Everyone remembers the odd-ball comedy Who Framed Roger Rabbit because it is simply impossible to forget. The plot is downright zany and the characters are absolutely ridiculous but somehow it all comes together in the best possible way. This movie came out back in 1988 but there is a lot of stuff that no one seems to know about the movie.
There are a lot of really interesting little pieces of trivia about this movie so let’s see how much you really know about the classic 80s flick!
1. Mickey vs. Bugs
It was the first time that Mickey Mouse and Bugs Bunny appeared on screen together. The movie was made by Disney, so the only way that Warner Bros. would allow them to use their characters was if they got the same amount of screen time as the Disney characters. That’s why you always see Bugs and Daffy in the same frame as Donald and Mickey!
2. How to kill a toon…
The “dip” they make in the movie is made out of turpentine, benzene and acetone. All of those chemicals are actual paint thinners that would remove the animation from cells. Explains why it is so scary to the toons!
3. It was a pricey endeavor!
The movie became the most expensive film to produce in the 80s, and had the longest on-screen credits. Their budget of $70 million was unheard of at the time, but now that we have so many huge super hero movies that seems like nothing.
4. The first screening hated it
They hated it a lot. Their test audience was mostly 18-19 year-olds and almost all of them walked out of the theater. What did they change to make it better? Absolutely nothing. Producer Robert Zemeckis said he wouldn’t change a thing.
5. One scene is still referenced regularly at Disney
There is a term that Disney employees use that not everyone seems to know about. They say the phrase “Bump the Lamp” when they talk about going the extra mile in a project. They say this because in the scene where Eddie and Roger are trying to cut off the handcuffs the lamp on the ceiling is swinging after it is bumped. They had to do hours of extra work to match the shadows up in the animation and even though no one would notice if they didn’t. They did this because they believe that putting in the effort makes it all just a little more special and realistic.
But did you ever notice there’s something missing from the title?
6. “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” is grammatically incorrect for a reason
Apparently putting a question mark in a title is considered bad luck in the industry so they left it out even though it is clearly a question.
7. Jessica Rabbit was based on 4 femme fatales
She was primarily based on the cartoon character Red from “Red Hot Riding Hood” made in 1943. They also modeled her after Lauren Bacall, Veronica Lake, and Rita Hayworth.
8. Roger Rabbit was designed in a very specific way
He is described as being designed to have to following features:
- A Warner Bros. face
- A Disney body
- A Tex Avery attitude
- Goofy’s overalls
- Mickey Mouse’s gloves
- Porky Pig’s bowtie
- All colored like the American flag
Their theory was that “everyone would subliminally like it” according to Richard Williams, director of animation.
9. The villain was almost someone very different
There were over 40 drafts of the script which each had some distinct changes. Some of the drafts had the villain as Baby Herman and some actually had Jessica Rabbit as the villain!
10. This job caused Bob Hoskins to hallucinate.
It started as an acting technique, but Hoskins seemed to lose control over it after the film. In an interview in 1988 he said “I had to learn to hallucinate to do it. … After doing it for six months, for sixteen hours a day, I lost control of it and sort of had weasels and rabbits popping out of the wall at me.” After wrapping on Who Framed Roger Rabbit he didn’t take another job for a year.
How many of these pieces of trivia did you know? It’s crazy how much effort went into the making of this movie, but I am very glad they put in the work because it’s obviously stood the test of time. It actually has been selected for preservation by the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress which means they consider it to be “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant.”
Share if you remember this movie!