Thursday, January 5, 2012

Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988), Robert Zemeckis

This review is critically analysing Robert Zemeckis's movie "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" (1988). This movie is one of the first motion pictures examples which gives a great discussion not only about detective film noir, comedy and animation clash together, but also how increadibly it was produced. This review is based on Roger Ebert's, Desson Howe's and Rita Kempley's reviews.

This movie brings us back when animation was still dominated by hand drawn work. It gives a lot of positive emotions and you can see that from every single review that you read about it. Roger Ebert says: "And "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" is the kind of movie that gets made once in a blue moon, because it represents an immense challenge to the filmmakers: They have to make a good movie while inventing new technology at the same time." (Chicago Sun Times, June 22, 1988). It explains that back then to create something like that was almost the same as creating "Avatar" few years ago. It required a lot of precision, imagination and professionalism. A very strong opinion about  it was presented by The Washington Post writer Desson Howe, who said: "IF YOU DON'T like "Who Framed Roger Rabbit," have your pulse checked. Robert Zemeckis' multi-dimensional free-for-all, where cartoon figures bump, quip and cavort with flesh-and-blood characters, is not only a technical tour de force, it crackles with entertainment." (June 24, 1988, The Washington Post). In his words relationship between hand animated drawings and real acting was something simply incredible. Another The Washington Post Writer Rita Kampley just points out ways of this kind of relationtip between main character Roger and others: "Roger has a personality that is as three-dimensional as he appears to be. Why, he even casts a shadow. That took an army of artists, 1,000 special effects and more technology than a nuclear submarine. But this humanimated miracle is more than razzle-dazzle. It's also a landmark of high spirits" June 22, 1988, The Washington Post). She explains that only incredible concentration and patience could reach this. Without increadible spirit there is also concrete style explaining the timline, but the movie is not about a real world, it is just based on it. Editing and production teams definitely must have had seriously tought time to bring this idea to life.


All in all production quality was ground breaking and it stands up for itself up until these days mainly because of the way how it was done. This movie also brings very nostalgic feelings, because a movie like that probably will never be made in the same way again. Other then that it is still great combination of film noir and comedy.


1) Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun Times, June 22, 1988:

2) Desson Howe, June 24, 1988, The Washington Post:

3) Rita Kempley, June 22, 1988, The Washington Post:


Figure1: Main villain and protagonist:

Figure2: Detective and a beauty:

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