Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988) Robert Zemeckis (2x)
Disney/Touchstone Blu-ray (borrowed from Orangerful)
Although this is an animated fantasy movie, it’s still got its roots firmly in noir, so as far as I’m concerned, it fits right into Noirvember.
The story is one of pure animation genius. In this alternate 1947, cartoon characters are real, acting in cartoon short features, but living their off-screen lives in Toontown, a ghetto near Hollywood. One of the biggest toon stars, Roger Rabbit (voice of Charles Fleischer), keeps blowing his lines, causing the production company tons of money.
R.K. Maroon (Alan Tilvern), chief of Maroon Cartoon Studios, hires private eye Eddie Valiant (Bob Hoskins) to investigate rumors that Roger’s curvaceous wife Jessica (voice of Kathleen Turner, uncredited) may be having an affair with Marvin Acme (Stubby Kaye), owner of both the Acme Corporation and Toontown. The next day, Acme’s body is found underneath a safe that was apparently dropped on his head. The likely culprit? Roger Rabbit.
There’s much, much more, but you get the picture. There’s really not another movie anywhere quite like Who Framed Roger Rabbit and probably never will be. (Rumors of a sequel have been going for years, but right now it seems that’s highly unlikely.) I saw the film for the first time 28 years ago and I still marvel at the technical achievements behind it (This was before CGI; the animation was hand-drawn.), the level of talent, the way cartoon characters from Disney, Warner Brothers and more were used simultaneously, and (suspension of disbelief be damned) the believability of what we’re seeing onscreen. This is just a fun movie that never slows down for a second and never stops entertaining. The ability to marry the manic nature of cartoons with elements of real humanity is absolutely brilliant.
Photos: Movieman’s Guide to the Movies, Who Framed Roger Rabbit Quotes, Basement Rejects, Theiapolis, The Australian