Wednesday, May 24, 2006

And You Thought the Smash Bros. Post Was Impenetrable

I have this

Last night I watched Who Framed Roger Rabbit. For those of you who know me, this is by far my favourite film of all time. Sometimes people (mostly females) say a movie is their favourite, like, “Oooh, Kate and Leopold is my favourite movie!”, but they don’t really mean it. In my case, I’m deadly serious.

Anyway, now that I’m technically an adult, a few nagging things popped up at me that I never really noticed as a child. They don’t especially ruin the movie, but there are certain contrivances in Roger Rabbit that I’d like to point out:

1) The part where Roger handcuffs Eddie. Obviously the producers needed some reason for the two characters to become inseparable and have to hide from the Weasels, so… what, they just have Roger slap some cuffs on Eddie as part of a joke? And Eddie doesn’t happen to have the keys to the cuffs? Contrived!

2) The Weasels, hiding in the sewers, find out Roger is hiding at the bar because they, what, just happen to overhear Eddie and Dolores speaking in the middle of the street? Contrived!

3) This one bugs me. So when Doom is doing his “shave and a haircut” thing at the bar, Eddie can’t stop Roger from bursting out cause his sleeve’s caught on the spyhole? Lame.

4) Outside Maroon Cartoons, Jessica knocks Roger out and sticks him in her trunk so he won’t get hurt. That makes no sense, and it’s an artificial way to make her seem possibly evil.

5) Later on, when Roger regains consciousness, he takes Jessica’s car for a joyride through Toontown. Obviously, this is a cheap way to get him out of the picture so Jessica and Eddie have to team up and go off in search of him with Benny. But, really, Roger wakes up after being knocked out and just decides to drive a car around? Contrived.

That’s about all I have. The big problem with a lot of these is that without them, the plot would not be able to progress as it did. They’re not deal-breakers, but they still don’t make much sense.

Also this - Thanks for painting it, Chinese children!

I also have some questions regarding toon death in the film. It is categorically stated by Lieutenant Santino that the only way to kill a toon is to use dip. It’s part of Doom’s big plan, after all. Nevertheless, there are several instances in which it’s either implied or directly stated that cartoons can die in other ways. I don’t really mind this, but it does undermine dip’s dramatic importance.

Here are other instances where dip doesn’t seem to be the only thing that kills toons:

1) What’s the point of Eddie’s cartoon gun? If he can’t kill any cartoons with it, why bother? Is he going to use it to kill Doom, who he assumes to be a human? Can humans be killed by cartoon guns? If so, why doesn’t Eddie bring a cartoon machine gun or bazooka, instead of a revolver (that’s another issue in itself, which I will address shortly)?

2) Santino says “Remember how we thought there wasn’t a way to kill a toon?”, yet it is said that the Weasels’ “idiot hyena cousins” died by laughed themselves to death. Not only is laughter, apparently, a way to kill toons, but this fact is seemingly well-known.

3) In the Acme factory, when Roger comes bursting out of the pipe, he holds a real gun to the Weasels. They back off, apparently fearful of being harmed or killed.

4) This one’s debatable, but it appears as though the crazy weasel in the straightjacket dies not from laughter, but by being caught in the dip machine’s spinning… cylindrical bristle thing.

Got this lying around somewhere

Also, what’s the deal with toons? How are they created? Can two cartoons naturally produce a baby toon? Does an animator sit at a desk, draw one, and then it pops off the page? If so, could just any joe do that? Could I create some ultra sexy woman toon and just have sex with her all the time? Could poor people create toon food and eat that? Why don’t I just create a toon airplane and go on vacation with that, for free? What about the portable holes? Those have real practical uses outside of the cartoon world.

Are all toons actors? Are they created with the express purpose of appearing in cartoons? If Baby Herman is nothing at all like his on-screen character, that suggests that perhaps they aren’t. How do toons come by their personalities? Are they developed by the animators, or do toons come into them as naturally as humans?

Roger says that Thumper is his uncle. How do cartoons just become related? This would presumably support the theory that cartoons can procreate. Why does Thumper appear relatively more rabbit-like, compared to Roger and his human characteristics? Is Roger the result of a humanoid cartoon/rabbit cartoon pairing?

Why do toons go by the same name in “real life” as they do in the cartoons they appear? Clark Gable didn’t always play a character named Clark Gable in every single one of his movies, so maybe toons are created expressly to appear in cartoons.

Are toons created by humans, or are they naturally-occurring? If so, when did they first show up, the 1900s, or in prehistory? Is there only one Toontown, just outside LA, and has it always been there? How does Marvin Acme own Toontown? Did he create it?

Can toons age? Baby Herman says that he’s 50. Since the movie is set in 1947, does that mean he was created back in 1897? Did cartoons even exist back then?

Some other general questions and observations:

- What’s the deal with anthropomorphic toons, like the shoes and musical instruments? Are they sentient? Do they have rights?

- What happens to the Weasels’ angels after they die?

- When did Eddie’s brother die? Everything (his desk, the story Eddie tells) implies it was a while ago, but he’s in the photos from Eddie and Dolores’ trip to Catalina. How long ago was that? The film from that trip had been sitting in the camera the whole time. How long can a person reasonably leave film lying around in a camera before they get it developed? In those photos, Eddie and Dolores appear the same age as they do in the rest of the film.

- Why is Betty Boop in black and white? It’s implied that this is a condition she cannot change. What about Mickey and Porky and all the other cartoon characters who were originally black and white as well? How come they were colourized but Betty isn’t?

- Why does Eddie go for Acme’s buzzer when they’re carting his body away, anyway?

- I’d really like to see the version of the movie without the toons, which I guess is just Bob Hoskins talking to nobody.

- Acme owns Toontown, but LA apparently has some sort of jurisdiction over it, as Judge Doom has authority there, and Eddie and Teddy often went there in their early days on the police force. How does this work out, legally?

- Eddie’s gun is from Yosemite Sam, according to an engraving on the inside of its case. Why didn’t the two exchange words when Sam showed up outside of the Acme factory at the start?

- Like how Mickey is complicit, with Bugs, in giving Eddie the spare tire. It’s possibly the most mean-spirited thing Mickey has ever done.

- When Doom grabs Eddie and Jessica outside the Toontown tunnel, why doesn’t he grab or kill Benny?

- Cartoon Doom has all sorts of special powers (springs on feet, razor blade hand). Can just any toon do this?

Anyway, that’s about all I’ve got. I know it’s not much, but hopefully it will get you thinking.

By the way, if you want to read a synopsis of the Roger Rabbit sequel they never made, Toon Platoon, check this out. It actually sounds pretty decent.


Blogger Beth said...

wow you sure loved your movie there lol
and not all girls change their mind on their favorite movies you know lol

9:42 am  
Blogger Mike said...

Not that they change their minds, just that they tend not to use the word "favourite" sparingly.

10:16 am  
Blogger Beth said...

well my favorite movie has been charlie and the chocolate factory for years and years so there and my favorite band for YEARS has been bon jovi lol nothing sparingly about that lol

11:40 pm  
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Anonymous Anonymous said...

:) If those toon holes existed, my problem would be solved! :) E-GO-B

3:32 pm  

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