Discovering Roger Rabbit? HUM 3085: Florida Culture Fall 2010 Dr. Perdigao October 20, 2010
Hit lists • Director Robert Zemeckis (Beowulf (2007); The Polar Express (2004); Cast Away (2000); Contact (1997); Back to the Future, Back to the Future II, Back to the Future III (1985, 1989, 1990) (Terry Gilliam had declined) • Produced by Disney, released through Touchstone Pictures, co-produced by Amblin Entertainment; Eisner encouraged project in 1985; greenlighted at budget of 29.9 million, largest budget for animated film; ends up being second highest grossing film in 1988 behind Rain Man, 20th at time of release • Gary K. Wolf’s Who Censored Roger Rabbit? (1981) • Set in 1947 Hollywood • Roger Rabbit, Jessica Rabbit • Eddie Valiant • Judge Doom • Dolores • Marvin Acme: owner of Toontown, Acme Corporation • R.K. Maroon: Maroon Cartoon studios, RR as star • Baby Herman • Animator Richard Williams stated Roger Rabbit’s design drawn from Oswald’s overalls, Mickey’s gloves, Porky the Pig’s bowtie
Disney film noir? • Cloverleaf Industries—taking over Toontown after Maroon’s death, bought Pacific Electric trolley cars (Red Car) • Judge Doom’s plot to take over Cloverleaf, Toontown, trolley system, freeway • Chinatown (1974) storyline about conspiracy in the water department; film followed by Two Jakes (1990) about the gas company; third to be “Cloverleaf” plot, real events of freeway development displacing (and forcing out) Red Car • Film noir, investigation of affair, photographs taken, trickery with hiring as set up, revelation of corruption in plot about water supply • Director Roman Polanski, star Jack Nicholson
If you’re going to build a time machine into a car, why not do it with some style?
Abandoning icons • Betty Boop—first appearance in 1930 • Disney animator Grim Natwick created her for Fleischer Studios • Fleischer’s response to Mickey Mouse • Dizzy Dishes, first appearance, humanized in 1932 with Any Rags • Depression-era character, flapper image • Sexualized, contrast to Minnie Mouse • Motion Picture Production Code, adopted in 1930, put into effect in 1934, industry guidelines, abandoned in 1968 for ratings system • As a result, Betty Boop’s sexualized image change, dress changes • Like Mickey, popularity wanes in contrast to other characters • Series ends in 1939
Homework • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=49qhmMtPNto • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f4qZx5P-sTM • (4:10, 7) • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3suw_vb6-fY • (1:30)