One of the greatest films of all time finally get the HD treatment it deserves in the amazing Who Framed Roger Rabbit: 25th Anniversary Edition on Blu-ray. Featuring a colorful (both figuratively and literally) cast of characters, great special effects and a great story, this classic will make fans fall in love with it all over again while becoming a new classic for an all new generation of viewers to experience for the first time.
Hard to believe, but I remember 1988 like it was only yesterday. It was the year that marked my first time going to Disney World (which was celebrating their 15th anniversary at the time) and the year Who Framed Roger Rabbit? first stormed onto the scene. It’s a classic film that broke the boundaries of animation and live-action, and helped bring studios that made some of the world’s most memorable toons together for the first time in an epic film that’s still as awesome and amazing as it was back then.
The story follows detective Eddie Valiant (played to perfection by Bob Hoskins) in the year of 1947, where times are hard after the war has made a recession for the nation. Cartoon studio owner R. K. Maroon asks Eddie to take the job of finding out if Roger Rabbit’s (voiced to comedic perfection by Charles Fleischer) wife Jessica (Kathleen Turner at her husky best) had an alleged affair with corporate mogul Marvin Acme. Eddie takes pictures of Jessica playing patty-cake with Acme (essentially a kinky thing for toons to do) which makes Roger go crazy and leave the studio. When Acme turns up dead the next day, Roger is blamed for the murder by the scary and mysterious Judge Doom (played to evil / crazy perfection by Christopher Lloyd) along with his gang of toon weasels. While he hates toons, Eddie finds it in his heart to help Roger clear his name as the two go from one zany toon filled adventure after another to clear his name.
Watching this classic on Blu-ray was a big treat to me, as I’ve always been a huge fan throughout the years. Owning both the VHS and DVD prints of the movie already, having it here in HD is absolute bliss, as everything looks and sounds better than it ever could when it was initially released. You can really see the time and care that was placed into the toon characters here, and who can possibly resist seeing Mickey Mouse and Bugs Bunny share a scene together for the first time?
There’s plenty of special features to explore as well, especially my favorites, the original Roger Rabbit shorts, collected here in HD for the first time. “Tummy Trouble”, “Roller Coaster Rabbit” and “Trail Mix-Up” are here for fans to enjoy while making those new to them have a laughing fit. The audio commentary has director Robert Zemeckis, producers Frank Marshall and Steve Starkey, writers Jeffrey Price and Peter Seaman, and visual effects supervisor Ken Ralston sharing a lot of cool and interesting things that happened while making the film that every fan is sure to love listening to. “Who Made Roger Rabbit” is a nice featurette with voice actor Charles Fleischer describing how the tricks were accomplished during the production of the movie. There’s also a deleted scene, more behind the scenes features showing how the actors had to act while using stand-in props and a lot of imagination and more to keep those who enjoy extras busy.
The Who Framed Roger Rabbit: 25th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray takes an already perfect classic and makes it even better with a beautiful high-definition treatment that’s sure to entertain the world for another 25 years and beyond. Better sill are are the great features that help showcase just how much care went into its production, commentaries, and even more Roger Rabbit-themed goodies that animation fans are absolutely going to love watching again and again. If you’re a fan, then you already have this in your collection, but if you’re looking for a new classic to watch or just something completely different, then pick up with disc “P-p-p-lease”, you’ll be glad you did.
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Touchstone Home Entertainment