Live action has been mixed with animation before and since (Tom and Jerry dancing with Gene Kelly in 1945’s Anchors Aweigh, Bugs Bunny and pals playing ball with Michael Jordan in 1996’s Space Jam) but this superb adventure really set a high standard that has yet to be bettered.
LA private detective Eddie Valiant (Hoskins, in a role apparently previously offered to Robert Redford and Harrison Ford) doesn’t like Toons, the animated creatures who live in the suburb of Toontown. So he’s not happy when movie boss Marvin Acme (Stubby Kaye) hires him to investigate whether sexy animated star Jessica Rabbit (voiced by Kathleen Turner) is cheating on her hubby Roger (voiced by Charles Fleischer), and even less amused when Acme is murdered and excitable bunny Roger is the prime suspect.
A brilliant mix of cartoon and live action, this is hilarious as a double act between Hoskins and the animated Roger, and as a surreal kiddie adventure when the pair enter the cartoon world of Toontown (fans of Disney and Warner Brothers cartoons will spot many favourite characters along the way, including the Mel Blanc-voiced Daffy Duck, Bugs Bunny and Sylvester, as well as Betty Boop, Donald Duck and Yosemite Sam). Superb fun for all ages (though little ones may be scared by Lloyd’s sinister Judge Doom and his torturing of cartoon characters).
Is Who Framed Roger Rabbit suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...
Judge Doom is scary, and the scene in which he tortures a toon will upset young viewers, as will – SPOILER ALERT! – the climactic scene when Doom transforms.