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  • Writer's pictureShannon Heibler

Who Framed Roger Rabbit? (1988)

How did this movie get made? It's always popular with the older set to say of "old" movies "you couldn't make this movie today" (usually thinly veiled code for "I appreciate that this movie objectifies women, ignores the existence of queer people, and villifies/stereotypes marginalized groups in general and I wish I could continue to do that myself") but in the case of Roger Rabbit, you could absolutely not make this movie today. Just from a legal standpoint. We're more likely to get an Amalgam Comic Cinematic Universe.


As to how the movie got made, I've consumed every podcast, book, article, TV show, documentary, etc that I can find on the making of this movie and I still think it's magic. Roger spits water that hits Eddie's face. I know how they did it but STILL. MAGIC!


An odd side effect of knowing so much about a movie means I know a lot of lore about who didn't get cast or direct or write or or or and then watching that movie I can't help but mentally spiral a little about the road not travelled. This time around, mostly I was thrilled to watch one of my comfort movies that I haven't watched in three years but also, Bill Murray as Eddie Valiant? Absolutely not. No. No thank you. Bob Hoskins is such a gem of an actor. He gives incredible range as Eddie. My heart breaks for him every time the camera pans over the photos and articles about his brother, not because the script tells me it's sad, but because Bob Hoskins is giving a lifetime of history in the way his eyes dart and avoid. How he slumps. How he subconsciously reaches for a drink when he is confronted with those ghosts. But nothing is so remarkable as the reluctant return to Silly Goof at the end of the movie. That Merry-Go-Round Broke Down set piece in the warehouse only works because of all the work done in the hour-twenty prior.



Here's to you, Eddie, and to you, Bob.


It is very Very tempting to write a wee thesis on Jessica Rabbit's line, "I'm not bad, I'm just drawn that way." No one has time for that though, so I'll leave it at this: that a 1988 noir film about a cartoon rabbit not only gave us a distressingly sexy animated lady, it was smart enough to recognize that everyone around her would assume she was Trouble, ignoring entirely that she married the rabbit who made her laugh and she thought she was the luckiest girl in the world. So much said in one little line.


Also, this is one movie I'm glad was forbidden to me until I was a little older. The cartoon shoe getting dipped haunts me. Honest to god it's one of the most gruesome deaths I've ever seen on screen and it's 1000% not real. But the whimpers. The whimpers.


"Smile, Darn Ya, Smile"

Mixed media




Takeaways:

-I finished two art pieces this week and I'm so happy about that. I'm going to catch up!

-I knew I wanted to do a shadow box of this moment at the end. I think it's the best encapsulation of this wonderful world. Gritty reality and colorful joy, so close to one another.

-I originally had plans to include way more detail in the cartoon side but there just wasn't the space. I'm mostly happy with the choices I made. (Part of me is like, if you would have worked in smaller detail... but no. I'm happy with this.)

-I had some real crises of conscious working on those trees because I couldn't totally convince myself there weren't some racist tropes at play that I couldn't totally put my finger on. I shifted some things and felt find about them in the end but... I dunno. Watch the end of the movie and tell me if you get the same ick from those trees.

-I wish I had gone with just green hills. The actual hills in the movie are all different patterns that remind me of a quilt but it doesn't quite work in this scale. Ah well.

-Things I like including in my art: layers/levels, light. Not sure what it means but I'm aware of it.

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