There was a time period in my life where I was obsessed with this film. When I first saw this film, I was around the age of seven and I was entranced with the look of this film. Even till today, I have yet to see a more lovingly crafted film that mixes handdrawn animation and real actors together as brilliantly as this film did. Then I saw this film about ten years later at the age of seventeen and what I saw is what I consider one of the best films of the 1980's.
But why is this film is good? What makes it timeless? It would have to be the character of Roger Rabbit. If one was to think about it, Roger is the personified idea of a 1940's actor at the time: crazy, desperate for work, protective over those he loves, and a total air head that is beyond lovable. From the time he drinks alcohol in this film to the scene where he is near death, the character of Roger moves this story. Now, here is the funny thing: he is the character that this film is based around, but he is only the supporting character.
The real star is Eddie Valiant. This is one disturbed, distraught-ed individual who has a boiling hatred for all things related to toons due to an unfortunate murder that took his brother. With this in mind, Eddie takes the center stage as he unfolds this film and we experience this crazy world that he lives in as he rediscovers all he has missed during his era of hatocracy.
Robert Zemeckis is one of the most prolific directors we have now, directing films ranging from Beowulf to Back To The Future to Forest Gump to even The Polar Express. He pushes the boundaries of what one can do with special effects like what Spielberg did with E.T. and Kubrick did with 2002. With this film, I consider this his all time masterpiece, beating any of the films I have mentioned and the famous Cast Away. Why this film is his masterpiece is due to how lovingly he pays attention to the detail with the cartoons. The term 'life like' does not apply here. These toons have shadows, does damage to humans, and actually become humans in their own right. What Zemeckis did with this film was open the doors for films like Space Jam and Rocky & Bullwinkle years later.
While this film is a technical achievement, it is also historic in the sense that this film did something that was unheard of: Disney and Warner Brothers would team up their money children into one film and have them work together. There has always been a debate over which is better: Mickey Mouse or Bugs Bunney. This film destroys all debates by showing that both universes of cartoons are equal and coexists with all of us regardless if we want to admit it or not.
Mainly dealing with how Hollywood relies too much on these characters to make money. Sometimes to the extent that they use them as minorities and never pays them any real respect, seeing them as completely disposable. I know what you are all thinking: He is acting as if these cartoons are really living! He has finally cracked! This is my defense: I have not gone crazy. What has happened is that this film shows that, at the time, no one appreciated the hard work that people who makes these creations go through. This film is complete tribute to the works of Disney and Warner Brothers. It is a pity that I have yet to see anything that resembles another collaboration.
In the end, this film is a complete work of art from beginning to end. From the hilarious opening segment till the heartwarming ending, this is a film that still has yet to be surpassed by any other film that deals with animation I have seen. It constantly grows as animation gives way to CGI and people start to forget the magic and love of hand-drawn animation. This wonderful film is one of those films that much be watched, then watched again to gain a complete appreciation for the work that went into this.