Who Framed Roger Rabbit?

This one is cheating––but, reversing the comics-to-film shtick, Who Framed Roger Rabbit? inspired a comic book adaptation, as well as a video game, a cartoon series, a dance, and a Disneyland ride. Here, post-war L.A. is a Chandleresque maze of foreboding neighborhoods, with none more ominous than “Toon Town,” a licentious district where cartoon characters live when they're not making movies. In the borderland metaphor of Roger Rabbit, cartoon characters and humans fraternize in the same reality, though “fraternize” overlooks the inky racism between drawn and real. Hard-drinking private eye Eddie Valiant (stubby dynamo Bob Hoskins) is hired to investigate rumors that celebrity ‘toon Roger Rabbit's wife Jessica (who's “got more curves than Mulholland Drive”) is stepping out on him. Zemeckis' madcap melding of buoyant animation with fully freighted actors is gravity defying, as his stocky hero Valiant pursues a scandal that goes right to the top of the Studio system. When given the third degree, our cartoon heroine Jessica complains, “I'm not bad. I'm just drawn that way.”

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