not just of my youth, but what film makers can achieve with effort and precision. It really has sent a bench-mark for the industry, but if only for a short period. This should be in your collection!
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on 14 November 2005
Brilliant film and at an amazing price. My children (ages 8,6 and 3) absolutely adore this film. Bob Hoskins is amazing and the cartoons just look so real!
There's lots in this film for adults to see- over and over again.
One word of warning my children had previously only seen this film on video recorded from T.V. and that had had 2 or three bits cut out. Beware the 'dipping of the shoe' is in this version and they might get a bit upset.
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on 9 October 2013
25 years ago Roger Rabbit dazzled with it's groundbreaking mash up of live action and animation and while, by todays standards, the technology can look a little dated it's still a great film for all ages. Though, I must note, having viewed the movie again today for the first time since I was a nipper I was struck by just how far it goes in the violence stakes. Obviously, being a Disney movie, Im not talking gore here but there are a couple of scenes where I thought, 'Wow, I doubt you'd get away with that today'. Of course this never occurred to my 12 year old self when I saw the film. I loved it. And I still do. However it maybe worth considering for very young uns.

So, I love the film and, again, watching it now I much more fully appreciate the film noir-ishness which makes it an even better experience from my adult viewpoint. Indeed it reminds me very much of 'Chinatown' by Roman Polanski. A noir masterpiece.

Who Framed Roger Rabbit has been given a 21st century makeover in this new 25th anniversary Blu ray and its a little beauty.
The image stands up very well to scrutiny in HD and any lingering niggles are purely down to the source material and visual effects techniques. And remember we're talking live action mixed with animation on film here from 1988. Regardless, this is a nice looking Blu and seeing 'through' some of the animation techniques thanks to HD is surely all part of the charm.
The sound too is more than adequate to my ears.

As for extras, well, again this is a nice little package with some very worthwhile extra material. We get a very busy audio commentary track which is a great listen. 3 Roger Rabbit short cartoons, a slightly annoying but thankfully brief making of presented by Charles Fleischer, who voiced the Rabbit and is unfortunately the reason this featurette grates on my brain as his presenting style is ever so saccharine sweet and cheesy. More worthy is the 'Behind the Ears' making of documentary as it does what it says on the tin and goes behind the scenes with many of those involved. And does it for an entertaining 37 minutes. Toontown Confidential is a trivia track to play along with the movie or even better, listening to the commentary. There's a deleted scene, a brief before and after comparison segment and a couple of other bits n bobs making this a most worthwhile addition to peoples collections.

Just dont expect supreme Hi Definition picture.
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on 25 April 2013
The film itself is a 5-star, endlessly entertaining, and loving tribute
to the cartoon industry, and the cherished American cartoons-
from Droopy and Mickey Mouse to Woody Woodpecker and Goofy.
The mediocre rating reflects a comparison of the Blu-ray with the
DVD edition:
Who Framed Roger Rabbit (Special Edition) [DVD] [1988]
For the benefit of a marginal improvement in image clarity-
and that at some shots-the color balance of the cartoons has been
compromised. A case in point: The Ink & Paint Club scene, where
Jessica Parker makes her entrance, singing "Why don't you do right?".
When Bob Hoskins enters the place through the back door, shadows
become a dark smudge. When Jessica Rabbit turns her back to the
floodlights, her face momentarily becomes a dark smudge.
I watched this on a 46" LCD screen, and I switched several times
between the DVD and the Blu-ray. The problems I mention are far
more pronounced in the Blu-ray edition of the film.
In the Blu-ray edition there are more extras about the making of
the film, but this doesn't make it better than the DVD edition.
None of the extras are subtitled in English or English SDH.
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on 26 December 2000
Who framed Roger Rabbit was hailed as a giant leap for animation. It blended the world of live action and cartoon seamlessly. It is a film that has never been bettered even though some have tried. But more than this it is one of the funniest animated films ever created. It has very engaging characters, superb plot and a plethora of cartoon cameos. All in all a fantastic cinematic treat!
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on 22 March 2003
Filmmakers have been combining animation and live action since the days of silent film--but 1988's WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT not only bested everything done previously, it set a standard that is unlikely to be surpassed. Although it has been available on VHS and in a mediocre DVD release for quite a few years, the film finally gets the star treatment in this "Vista Series" double DVD release, which includes the film in both pan-and-scan and letterbox formats and an assortment of extras, many of which are quite interesting.
The concept and story are well known: cartoon characters are not drawings, but are living entities who work in the film industry, and when Maroon Cartoon star Roger Rabbit is accused of murdering Marvin Acme (Stubby Kaye), he turns to private detective Eddie Valiant (Bob Hoskins) for help. Trouble is, Eddie hates "Toons." After all, one of them offed his brother, and Eddie hasn't been sober since. The concept is a clever one, and the story could have gone in any number of directions--but ROGER RABBIT hops down a completely unexpected trail. Set in 1947 Los Angeles, the film uses classic "noir" elements (and references everything from THE MALTESE FALCON to CHINATOWN); it also makes considerable sly social commentary on racism, with the "Toons" performing in a Cotton Club-like nightclub, literally working for peanuts at the studios, and more or less confined to living in "Toontown," which might easily be read as social ghettoization. And all of these sidelights are interesting and entertaining. But the most attractive thing about ROGER RABBIT is that it is just plain fun to watch.
Part of that fun comes from the marvelous performances of Bob Hoskins, Christopher Lloyd (as the evil Judge Doom), and Joanna Cassidy (Valiant's sidekick Delores), who lead the live action cast. Another chunk of the fun is the way in which the film cameos a host of famous cartoon characters, ranging from Betty Boop to Bugs Bunny and the Warner Bro.s gang to Dumbo--and animation buffs will love the fact that Betty Boop and Bugs Bunny, to name but two, are voiced by the artists (Mae Questel and Mel Blanc) who created the character voices in the first place. But the big deal here is the extremely believable way in which the "Toons" fit into the real world. They rendered with astonishing detail and remarkable three dimensionality. It's just an amazing thing to watch.
The overall DVD package is a bit odd, for it offers less in the way of bonuses than one might expect. The first disk includes a pan-and-scan version of the film, three Roger Rabbit/Baby Herman shorts, a kid-friendly documentary, and a CD-ROM game; the second disk offers the letterbox film with extras that will appeal to more mature viewers, most particularly on-set shots and a nifty documentary called "Behind the Ears." The upshot is really a one-disk release that has been expanded to two by the trick of cramming both pan-and-scan and letterbox versions into a single package. That's annoying--but even so, this is easily the best release of this film to date. It at gives the rabbit some justice at last, and I give it five stars on that basis.
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on 28 August 2016
Brilliant film starring the late Bob Hoskins as drunk but brilliant private eye in the heyday of 1940's Hollywood. Eddie Valiant is a former cop who with his brother specialised in the helping the live cartoon characters of 'Toon Town' until the death of his brother at the hands of a psychotic toon. Now a down and out drunk he takes a 'sneak and peak' job on behalf of the head of a rival cartoon studio in order to blackmail the owner of toon town and Acme films. When the head of Acme films ends up dead and Roger Rabbit, a crazy live wire character of the blackmailing studio is framed, Eddie investigates getting more than he bargained for.

Groundbreaking for it's time of the late 80's as it seamlessly merged animation with live action footage (to a point almost causing Hoskins a breakdown during filming). The BluRay transfer is very good, offering nice video and audio. The special features are also welcome with commentaries, delete scenes and behind the scenes features with cast and crew.
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on 23 February 2003
Roger Rabbit is framed for murder and only private eye Eddie Valiant (Bob Hoskins) can help him. The man who hates toons ever since a toon killed his brother. And it seems like Roger's wife (Jessica Rabbit, the sexiest character in animation history, voice by Kathleen Turner) is involved in the conspiracy against him. The Toons in the movie include also established cartoon stars such as Bugs Bunny, Betty Boop, Dumbo, Mickey Mouse, Donald and Daffy.
Who Framed Roger Rabbit? combines real actors with the cartoon residents of Toontown to create a world of a 1940s Los Angeles. This movie is not only great entertainment but a breakthrough in craftsmanship. This is the first film that convincingly combines real actors and animated cartoon characters in the same space in the same time and make it look real.
Disney and Amblin produced, George Lucas and ILM handled the film's special effects, Robert Zemeckis directed and the animation is by Richard Williams. More importantly, Spielberg persuaded the other Hollywood studios to allow Disney to use their classic cartoon characters.
Famous cartoon voices also performed for this movie (Mel Blanc for Daffy Duck, Tweety Bird, Bugs Bunny, Sylvester, and Porky Pig and Charles Fleischer for Roger, Greasy, Psycho, and Benny the Cab).

It won 4 Academy Awards: for Best Sound Effects Editing, Best Visual Effects, Best Film Editing, and a Special Achievement Award for animation direction and creation of the cartoon characters.
Don't hesitate from buying this dvd. Remember that this is the movie that Mr Spielberg is proudest of to this day among those he produced.
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on 15 May 2013
Still fantastic after all these years. Maybe it's because it was still real cinema and real animation, no digital, no computer gfx, just manual. It's outrageous that Zemeckis didn't win an oscar for best direction: when it comes to such big project (see Avatar and Spielberg's movies) it's mostly about having a great director who can stay on top of things. And he succeeded even without digital previsualization. All in his mind! The blu ray is top like the movie
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on 25 March 2016
This is an iconic film from my childhood., I remember going to see it in London at an old cinema chain called RANK, it is just a brilliant movie with the perfect blend of animation and real actors. The film has some fantastic actors in it like Bob Hoskins, Christopher Lloyd and many more and is set in "Toon Town" Roger is unwittingly in possession of a piece of paper that the judge (Lloyd) desperately wants his hands on. It is really funny and entertaining and suitable for all ages.... If you haven't seen it this is an absolute must watch for all ages.

Even better please find and watch the Making Of so you can see how they used to make movies before CGI was a thing, particularly look at the part with the machinery attached to Bob Hoskins from when Roger was hiding down his top!
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