“Who Framed Roger Rabbit” is a 1988 American Fantasy Comedy directed by Robert Zemackis. The movie is based off of Gary K Wolf’s novel “Who Censored Roger Rabbit”, who also later sues Walt Disney for copying his book. Walt Disney purchased the film rights to the story in 1981. Many important people worked on the production for this movie, one of them being Steven Spielberg. Richard Williams was hired to supervise the animation sequences. Robert Zemeckis was brought on to help direct the film, who was later fired. Since Williams refused to work where they were shooting, they moved to Los Angeles to Elstree Studios in England. The filming began on December 2nd, 1986, and lasted for seven months at Elstree Studios, with four more weeks in Los Angeles. The production budget was more then expected, and the shooting schedule ran longer then animators originally thought. The original cost was estimated to be $50 million, which Disney felt was too much to put into the film. The budget was cut down to $29.9 Million, and was still the most expensive animated film ever being produced. With this new budget, production went on.
Many characters were borrowed from different companies, such as Warner’s Daffy Duck. So they had to get permission to borrow the characters. Spielberg convinced Warner Bros, Fleischer Studios, King Features Syndicate, Felix the Cat Productions, Turner Entertainment, and many others to lend their characters to appear in the film. However, there was some characters that the producers didn’t have time to acquire, such as Popeye, Tom and Jerry, Little Lulu, Casper the Friendly Ghost or the Terry Toons, not including Mickey Mouse.
Post production on this film took 14 months. The animator’s first rotographed the live action scene, then the artists put animation papers on top of those and the artists drew on top of them. After the rough idea of the animation was complete, the process of tradional animation would run normally, and then the cells were shot on the Rostrum camera with no background. The footage was then sent to ILM, where the technicians animated 3 different lighted layers, those being shadows, grimm lights and tone mattes all separately. Then they were later optically printed onto the toons. This made the characters look more three-dimensional and made it look like the characters were being affected by the lighting on the set. At the end the cartoon characters were optically put onto the live action footage. One of the hardest scenes to do this was Jessica’s dress in the nightclub because it had all the flashing sequins on it. This effect was created by filtering light onto a plastic bag scratched with steel wool. VistaVision cameras were installed for the photography of the live action scenes. Rubber mannequins were used for Roger Rabbit, Baby Herman, and The Weasels which pretended to be the characters during rehearsals when the actors were playing their parts.
“Who Framed Roger Rabbit” is the first animated and live action film to win four Academy Awards. It won Academy Awards for Best Sound Editing, Best Visual Effects, and Best Film Editing. It was nominated for 4 categories at the 42nd British Academy Film Awards and won an award for it’s visual effects. This movie was also nominated for The Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture, won The Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation, and Kid’s Choice Award for Favorite Movie. Gary K Wolf filed a lawsuit in 2001 against the Walt Disney Company, and in 2002 the court ruled against him. But in 2004, The California Court of Appeal ruled against Disney, and put the case off once again. Then in March 2005, Wolf won the decision receiving between 180,000 and 400,000.
“Simon & Schuster Inc.” International Directory of Company Histories. 4:671-672.
“Disney To Pay Wolf ‘Rabbit’ Royalties.” Billboard. Billboard, 5 July 2005. Web. 19 Nov. 2013.
“Browse Results.” GOLDEN GLOBE AWARDS. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 Nov. 2013.