director Robert Zemeckis
What a difference six years makes. It was six years ago, according to the film diary here, that I last watched Who Framed Roger Rabbit with the kids. That would have made Felix five and Clara three. And that would have been about when this more consolidated weekly movie-watching really started “with the kids”.
Well, now Who Framed Roger Rabbit is more age appropriate, comprehensible, and enjoyable for them. And indeed it was.
I’m still very much where I’ve been on the film for some time. I think it’s Robert Zemeckis’ best film. The comical concept of treating “toons” as if they were regular paid movie stars like any in old Hollywood is funny, but also a fine opening for critiquing the process of film-making, reflecting on Hollywood’s fading “golden age”, as well as giving a good yank at the film noir, though from what I’ve read, it’s more a pull at Roman Polanski’s Chinatown (1974), even borrowing some of it’s more historical settings in Los Angeles from a planned though never realized potential sequel to that film.
However it may be, the storyline about the death of the electric streetcar to the “mad” machinations of those who would profit by making way for the automobile still makes for a compelling, ironic understory. Not just cheeky and casting asides, but almost subversive in planting this plot below the much more kid-friendly surface of cartoons and humans intermingling.
Bob Hoskins really did a fine job, playing the main foil to all the wackiness. I’ve read that he’s just retired from acting due to a diagnosis of Parkinsons disease, which is too bad. I’ve also read some hints that some sort of follow-up to Roger Rabbit may be in the offing.
Zemeckis’ career hasn’t been overly appealing to me of late. I’ve not seen, particularly his The Polar Express (2004) and A Christmas Carol (2009), though I guess I did wind up seeing his Beowulf (2007) for some reason. I do think that this film is pretty great in its ways. The kids both liked it too, as I think I said.