Somewhere, someplace and on some device… Peter Seaman and Jeffrey Price, the writers of the 1988 classic Disney live action/animated movie Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, are hard at work writing it’s sequel.
That’s right folks, it’s finally official after much teasing from director Robert Zemeckis. A script has been commissioned, and presumably once Zemeckis is done with this beatles movie , we shall see a return for Bob Hoskins‘ Eddie Valiant, Jessica Rabbit, Donald Duck and of course, Roger Rabbit.
Janet Maslin of the New York Times wrote of the original... "although this isn't the first time that cartoon characters have shared the screen with live actors, it's the first time they've done it on their own terms and make it look real".
Now I know what you’re thinking. With Zemeckics’ current love for 3-D motion capture, are we to see a Beowulf styled Roger Rabbit?
One advantage for this would be the de-aging of Hoskins and he could look just like he did twenty years ago, meaning that it would feel like a true sequel to the original movie. So I would suggest the smart money’s on a 3-D captured film but I could be wrong, and hopefully I am. It certainly would have a completely different feel for what went before and maybe the juxtaposition would be too much for those who grew up with the original.
Even with this new found toy of mo-cap 3-D animation, I still have a penchant for classic 2-D animation. I love the medium and I think it still has so many storytelling possibilities. It was never the style that got dated, it was the guys in the mid 90s who wrote and made the pictures who got stale. Richard Williams, who won two Oscars for his work on the original – surely has to be called back here?
In 1988, Zemeckis pulled off a movie that was part film noir, which homaged classic Hollywood, had a killer story, matched 2-D animation with live action actors and made it as good as it’s ever been and somehow managed to get characters from MGM, Disney and Warner Bros. in the same film. It’s a landmark classic – a movie that even had a scene featuring Mickey Mouse and Roger Rabbit on screen together!
Oh yeah – at times Roger Rabbit truly feels like it ventures into The Twilight Zone…
Mickey Mouse can't quite believe who he is seeing in a historic moment from Who Framed Roger Rabbit? (1988).
Now I don’t know what library of characters they will have access to this time. The original was a Disney production, and the world is a very different place in 2009 than it was twenty years ago at that place. They now own Marvel characters for instance but what place could those superheroes possibly have here?
Right now all we have to go off is that the original writers are working on a sequel. Anything else is just speculation, so for now (or until it’s announced it’s mo-cap), I’m happy.
This article was first posted on November 2, 2009