June 26, 1988 [Who Framed Roger Rabbit?]

In a fit of benign negligence, we bundled up baby Vera against the cold of air conditioning and took her with us to see Who Framed Roger Rabbit?. She proved a model modern child: slept like the baby she is through a feature-length Tex Avery-ish atomic mcboing-boing, jammed with more caterwauling cacophony than a sack of bricks and fine china kicked downstairs.

Robert Zemeckis knows how to make old-fashioned movies--Romancing the Stone and especially Back to the Future are nimble maneuvers through the happy heart of movie-going. But there’s also Used Cars, which gave Kurt Russell the opportunity to smoke brown Mores and reconfigure himself as a smirking cad. And that’s the movie I thought of while watching Roger stutter and spray all over Bob Hoskins. Who Framed Roger Rabbit? loves cartoons as much as anything I’ve ever seen (as much as I do, and that’s saying a lot--almost too much, I’ll admit); and part of that love is of course mad--Looney, Merrie and screwy as a squirrel, polymorphous perversity as an Acme anvil banged with one’s own head. There is something inside this movie that’s fun to dig up, but hard to handle--as creepy-crawly as Christopher Lloyd’s Judge unmasked, his eyes-a-poppin, his voice a teakettle scream. But I can’t stop loving them--they’re just drawn that way, as Jessica Rabbit reminds us, and they insist, “Smile, darn ya, smile!” with such evocative joy that I felt my throat catch a little at the end, knowing there’s a town where they still careen like a kid running without looking, keeping their faith in improbable trajectory and the instinct to wait until it’s funny.


  1. Oh...they joy that this film brings me...

    I saw it as a little kid when a lot of the more...ahem..."mature" jokes...went over my head. I just hope that they don't ruin the sequel...

    Oh, and I just started a new blog:


    It's basically me doing mini reviews of all of the films that I see. Nothing fancy...just bare bones reviewing.


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