One of the most iconic movies of the 80s and famed for it’s setting in which cartoons interact with live action humans, Who Framed Roger Rabbit? is a 1988 comedy live action/animated film directed by Robert Zemeckis with a screenplay by Jeffrey Price and Peter S. Seaman based on Gary K. Wolf’s 1981 novel Who Censored Roger Rabbit? The movie stars Bob Hoskins, Christopher Lloyd & Joanna Cassidy with Charles Fleischer as the eponymous character’s voice; & Kathleen Turner as the voice of Jessica Rabbit, Roger’s cartoon wife.
The film is set in 1947 Hollywood or Los Angeles, in a world where toons and people co-exist together and the toons act out cartoons in much the same way that human actors act in films/tv shows. Roger Rabbit is a fun loving rabbit toon one of the stars of Maroon Cartoon studios, owned by R. K. Maroon. Maroon hires private detective Eddie Valiant to investigate rumors that Jessica is having an extramarital affair. Eddie and his brother Teddy used to be friends of the toon community, but Eddie has hated them, and has been drinking heavily, since Teddy was killed by a toon who dropped a piano on his head some years earlier while investigating a Toontown bank robbery. Eddie sees Jessica, a voluptuously drawn cartoon in the shape of a woman, playing “patty-cake” with Marvin Acme, the practical joke-loving owner of Toontown and the Acme Corporation. When Roger sees the photos that Eddie took he is devastated and runs away. The next day Acme is found murdered and Roger is the prime suspect.
At the crime scene, Eddie meets Judge Doom and his Toon Patrol of weasel henchmen. Although toons are virtually impervious to physical harm, Doom has discovered that they can be killed by being submerged in a mixture of Turpentine, Acetone, and Benzene that he refers to as the “Dip”. He demonstrates it by sampling an innocent cartoon shoe which quickly dissolves in the dip leaving red paint. Eddie is shocked and goes back to his office where he finds Roger sleeping in his bed and pleads his innocence. Eddie investigates the case with help from his girlfriend Dolores as he finds out that Acme’s will is missing; in it he was to bequeath Toontown to the toons. If the will is not found by midnight, Toontown will be sold to Cloverleaf Industries, which recently bought the Pacific Electric system of trolley cars. essica tells Eddie that Maroon blackmailed her into compromising Acme, and Eddie learns that Maroon is selling his studio to Cloverleaf.
Maroon explains to Eddie that Cloverleaf will not buy his studio unless they can also buy Acme’s gag-making factory. His plan was to use the photos to blackmail Acme into selling. Before he can say more, he is killed by an unseen assassin and Eddie sees Jessica fleeing the scene. Thinking that she is the killer, Eddie pursues her into Toontown. When he finds her, she explains that Doom killed Maroon and Acme in an attempt to take over Toontown. Eddie, Jessica, and Roger are captured by Doom and his weasels and held at the Acme Factory and after a long fight – and a dance by Eddie which makes the weasels die of laughter – and in which it is revealed that Doom is a toon wearing a human mask, Doom is killed when he dissolves in the Dip. The will is found (Roger had written a love letter to Jessica on it and the actual will is in disappearing ink and the Toons celebrate their victory.
Funny and ground breaking, it is a must see for movie aficionados and lovers of awesome 80s humour. Jessica is still a sight to behold even in this day and age! 8.5 outta 10!