10. Who Framed Roger Rabbit Is About Racial Segregation
The most revelatory thing that’s come out about multi-Oscar-winning
Disney-Touchstone animation Who Framed Roger Rabbit in recent years isn’t that
it features a sneaky nude crotch shot of Jessica Rabbit but rather that it’s
probably a thinly-veiled metaphor for racism and racial segregation.
Set in 1947 during the height of Jim Crow-era segregation, the film
focuses on Toontown – an animated neighbourhood of Los Angeles where cartoons
reside segregated from their human counterparts that’s at risk of destruction
at the hands of Judge Doom who plans to replace the town with a freeway for
LA’s wealthy human inhabitants. A plot not too unlike the gentrification of
predominantly non-white neighbourhoods in many Western societies.
Then we have Jessica Rabbit, the most humanlike of Toontown’s toons, who private
detective Eddie Valiant finds very attractive despite his self-proclaimed
hatred of cartoons which according to the theory symbolises the confused desire
many white males felt towards women of colour despite viewing them as lesser.
And there’s the evil Judge Doom who, it turns out, is actually a cartoon
disguised in human form – an Uncle Tom type sell-out who betrays his own in
order to benefit from his assimilation into human society. The difference is
that there’s a happy ending in Who Framed Roger Rabbit whereas some parts of
the US are still racist cesspools today.