by Dane Youssef
Well... what is there?
Gee... What can I say?
What can be said that hasn't been said a zillion times about this movie before? By film critics, film buffs, the other user posters on IMDb and every other person who saw this one?
But you know what? I'm not here to really promote this movie, or analyze it... I'm here to write my love letter for it. We're all here to share our movie-going experiences, aren't we? Well, fuck it, here's mine.
I still remember being a little prepubescent boy sitting in the theater watching this movie, totally amazed and astounded by what I saw. Seeing this wacky cartoons going through a routine Tom-and-Jerry-type episode... and then... it was amazing how these movie actually tricked you, convinced you to believe that human and cartoons can exist in the same universe and dimension of reality.
There are many a great pleasures and moments in this movie, one of them is the duet at a "toon" night club called "The Ink & Paint Club" where Eddie goes to get information about Roger's wife, and the opening act is a dueling duet on the piano featuring two great legends, Daffy Duck and Donald Duck (I doubt there's any biological relation there) together at last. Why did it take so long for these two to get together? Well, they are rival entertainers for rival studios, so...
But of course, the dueling duet ends in an all-out war. Come on, we both know the hatchet wasn't going to stay buried very long.
The whole movie is worth renting just to see the two great legends, Daffy and Donald, put their differences aside for one memorable dueling piano duet ALONE.
"Roger Rabbit" pioneered not only animation and film-making style, but acting, writing, directing and a meshing together of different genres.
Imagination, luck, brilliance, skill... it's all been blended so perfectly here... just like the animation and live-action.
Funny, sharp, satirical, smart, thrilling, skillful, bright, bold, hard-boiled, colorful... at even at times, a little scary.
It one three Oscars, not to mention an Honorary Award for it's Technical Advancements.
Hell, it deserved every single Oscar it got! And a few it didn't. It should've won every single Oscar that year. Maybe some from others...
God, you know, I still remember finding my little Rescue Ranger toy in my pocket and running in back-and-forth through my fingers... I remember being very careful not to loose it as I watched this. And it was hard, damn it, all of what was going up there on the screen.
There's the best of the everything here. Everyone should see it, pure and simple. It's a movie... for pretty much everybody. A masterpiece in more ways than one.
So help me God, I cannot think of a better actor for the role of the classic, hard-boiled, rock-bottom, not-too-smooth P.I. than Bob Hoskins. I don't think he's ever played a better role in his whole life. He seems to be a strange collision of Sam Spade and W.C. Fields, in some strange way.
Christopher Lloyd proves yet again (as he does in all his roles) that he's one of the most underrated actors in the business. He's known for playing the bizarre, the crazy, the wired. But his ability to play villains, particularly more sedate and low-key ones, is overlooked so much, it's grounds for a discrimination lawsuit.
Kathleen Turner is damn perfect as Roger's Mrs; especially considering that all she does here is a voice.
"Roger Rabbit" pioneered not only animation and film-making style, but acting, writing, directing and a meshing together of different genres. Literature purists and scholars (yes, I mean geeks) will note that this movie is adapted from a novel by Gary K. Wolf, who specializes in science-fiction.
For those of you who are enamored with this movie and just learning this, are actively considering dropping this review right this instant and running to your nearest library and bookstore to pick up a copy to read as an addition to the movie or just out of curiosity, I should warn you that the movie is completely unfaithful to the novel.
Oh, both are clever and well-written spoofs of the whole "hard-boiled private-detective mystery noir genre," but the two are so completely different, in writing-style, character dialouge, plot, theme, even ending, you wonder why they even bothered to get Wolf's permission and pay him a royalty. Gee, usually these Hollywood types are a little more snaky and know how to exploit all these loopholes.
You've no doubt heard the old saying, "You can't please everyone, so don't even bother." Because when you try, you wind up ultimately pleasing no one. Least of all, yourself. It's strange, this movie seems like an exception to that one little rule. I mean, I know there's an exception to every rule, but this is one you're sure is completely iron-clad. This is a movie for everyone. This is a movie that will please everyone. And you know what else? It never got the credit for that. Think about what a big train-wreck this movie could have been. How many things could have gone wrong.
How many years Disney and Warner have been at war, all this time, money for a experiment that could have gone worse than than the killer bees and the atomic bomb. And yet, glory be, it didn't. We all live for days like this, filmmakers, film critics... and film lovers.
The best part? After it was all over... Roger and Baby Herman went on to star in several of their own cartoon shorts before the movie for real ("Dick Tracy" and "Honey, I Shrunk The Kids").
Good for them.
--A Life-Long Fan of a good Roger Rabbit & Baby Herman short, Dane Youssef