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Who Framed Roger Rabbit Production Information

Who Framed Roger Rabbit Cartoon Picture
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>Touchstone Pictures, Amblin Entertainment, Silver Screen Partners III
  • Touchstone Pictures, Amblin Entertainment, Silver Screen Partners III
  • Animated Characters: Roger Rabbit, Jessica Rabbit, Benny the Cab, Baby Herman, Bongo, Hippo, Smart Ass, Greasy, Psycho, Stupid, Wheezy, Droopy Dog, Lena Hyena, Bambi, Bashful, Betty Boop, Big Bad Wolf, Brer Bear, Brooms, Bugs Bunny, Cheshire Cat, Chicken Little, Clarabelle Cow, Daffy Duck, Daisy Duck, Donald Duck, Dumbo, Jiminy Cricket, Marvin Martian, Mickey, Minnie Mouse, Tinker Bell, Tweety, Woody Woodpecker, Yosemite Sam.
  • Awards: Academy Award Winner, Best Film Editing, Arthur Schmidt, 1989.
    Academy Award Winner, Best Effects, Sound Effects Editing, Charles L. Campbell and Louis L. Edemann, 1989.
    Academy Award Winner, Best Effects, Visual Effects Editing, Ken Ralston, Richard Williams, Ed Jones and George Gibbs, 1989.
    Academy Award Nominee, Best Sound, Robert Knudson, John Boyd, Don Digirolamo and Tony Dawe, 1989.
    Academy Award Nominee, Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Elliot Scott and Peter Howitt, 1989.
    Academy Award Nominee, Best Cinematography, Dean Cundey, 1989.
    Academy Award, Special Achievement Award, Richard Williams, For animation direction and creation of the cartoon characters, 1989.
    Golden Globe Nominee, Best Picture (Musical or Comedy), 1989.
    Golden Globe Nominee, Best Actor in a Leading Role (Musical or Comedy), Bob Hoskins, 1989.
    Saturn Award, Best Director, Robert Zemeckis, 1990.
    Saturn Award, Best Fantasy Film, 1990.
    Saturn Award, Best Special Effects, George Gibbs, Ken Ralston and Richard Williams, 1990.
    Nominee, Saturn Award, Best Actor, Bob Hoskins, 1990.
    Nominee, Saturn Award, Best Music, Alan Silvestri, 1990.
    Nominee, Saturn Award, Best Supporting Actor, Christopher Lloyd, 1990.
    Nominee, Saturn Award, Best Supporting Actress, Joanna Cassidy, 1990.
    Nominee, Saturn Award, Best Writing, Jeffrey Price and Peter S. Seaman, 1990.
    BAFTA Film Award, Best Special Effects, George Gibbs, Richard Williams, Ken Ralston and Ed Jones, 1989.
    Nominee, BAFTA Film Award, Best Cinematography, Dean Cundey, 1989.
    Nominee, BAFTA Film Award, Best Editing, Arthur Schmidt, 1989.
    Nominee, BAFTA Film Award, Best Production Design, Elliot Scott, 1989.
    Nominee, BAFTA Film Award, Best Screenplay - Adapted, Jeffrey Price and Peter S. Seaman, 1989.
    BMI Film Music Award, Alan Silvestri, 1989.
    CFCA Award, Best Director, Robert Zemeckis, Chicago Film Critics Association Awards, 1989.
    David, Best Producer - Foreign Film (Migliore Produttore Straniero), Robert Watts and Frank Marshall, David di Donatello Awards, 1989.
    Evening Standard British Film Award, Best Actor, Bob Hoskins, 1989.
    Golden Screen, Germany, 1989.
    Hugo, Best Dramatic Presentation, 1989.
    Kids' Choice Award, Favorite Movie, 1989.
    Special Award, Robert Zemeckis, Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards, 1988.
    Golden Reel Award, Best Sound Editing - ADR, 1989.
    Audience Award, Best Foreign Film (Mejor Película Extranjera), Robert Zemeckis, Sant Jordi Awards, 1989.
    Nominee, Best Cinematography Award, Dean Cundey, British Society of Cinematographers, 1988.
    Nominee, Eddie, Best Edited Feature Film, Arthur Schmidt, American Cinema Editors, USA, 1989.
    Nominee, César, Best Foreign Film (Meilleur film étranger), Robert Zemeckis, 1989.
    Nominee, DGA Award, Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures, Robert Zemeckis, 1989.
    Nominee, Grammy, Best Album of Original Instrumental Background Score Written for a Motion Picture or Television, Alan Silvestri, 1989.
    Nominee, WGA Award (Screen) Best Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium, Jeffrey Price and Peter S. Seaman, 1989.
    Nominee, DVDX Award, Best Menu Design, John Ross, DVD Exclusive Awards, 2003
  • Originally Released in 1988.
  • Running Time: 103 minutes.
  • DeLuxe
  • U.S.A.  U.S.A.


Production Notes:

The first animated film to be nominated for an Academy Award for best film editing, best effects (sound effects editing), best effects (visual effects), best art direction-set direction or best cinematography.

Who Framed Roger Rabbit is based on the 1981 novel Who Censored Roger Rabbit, by Gary K. Wolf. The book makes a statement, as the film does less pointedly, about dominant races and minorities. The book had been optioned by Disney in the early 1980s and had even been announced for production in the 1983 Disney annual report. The project was eventually shelved, but a draft screenplay caught the eye of director Robert Zemeckis (the "Back to the Future" trilogy). When Disney management approached Steven Spielberg about his interest in Roger Rabbit, Zemeckis came along, and (once satisfied that the budget would be high enough to deliver a truly ground-breaking film) the two agreed to the task.

One of the great joys of Roger Rabbit is the interaction of characters from several different studios (and thus, several different ownerships). A team of attorneys spent years putting together the several specific contracts and releases required to assemble the all-star "guest cast" that appears in Toontown.

The characters of Roger Rabbit and Baby Herman returned in the animated shorts Tummy Trouble (1989), Roller Coaster Rabbit (1990) and Trail Mix-Up (1993). Although plans for a sequel to Who Framed Roger Rabbit frequently percolate through the Hollywood grapevine, none has ever passed the development phase.

The combination of animation and live-action in Who Framed Roger Rabbit took the pioneering work of Song of the South (1946) and Mary Poppins (1964) and moved it into a new dimension of realism. No longer did actors function in a two-dimensional plane with cartoons; in Roger Rabbit, both human and Toon are fully-dimensional characters, coexisting in the same space.

The animation was supervised by renowned animator Richard Williams, who was at first reluctant to take on the project, until Zemeckis convinced him that he would dictate exactly what he wanted from the film, and Williams would simply supply it. Williams defined his role to Zemeckis: "I'm your pencil."

There could be no shortcuts in production. Eighty-two thousand frames of animation were created, each frame on a photostatic blow-up of a single frame of live-action. The animation crew numbered 326 artists, 254 directly supervised by Williams in London, another 72 in California. Also in California, Industrial Light and Magic (ILM), the George Lucas-owned special effects house, was hired to add the final layer of dimensional reality-shadows, skin tones, even the flashing sequins on Jessica Rabbit's skin-tight costume.

One of the greatest challenges to the animators (beyond the crushing volume of drawings and airtight deadlines), was that, for the sake of the realism of the animation/live-action interaction, Zemeckis frequently used a moving camera, customary in live-action, but then rarely-used in animation because of the difficulty of drawing the characters in precise perspective.

Both Zemeckis and Spielberg wanted Bill Murray for the role of Eddie Valiant, but Murray is notoriously hard to get a hold of, so it never happened. Murray has said that when he later found out that he was the number one choice for the role, he screamed out loud because he would have loved playing Eddie. Bob Hoskins (Eddie Valiant) says one reason he appeared in Who Framed Roger Rabbit was that his young son could see him in one of his movies.

"I took him to the premiere, and when he came out, he wouldn't talk to me. Wouldn't have anything to do with me," Hoskins recalled years later. "He reckoned that any father that had friends like Yosemite Sam, Daffy Duck, Bugs Bunny and people like that, and didn't bring [them] home to meet his son, well..."

Tim Curry auditioned for the role of Judge Doom, but he was so disturbingly sinister that Zemeckis, Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg and Michael Eisner all nixed him for fear that he would give children nightmares. To make Judge Doom extra creepy, Robert Zemeckis had Christopher Lloyd refrain from blinking during his scenes.

Despite the cavalcade of characters from across the cartoon universe, a few that the producers wanted are missing: Popeye and Olive Oyl, Tom and Jerry, Casper the Friendly Ghost and Deputy Dawg. They couldn’t secure the rights for these in time for the movie.

The movie’s original budget was $29.9 million dollars – the most an animated movie had ever cost at the time. But the price tag could have been even more astronomical – Roger was slated to cost $50 million at first, but Disney refused to shell out that much and wouldn’t approve production until costs were slashed. Rumor has it that by the time production was finished, the budget had soared to around $70 million.

This was the last film Mel Blanc provided his famous voices for, including Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Tweety Bird, Porky Pig and Sylvester the Cat – with one exception. He did provide Daffy’s voice one more time in 1987's "The Duxorcist" before passing away in 1989.

"You Ought to Be in Pictures is said to have been the inspiration for this cartoon.

Foreign Language Title: "Qui Veut La Peau De Roger Rabbit? (French)."

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