Release: June 22, 1988
Estimated Cost: $70 million
Estimated Revenue: $329 million
Overall Rating: 3 stars out of 5
Detective Eddie Valiant lives in the real world, but in this fictional Hollywood of the 1940s cartoons are real! They live in their own community called “Toontown.” Valiant is hired by a studio exec to prove to Roger Rabbit (an anthropomorphic, cartoon rabbit) that his long time wife, Jessica Rabbit (a cartoon pin-up girl) is cheating on him.
Valiant gets wrapped up in Roger’s world as he tries to discover who wants to knock down Toontown so badly that they would kill! Valiant has to put his differences with toons aside as he works to solve the case. Only when he lets go and behaves like a toon, does he successfully take down the judge (a toon in a human costume) and save Toontown.
Toontown is populated by every toon drawn of the time and even places Mickey Mouse and Bugs Bunny on the same screen twice!
Plot Rating: 3 stars out of 5
Animation Rating: 2.5 out of 5
It was very interesting watching the behind the scenes on how they had animated the characters and how they used robots to give the live actors something to look at. However, I found the animation a bit off, and all of my favorite childhood characters looked just a bit weird.
The Test of Time:
Why include this Torchstone movie in my WDAS retrospective? Well, Torchstone is just a subsidiary of Disney and Rabbit was drawn by Disney animators. I also have to include this movie because it simply fast tracked the Disney Renaissance. Although Oliver did much better than the previous films, I believe that Rabbit truly set the stage for successful animated movies. This film reminded the execs that there was money to be made in animation.
Thank you Roger for setting the stage for the future of WDAS!