Western Animation: Roger Rabbit Shorts
Following the smashing success of the 1988 fantasy / comedy
film Who Framed Roger Rabbit
, and Zemeckis
saw an opportunity to kill two birds with one stone: promote the new Disneyland
attraction "Roger Rabbit's Car Toon Spin" on the one hand, and revive the great tradition of animated theatrical shorts (dead since the nineteen
) that ran before the feature film, where the trailers are today, on the other. So they produced a series of three partly live-action, mostly animated
short films starring the Toon
characters from the feature.
All three shorts follow the pattern set by Something's Cookin
' (the film within the original film
) and, supposedly, what the titular lagomorph's big-screen escapades were generally like in the world of the movie.
In each one, Roger is trusted to babysit Baby Herman by his imposing mother, who threatens Roger with some outrageous punishment should anything happen to her little darling. Inevitably, Baby Herman gets away from his caretaker and innocently puts himself in grievous harm's way, prompting Roger to leap to the rescue and get badly battered
in the process. At the end, Roger will ruin the take in some amusing way (such as setting his feet on fire or accidentally deflating the planet
), infuriating the live-action human director and stage crew.
It's Disney-quality animation with Tex Avery
style gags. And it's just as awesome as it sounds
These are the cartoons, and the film they opened for:
A fourth film, Waiter, There's a Hare in My Soup
was planned, but never produced.
Though it is
mentioned in the novels.
Needless to say, the revival did not succeed (which may have had something to do with the movies they opened for), although all three shorts are available in the Vista Series DVD set of the movie.
See also: Pixar Shorts
- By the Lights of Their Eyes: When Roger and Baby Herman enter the tunnel in Roller Coaster Rabbit.
- The Cameo: Droopy Dog and Jessica Rabbit both get one per cartoon.
- Cartoon Bug-Sprayer: Roger uses one in "Trail Mix-Up"
- Chained to a Railway: Droopy has Jessica Rabbit chained to a roller coaster in Roller Coaster Rabbit.
- Freeze-Frame Bonus:
- During the Hospital Gurney Scene in Tummy Trouble, the gurney passes through an endless series of doors, each marked with a different -ology. The doors go faster and faster so that you have to pause to be able to read them all. The last one reads "Burbank".
- As the roller coaster in Roller Coaster Rabbit first goes down, you can see Atlanta burning.
- When the coaster goes through its second dip, the tracks read "Jeepers".
- When Roger spits out bees in Trail Mix-Up, one of the bees has Mickey Mouse's face, while another turns out to be Tinkerbell.
- As Roger and Baby Herman head for the flume, Herman's pupils have Mickey Mouse's head for two frames, while Roger's have skulls.
- Friction Burn: Roger's feet catch fire from skidding on the roller coaster tracks in Roller Coaster Rabbit.
- Genre Throwback: To the pre-feature animated shorts from The Golden Age of Animation.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: All over the place:
- Roller Coast Rabbit has Baby Herman chase a red balloon underneath a bull. He sees something bright red and bulbous under its belly and grabs... During the live-action scene at the end of the short, the balloon finally pops, startling a female fan of Baby Herman's, and he laughs lasciviously and says "Whatsamatter, toots? Afraid of a little...bang?"
- In Trail Mix-Up there are two instances of it; when Roger warns Baby Herman not to burn his 'weenie' at the fire (when he has a hot dog), and when he says he was so scared he almost 'dropped a log'' while they're in a sawmill.
- Here We Go Again: In Tummy Trouble.
- Hospital Gurney Scene: In Tummy Trouble.
- Hospital Hottie: Jessica in Tummy Trouble.
- Infant Immortality
- Intercontinuity Crossover: MGM's Droopy appearing in a Disney production.
- Isophagus: After Roger swallows Baby Herman's rattle in Tummy Trouble.
- Jaw Drop: Roger, reading Baby Herman's medical bills in Tummy Trouble
- Missing Episode: Waiter, There's a Hare in My Soup, the un-produced short.
- Nice Character, Mean Actor: Pretty much the entire gag behind Baby Herman.
- No Ending: Roller Coaster Rabbit ends with Roger messing up the scene and being scolded by his director. Trail Mix-Up ends with Roger messing up the scene and destroying the planet. Tummy Trouble on the other hand, ran smoothly and ended quite well.
- Pun: "That was bracing!" in Roller Coaster Rabbit
- Really 700 Years Old / Can't Grow Up: Baby Herman, who's really 50 (36 in the books).
- Roger Rabbit Effect
- Rushmore Refacement: In Trail Mix-Up.
- Shockingly Expensive Bill: At the end of Tummy Trouble.
- Strapped To A Table: Roger in Tummy Trouble.
- Suddenly Shouting: When Mrs. Herman threatens something bad on Roger, she will always shout this. It happens in every short:
"Uncle Roger will take good care of you, and everything will be just fine. NOT LIKE LAST TIME!
- In Roller Coaster Rabbit:
"Roger, you stay here with baby, or it's RABBIT STEW FOR DINNER!"
"Baby Herman is staying with you, and remember, if you get into any trouble, RABBIT SEASON OPENS TODAY!"
- Toon Physics: They had some fun with it too.
- Wild Take: There's a definite Tex Avery influence in these shorts.