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Who Framed Roger Rabbit?
Buy the DVD  Barnes & Noble.com
Buy the VHSBarnes & Noble.com
Genre:Comedy
Year:1988
Rating:PG
Cast:Robert Zemeckis, Bob Hoskins, Christopher Lloyd, Joanna Cassidy

Who Framed Roger Rabbit has long been one of DVD's most requested titles, and this two-disc set was worth the wait. A once-in-a-lifetime pleasure, this dizzying and dazzling tour de force combines, like no film before it, live-action and animation. With the loving craft of Disney, the outrageous humor of Warner Bros. cartoons, and the anarchic spirit of animator Tex Avery, this looney homage to film noir and animation's golden age conjures up Hollywood, circa 1947, and a delirious parallel cartoon universe, Toontown, where beloved "toons" born of pen and ink in the 1930s and '40s reside. Here, and nowhere else, will you see Donald Duck and Daffy Duck sharing the same stage and Mickey Mouse and Bugs Bunny as prank-playing partners. Heading the human cast is Bob Hoskins as down-and-out private eye Eddie Valiant, who is investigating the murder of Toontown owner Marvin Acme. The prime suspect is toon star Roger Rabbit, whose impossibly curvaceous wife, Jessica (indelibly voiced by Kathleen Turner) has been seen playing patty-cake (literally) with Acme. Or was it Jessica herself? ("I'm not bad, Mr. Valiant," she purrs, "I'm just drawn that way.") Or was Acme's murder part of a more diabolical plot that could erase Toontown from the map? Animation buffs especially will delight in the sly in-jokes ("Walt sent me," is the password into the Pen and Ink nightclub) and cameo appearances by such classic toons as Betty Boop, Yosemite Sam, and Dumbo. Hopping with entertaining extras, this set does full justice to this pioneering breakthrough and heartfelt labor of love. "Family Friendly" Disc 1 contains the full-screen version of the film, a segment about the making of the film, and the Roger Rabbit short subjects, "Tummy Trouble," "Rollercoaster Rabbit," and "Trail Mix-Up." Disc 2 is for the real "Enthusiast," with a wide-screen presentation of the Oscar-winning film; optional audio commentary by director Robert Zemeckis, the producers, and the screenwriters; the deleted nightmarish "Pig Head" sequence; fascinating production segments; and a viewing option that offers onscreen text revealing all of Roger Rabbit's mysteries. This is one of the year's best DVDs. To quote Roger, p-p-p-lease don't miss it. Donald Liebenson

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