"This movie is basically Merrie Melodies meets 'Chinatown.'" So begins Sarah and Raf's analysis of the groundbreaking live-action-meets-animation film "Who Framed Roger Rabbit." This 1988 movie enchanted both of our hosts when they were young, driving them to learn as much as they could about its production. And what a production it was! From lawyers fighting over Donald and Daffy getting an equal number of frames per second to robots that had to move like animated penguin waiters, this film was all sorts of complicated.
But "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" is more than just a logistical nightmare that became a technical triumph. It's also a portrait of haunted characters stuck in the past as villains around them stare maliciously toward the future. It's a story about the toxic reverberations grief can have years later. It's a pamphlet come to life called "How to Talk to Your Toons About Alcoholism." It's a dusty gallery of cringe-worthy references that have not aged well. But most of all, as Sarah says, "It's a dark noir thriller, you know, for kids!" And it's one that's worth revisiting.