Who Framed Roger Rabbit Review

The film starts with an animated short, down to the title card telling us the name of it, “Somethings cookin’”. The short ends with Roger getting a refrigerator dropped on him and having birds fly around his head in classic cartoon logic. “Cut!” screams the director, coming in and telling Roger to read the script, it called for him to see stars, not birds. The baby who stars with Roger has the deep voice of a grown man and proceeds to smoke a cigar while Roger apologies and asks him to drop a refrigerator on him again, only to be told this is the 23rd time and he still can’t get it right. Roger tries to show the director he can see stars by smacking his head with a frying pan, only to get bells, a cuckoo clock, butterflies, anything but stars.

This scene sets the movie up nicely, how real people and cartoons interact with each other, how in this world it’s the norm. While the film has the premise of humans and cartoons living together, the film is a murder mystery and treats it as a detective story.

Throughout the movie we learn that the cartoons are immortal, they can’t be killed except by one thing, dip. Real people, however, can be killed just as they can in the real world, a toon has once killed a real person, meaning toon town can be a very dangerous place considering how much violence cartoons inflict on each other and how unpredictable they can be. The cartoons run on their own logic just as humans run on real world logic. An example is how Eddie asks for a scotch on the rocks, only to shout after the waiter “I mean ice!”, and he does end up with rocks in his drink, showing us that unless you clarify what you mean you can end up with something unexpected because it’s funny, the toons logic is that everything is an opportunity for a joke.

Eddie dislikes cartoons due to an event in the past, however, some cartoons he treats kinky, with a trace of a smile on his face. One scene is how he compliments Betty Boop and smiles at her. The idea of her being black and white gives me the impression of older cartoons, ones that would have been playing while Eddie was a child, giving him feelings of nostalgia and maybe memories of a time where he was happier, and expresses his gratitude to them by treating those ones kindly.

Is this film for adults or children? The film has a surprising dark sense of humour and mixes some of the lighter jokes well with it. It can make the serious unserious and the unserious serious, such as a scene where Roger breaks down over his wife playing a game of Patty Cake with some other man and he takes it as serious as if she were cheating on him, as the audience suspected she might have been. This film is for all ages, a fun and enjoyable film which brings together a lot of elements to make it work.

8/10

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