If The Internet Doesn't Scar Memories Of Your Childhood At Least Once A Day, It's Not Doing It's Job

Some quick backstory: Disney bought the rights to Gary K. Wolf's Who Censored Roger Rabbit in the earlier 1980s, shortly after publication. They spent the next seven years developing the project until it was eventually released in 1988 as the Who Framed Roger Rabbit that we all know and love (and we all know and love it *shakes fist threateningly and aimlessly*). The journey it took to get there was a winding one. At the very least, the movement of the plot from a "modern day" setting to the forties, the transformation of Roger from villain to hero, and the use of popular animated cartoon characters instead of comic strip cahracters certainly shows the tracks the story took while going from a weird, satirical novel to an incredibly entertaining and technically marvelous satirical film.

Footage from one of these transitional periods has appeared online, courtesy of video archivist/restorationist Garrett Gilchrist at the Thief Archive, taken from a 1983 show called Disney Studio Showcase - basically, a show where Disney showed off what it was currently working on (1983 would have been during that period where the Disney corporation was basically being held together by their parks, a period that ended with the release of Roger Rabbit in 1988). The footage contained in this video shows concept work on the film, and it's amazing how close the film was that early on to what eventually ended up in cinemas. The time frame had already been shifted, Roger had already underwent his personality conversion, and his design was basically there, though it would be further refined. Still, there is some stuff that changed along the way. The gruff Captain Cleaver character never made it into the film, and Jessica remained closer to the novel's version of the character than the devoted wife she eventually became.

These early composite tests feature Peter Renaday and Mike Gabriel as Eddie Valiant, Russi Taylor voicing Jessica Rabbit, and a pre-PeeWee Herman Paul Reubens voicing Roger Rabbit. It also serves as a reminder that, without computers, how arduous and technically significant an accomplishment making the film was, as animation director Darrell Van Citters demonstrates how the animators had to blow up every frame of the film to hand animate in every frame worth of action from the toons. And using those techniques, as well as Robert Zumeckis' own on set techniques for making seamless integration, the result was a movie that remains far superior than most of the CG infested films of today.

All that being said, I really like the movie poster that is on the back of that office door.

Via /Film.
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About MR. Clark

Adopting the descriptor of "successfully unpublished author", MR. Clark began writing things on the internet in 2012, which he believed to be an entirely reputable and civilized place to find and deliver information. He regrets much.


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