Let’s face it, we’ve become so spoiled by the seamless integration of live action and animation that the magical has come to feel routine. We’re now a nation of tough customers who have traveled to Middleearth and Pandora, and we’re harder and harder to impress. But 25 years ago, when I first saw Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988, 1 hr., 44 mins., PG), I was so knocked out that it felt like my jaw had dropped Tex Avery-style into my popcorn and my eyeballs had leaped out of their sockets and exploded like firecrackers. Today? Well, I’m happy to say that Robert Zemeckis’ high-tech parlor trick, now available on Blu-ray, packs the same joybuzzer jolt that it did in the theater, thanks to its Technicolor noir plot (it’s like Chinatown for kids), a staggeringly complex performance by Bob Hoskins that feels effortless, and a memorable menagerie of Toontown residents like the stuttering, lovesick simp Roger and his va-va-voom wife, Jessica Rabbit (”I’m not bad, I’m just drawn that way”). My only real beef with the stunning new disc is that it lacks fresh EXTRAS. The film and its fans deserve better. All of the supplements here are reheated leftovers from the 2003 Vista Series DVD, including a trio of still-great shorts from the movie’s fictional animation house and a skippable commentary from Zemeckis and his collaborators. I’d love to hear what today’s CG I whiz kids have to say about the impact that Roger Rabbit had on them. A?
Roger Rabbit, Bob Hoskins (Everett Collection)
Genre: Animation, Comedy; Starring: Joanna Cassidy, Charles Fleischer, Bob Hoskins, Christopher Lloyd, Kathleen Turner; Director: Robert Zemeckis; Author: Jeffrey Price, Peter Seaman; MPAA Rating: PG; Distributor: Touchstone Pictures
Posted January 17 2015 — 5:04 PM EST
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