Follow TV Tropes


Trivia / Who Framed Roger Rabbit

Go To

  • Acting for Two:
    • In his swan song, Mel Blanc voices Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, Tweety Bird, and Sylvester the Cat, ending his Looney Tunes career on a high note. note 
    • Charles Fleischer voices not only Roger Rabbit but Benny The Cab and the Toon Patrol's Greasy and Psycho. Veteran voice actress June Foray provides the voices for both Wheezy and Lena Hyena. Morgan Deare not only voices Bongo the Gorilla Bouncer, but appears in live-action as the movie editor in R.K. Maroon's office at the moviola.
    • Advertisement:
    • In the Latin-American Spanish dub, Juan Alfonso Carralero voices Roger Rabbit, Benny the Cab, Mickey Mouse, Bugs Bunny, Porky Pig and Woody Woodpecker. Alejandro Abdallah voices both Baby Herman and Bongo the Gorilla.
    • Averted in the Japanese dub for Greasy and Psycho, who are respectively voiced by Hiroshi Naka and Katsumi Suzuki.
  • Actor-Inspired Element:
    • Christopher Lloyd came up with the idea of Judge Doom never blinking to foreshadow the fact that he's wearing fake human eyes.
    • The cheek-quiver ("P-p-p-p-please!") and the lisp in Roger's voice were Charles Fleischer's ideas, a sort of tribute to all the other famous toons with speech impediments; he didn't think he'd be allowed to keep both of them.
  • Actor-Shared Background: Much like Eddie Valiant, Bob Hoskins had circus training, although he was a fire-eater rather than a clown.
  • Advertisement:
  • Approval of God: Gary Wolf, author of the book the movie is kind of based on, loved the movie, in fact he liked it so much that he wrote a sequel to the original book more or less retconning the first and making the books closer to the movie.
  • California Doubling: It's set in 1940s Los Angeles, but most of the movie was actually filmed in England. The scene where Eddie enters Toontown, however, was shot at the Griffith Park tunnel, also used in Back to the Future and The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension, among other films. The interior of the tunnel in this film was a model, as the real tunnel is rather short. In addition, the exterior of the former Desilu Studios was used as that of Maroon Cartoons. The area outside of Eddie's office is Hope Street in L.A. Eddie, Roger, and Benny almost crash into the Hyperion Bridge.
  • Advertisement:
  • The Cameo: Hollywood producer Joel Silver as high-strung director Raoul J. Raoul. His presence in the movie is actually a prank by Zemeckis and Spielberg; Silver and then-Disney head Michael Eisner had really gotten on each other's nerves when they were both working for Paramount.
  • Completely Different Title: Known in France as Qui veut la peau de Roger Rabbit, i.e. "Who Wants the Skin of Roger Rabbit" (an informal expression for wanting to kill someone — turned into a pun on Roger's presumed pelt).
  • Creator Backlash: Chuck Jones received a credit as "animation consultant", but disavowed the movie for the rest of his life, complaining that there was something wrong with a movie where the live-action hero got more sympathy than the animated-cartoon star did. He called it an obnoxious, witless misunderstanding of the old cartoons it set out to honor, and he even accused Robert Zemeckis of robbing Richard Williams of any creative input — and for apparently ruining the piano sequence that he and Williams had planned together.note 
  • Creator's Favorite: Richard Williams fell in love with the character of ("adult") Baby Herman, and insisted on animating pratically every frame of this character himself.
  • Cross-Dressing Voices: June Foray as Wheezy the weasel.
  • Deleted Scene: There was originally a scene where Eddie visits Jessica's dressing room, only to be captured by the Toon Patrol and taken to Toontown, where he has a pig's head "tooned" onto his own. This is why he's seen without a shirt on when Jessica visits him, as he was showering it off. See it here.
  • Descended Creator: Richard Williams, the film's animation director, is also the voice of Droopy.
  • Doing It for the Art: Look at it!!
  • Executive Meddling:
    • Warner Brothers only allowed Disney to use their iconic characters if they got exactly the same amount of screen time as Disney's, hence the Donald Duck/Daffy Duck duel, and the Mickey Mouse/Bugs Bunny scene. The two Ducks' piano duel ends in a draw, with it being unclear who even started the fight, and Bugs and Mickey both try to dissuade Eddie from taking the spare because it's not a spare parachute but a spare tire. Tropes Are Not Bad; these scenes were some of the funniest in the movie (although there was Creator Backlash from Chuck Jones on the pianos).
    • It also works out better that way because this is exactly what people wanted to see, It's not enough to just have them in the same movie, you want to see them actually interacting with one another.
    • There were also some individual, quick sequences with one character, such as Dumbo, Yosemite Sam, and Tweety. The length of these scenes were probably under a lot of scrutiny as well in order to not show favoritism towards one company.
    • It's also worth noting that Porky Pig and Tinkerbell share the last bit of the movie.
    • A persistent rumour also claims that the reason the film's title has no question mark at the end of what is presumably a question (Who Framed Roger Rabbit?) is that the executives vetoed it after a focus group came back with results suggesting that audiences were wary of movie titles containing overt questions.
    • Disney, in turn, had their own demand: that it would be Bugs who, in the end, gave Eddie 'the spare'.
  • Fake American:
    • Suffolk-born Bob Hoskins tries to sound Californian, but comes off more like a New Yorker.
    • Also, Whitechapel-born Alan Tilvern as movie mogul R.K. Maroon.
  • Image Source:
  • In Memoriam: Disney Channel ran the movie to pay tribute to Bob Hoskins after his passing in 2014.
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes: In one scene Jessica flies off the car and her skirt goes up a bit, briefly revealing that she went commando. The German TV version is probably the only print in the world that has the original version of that scene (and the original scene of Baby Herman sticking his finger out while walking underneath a live-action woman's skirt and gazing up it lecherously. The new version keeps the scene in, but digitally removes the finger). The older versions are out of print.
  • Manual Misprint: In one page on the Nintendo Entertainment System adaptation of the film from Top Secret Passwords: Nintendo Player's Guide, "Marvin Acme" and "Acme's Will" kept being mislabeled as "R.K. Maroon" and "Maroon's Will", even though the will clearly was Acme's and Nintendo wrote the name of the wrong dead person.
  • Method Acting: Charles Fleischer requested a full-body Roger Rabbit costume to wear as he fed his lines to Bob Hoskins off-screen to help stay in character. He reportedly got picked on a lot by the animators working on The Great Mouse Detective at the time, who assumed that the 'toons were all just going to be actors in shabby costumes.
  • Missing Trailer Scene: There's a small bit of dialogue between Eddie and Smartass not featured in the film, but shown in the trailer and a Making of documentary:
    Smartass: Where's the rabbit?
    Eddie: You mean the one with the buck teeth and the orange pants and the clodhopper feet?
    Smartass: Yeah.
    • In the film, after Smartass asks "Where's the rabbit?", Eddie simply says, "Haven't seen 'im."
  • Name's the Same: Lena Hyena shares her name with Lena the Hyena, a recurring character in the comic strip, Li'l Abner. Whether or not Lyena was inspired by the Li'l Abner character is undetermined. In either case, even the hideous Jessica decoy can rest easy knowing she isn't the ugliest Toon out there when compared to the Li'l Abner "character".
  • Non-Singing Voice: For Jessica, who was voiced by Kathleen Turner, but in the musical number was performed by Amy Irving (Steven Spielberg's wife at the time).
  • Orphaned Reference: Eddie scolds Roger for dancing for the bar patrons and potentially blowing his cover while "I'm out there risking my neck for you". It's a fairly generic line, except that the immediate events don't warrant it; Eddie went from leaving Roger in the hidden room at the bar straight to his office, where he meets Jessica, and then back out to find Roger dancing. The line makes more sense when one considers the deleted scene (included in the comic version) that would have followed Roger's drop-off, where Eddie is caught snooping in Jessica's dressing room by Judge Doom and is sent to Toontown, where he is given a "tooneroo", a toon pig painted on top of his head. He goes back to his office to wash it off, which then segues to his encounter with Jessica.
  • The Original Darrin: Donald's first two lines were archive recordings of his original voice actor, Clarence "Ducky" Nash. The rest of his lines were quacked by Tony Anselmo.
  • The Other Darrin:
    • Because Mel Blanc was in his late 70s during production, he was no longer able to properly perform the voice of Yosemite Sam, which was provided by Joe Alaskey.
    • Cherry Davis replaced Grace Stafford as the voice of Woody Woodpecker.
  • Playing Against Type: Christopher Lloyd as Judge Doom. This one of the few movies where he plays a truly evil and ruthless villain, although this was made around the same time as most of those other films.
  • Reality Subtext: The villain purchasing a trolley line just to dismantle it to better profit off cars? Based off true events.
  • The Red Stapler:
    • Suffice to say, a lot of young people wanted to become animators after this movie.
    • Betty Boop also had a brief revival in her popularity thanks to this movie.
  • Role Reprise: In addition to Mel Blanc and the Disney characters, the most notable role reprise was Mae Questal, who at 78 years old was somehow still able to do the voice of Betty Boop. Still Got It, indeed.
  • Stillborn Franchise:
    • That sequel has been stuck in development hell long enough to see both the rise of computer animation as a dominant medium and the downfall of traditional feature animation in the United States that it's safe to assume it's not going to happen at this point. In addition, Bob Hoskins' passing hasn't helped at all. In fact, it may be the most financially successful movie ever made to not receive a sequel. That said, there have been other non-movie works about Roger, including comic books, and Gary Wolf's book series has continued.
    • Throughout the late 80s and early 90s, Disney made a push to turn Roger into their next big character, with him prominently appearing in theatrical shorts, television specials, comics and he had a notable presence in the Disney parks. However, this ended as Disney ran into issues with Steven Spielberg and Amblin Entertainment, who co-owned the the film's characters and had to approve any new production that featured them. Additionally, the emerging Disney Renaissance meant that the company had a slew of new and popular characters that they could promote instead.
  • Talking to Himself:
    • During the film's car chase scene, Roger Rabbit and Benny The Cab, both voiced by the same actor, scream rapid-fire dialogue at each other.
    • Greasy and Psycho had the same voice actor.
  • Throw It In!:
    • All of the voice actors performed off-camera during shooting to better react to the live actors' physical performances, resulting in a lot of ad-libbing.
    • Bob Hoskins ad-libbed bumping his head into Jessica's breasts (or at least where they'd end up in post) as Eddie hurries to put his pants back on when Dolores walks in on them in his office.
    • An animated example: in one shot, Bob Hoskins' eyeline was a bit off, resulting in him looking at a two-foot-too-tall Roger. This was rectified by having Roger stand nervously against a wall on his tip-toes.
    • The gag where the toon pelican falls off his live-action bicycle was an accidental gag. They had difficulty keeping the bike balanced, so right on the spot, they came up with him falling off, and in the next shot, you see him on the ground covered by a mail bag.
  • Trope Namer: For "Roger Rabbit Effect" and "Toon Town", of course.
    • To a lesser extent, the term "bump the lamp", named for the scene in the speakeasy when Eddie, handcuffed to Roger, keeps bumping his head on a hanging lamp, requiring special attention to Roger's shadows, became shorthand for when animators wanted to push their animation a little further. However, Gary K. Wolf confirmed on his Facebook that, contrary to popular belief, it was not an actual term used in production — screenwriter Dan Wolf coined the phrase for a speech he wrote for Michael Eisner well after the film's release.
  • Uncredited Role: Kathleen Turner was uncredited as the voice of Jessica Rabbit. However, this knowledge was pretty much well-known before the film was even released, since she was interviewed for a behind-the-scenes documentary about her role in the film.
  • What Could Have Been:
    • Bill Murray was a favourite of Robert Zemeckis and Steven Spielberg to play Eddie Valiant, but neither could get in contact with him in time. Bill Murray, in turn, has stated that when he read the interview where Zemeckis revealed this, he was in a public place, but he still screamed his lungs out, because he would have definitely accepted the role. Spielberg also suggested Harrison Ford, but his asking price was too high. Other candidates included Chevy Chase, Ed Harris, Dustin Hoffman, Eddie Murphy, Paul Newman, Jack Nicholson, Robert Redford, Wallace Shawn and Robin Williams.
    • Tim Curry auditioned for Judge Doom, but he gave a performance that Zemeckis, Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg, and Michael Eisner all found too terrifying (just like what happened when Curry went for the role of The Joker on Batman: The Animated Series). John Cleese was interested, but Spielberg and Zemeckis refused, because they thought nobody would take a former member of Monty Python seriously as a sadistic villain. Other candidates included Christopher Lee, Roddy McDowall, Sting, and Jon Pertwee.
    • One of the early drafts of the film called for Jessica's act to have a cameo of Tex Avery's Wolf to be seen doing similar reactions during Jessica's performance at the ink and paint club. Sounds like this would have been a tribute to Tex Avery's Red Hot Riding Hood, his best known MGM cartoon.
    • According to new footage obtained from an '80s special titled Disney Studio Showcase, producers originally wanted Paul Reubens to voice Roger. Reubens was quite a bit okay voicing the character... for a while. Besides that, it was also revealed that originally Jessica Rabbit was hardly in love with Roger at all, much like in the original book Who Censored Roger Rabbit?. In this version of the story, Jessica married Roger only for the fame and began ignoring him after she became a starlet. Design wise, she wears a sweater and pants, instead of her iconic red dress from the final film. Jessica is more seductive and she's also expressive (such as when she shouts at Eddie for declining her).
    • In an early draft of the script, it would be revealed that Judge Doom was actually the hunter who killed Bambi's mother.
      • Which may have been intended to be a Mythology Gag from the original novel, which contained a throwaway line implying Bambi really did have a mother who was murdered by someone.
    • An early draft of the script included Marvin Acme's funeral, which would have been attended by such characters as Popeye, Tom and Jerry, Andy Panda, Heckle and Jeckle, Superman, Mighty Mouse, and Casper the Friendly Ghost. The scene was dropped due to inability to secure the rights to the characters.
      • This scene would happen after Eddie left Roger at the bar and before snooping in Jessica's dressing room. The scene would have also included Eddie spying on a private discussion between R.K. Maroon and Judge Doom which further raised Eddie's suspicions of former's involvement.
    • Originally there were twelve weasels. These were cut down to seven (to mimic the seven dwarfs)note , and finally five, to give them a more prominent role in the movie.
    • According to, the song that was going to be used as the movie's musical finale in an early script that had Roger die during the final shootout between Eddie Valiant and the DeGreasy brothers was "The Lazarus Heart" by Sting (though the song was written in tribute to Sting's late mother), before the studio changed the ending to have Roger live.
      • Also, in the early script, toons weren't immortal and could get killed by any kind of attacks like in the book. This, too, was changed to the fact that toons can only be killed by the Dip.
    • According to Chuck Jones, due to Executive Meddling the piano duel you see in the film is not the original storyboarded version. While it is a memorable scene, who knows how hilarious the original must have been?
      • In a scenario lifted from classic Looney Tunes cartoon "Show Biz Bugs", all of the audience's praise would have gone to Donald Duck, who'd do absolutely nothing but standing there to receive such acclaim, as Daffy Duck could only gain the attention of Chirping Crickets no matter how hard he tried. In a movie meant to showcase the zany and wild nature of 40's cartoons, you can see how this scenario really didn't fit with the film's atmosphere.
      • Besides, Donald getting acclaim for anything would've gone against his own character. Having Daffy and Donald sabotaging each other not only fit the movie better, it fit better with Donald and Daffy as characters.
    • The sequel would've had Eric Goldberg supervise the animation instead of Richard Williams. He was heading the animation test that they showed Michael Eisner to prove they could still pull it off without Williams's London studio. But the results did not satisfy him, and the other reasons listed in the opening section attributed to its cancellation. ...just imagine every single classic cartoon character with the movement of Aladdin's Genie! Eric Goldberg would eventually head another film with the Roger Rabbit Effect in Looney Tunes: Back in Action for 2003.
    • In the third draft of the script, instead of Doom dipping the shoe, he was to dip a gopher for bumping into him and soiling his coat. When the gopher complained that he should get a trial first, the weasels take out a briefcase containing a literal Kangaroo Court that immediately declares him guilty, with their joeys holding cards spelling "Y-O-U-A-R-E-G-U-I-L-T-Y", followed by the gopher getting dipped as Eddie and Santino helplessly watched.
    • Also in the third script draft, rather than Judge Doom shooting R.K. Maroon himself, originally Maroon's killer was going to be a weasel disguised as Roger Rabbit by Latex Perfection.
    • The original proposal had no Toons at all, but was a third installment in Roman Polanski's planned Chinatown trilogy. This was abandoned after the second installment, the Jack Nicholson-directed The Two Jakes, flopped so hard most don't even realize it was a sequel to Chinatown.
      • Judge Doom was originally going to have an animated pet vulture named Voltaire (after the French philosopher) that sat on his shoulder, but that idea was dropped in the interest of saving time. However, the vulture later resurfaced with Doom when a bendable action figure was produced.
    • Jack Angel was going to be in the movie as the voice of Captain Cleaver, a tough, gruff Toon human police captain from Toontown and the head of the T.P.D. Homicide Division, who would have been very combative with Eddie in terms of who's going to solve the Acme case.
    • Gary Wolf, the original author, was offered to do a Creator Cameo numerous times (mainly because he was present during filming most of the time). He turned the offer down due to being very camera-shy at the time (it's also why he's rarely present in behind-the-scenes documentaries or specials concerning the film). He mentioned though on his Facebook page once that, had he been up to it at the time, he would have pitched the idea of him playing a crazed fanboy trying to get Jessica's autograph, only to get carried away by bodyguards.
    • According to an early model sheet, Lou Rawls was supposed to voice Benny the Cab.
  • Word of God: One of the animators commented on fellow Disney animator Tom Sito's Facebook page stating that Jessica was indeed drawn as commando when she gets flung from Benny's cab. However, he commented that since they drew her with Barbie Doll Anatomy, he didn't understand why it became such a big deal, or why Disney felt the need to edit it in subsequent releases.
  • Working Title:
    • According to the early original script, the working title was Who Shot Roger Rabbit?, basically because it revealed the manner of how Roger would die before the title was eventually changed, as the studio would not want a character's death to frighten children.
    • Other possible titles: Dead Toons Don't Pay Bills, Murder in Toontown, Toons, The Toontown Trial, Eddie goes to Toon, and Trouble in Toontown.

Provided the page quote for:


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: