What You Never Knew About Who Framed Roger Rabbit
April 29, 2014
(The shortened opening)
NC: Hello, I'm the Nostalgia Critic. I remember it so you don't have to. And welcome to another installment of...What You Never Knew.
(The logo of What You Never Knew is shown with two large eyes)
Voice: I never knew that!
NC: This is where we take a look at all the little touches, not behind the scenes of a movie, but right in front of us. And today, we're gonna take a gander at Who Framed Roger Rabbit.
(Clips from Who Framed Roger Rabbit are shown)
NC (vo): Sure, it's an awesome movie and it has some of history's most famous cartoon characters, but have you ever noticed all the tiny things in the background, the subtle touches, the graceful nods, the itty-bitties you never noticed unless you watched the movie a million times...like...I have? Eh. Well, those hours of watching had added up to this video pointing out the many Easter Eggs this movie has hidden right in front of us.
NC: There's a great ton of them, and there's no time to lose. Let's take a look at Roger Rabbit.
(The logo of What You Never Knew About Who Framed Roger Rabbit is shown with the poster of the movie. This will serve as the background image as the numbers countdown. The number 15 is shown first)
NC (vo): We all know Bob Hoskins and Christopher Lloyd, but there's a few other people you may recognize that act in this film. For example, the Dipped shoe was voiced by Bart Simpson star, Nancy Cartwright. The voice of Droopy on the elevator is done by the film's animation director, Richard Williams.
Droopy Dog: Have a good day, sir.
NC (vo): And how about Lt. Santino? Does his condescending attitude ring any bells to you?
Lt. Santino: Gee-whiz, Eddie, if you needed money so bad, why didn't you come to me?
[Cut to a scene from Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope]
Admiral Motti: Don't try to frighten us with your sorcerer's ways, Lord Vader.
NC (vo): That's right. He was the guy who got choked into being Vader's bitch in Star Wars. Don't feel too bad. I knew another lieutenant who didn't turn out great in Star Wars either.
[Another scene from Star Wars is shown, showing Lt. Porkins' X-Wing getting destroyed. The number 14 is shown]
NC (vo): While most of us know an uncredited Kathleen Turner voiced Jessica Rabbit, the singing voice was done by producer Steven Spielberg's then-wife, Amy Irving. On top of that, you notice that half the dialogue that Donald speaks is taken from the original cartoons where he was voiced by Clarence Charles (Nash).
Donald Duck: Doggone, stubborn little...
NC (vo): And the other audio being the new dialogue was voiced by his replacement, Tony Anselmo.
Donald Duck: This is hot stuff.
Daffy Duck: Does anybody understand what this duck is saying?
[The number 13 is shown]
NC (vo): The oven in the intro may look like a foreign company, but have you ever tried reading it out loud? If you do, it would sound like "Hotter in Hell". Yeah, I know. But let's face it. They had worse innuendos in this movie.
Eddie Valiant: Nice booby trap.
[The number 12 is shown. The book "Who Censored Roger Rabbit" is shown]
NC (vo): The book the film was based on, "Who Censored Roger Rabbit", was actually an allegory to racism against African-Americans in the 40s. And while a lot of it's played down in the film, the hints and clues are still there. The Ink and Paint Club, for example, where the Toons go to perform and serve yet aren't allowed to watch, is a satire of a similar establishment called the Cotton Club. The Red Car being bought out to make a freeway was based on a real plan to tear down poor neighborhoods to sell more automobiles. You see how important the Red Car is in this time period by the map that's in the bar...
[An arrow points to the map that was in the bar]
NC (vo): ...and you see the plan being put into place with an ad right next to Toontown advertising Cloverleaf Homes. Eddie is also overcoming a prejudice that Roger's dialogue suggests is becoming more and more common.
Roger Rabbit: [various scenes] You know there's no justice for Toons anymore./A laugh can be a very powerful thing. Why, sometimes in life, it's the only weapon we have.
[An arrow points to the box that Roger is standing on called "Soap"]
NC (vo): Roger even subtlety stands on a soap box when making a speech about surviving injustice. Clever.
[The number 11 is shown]
NC (vo): This is one of the few times in history you've seen Mickey Mouse with Bugs Bunny and Donald Duck with Daffy Duck. But have you ever noticed they're never onscreen alone? They're always side-by-side. That's because Warner Bros. made an arrangement that their top stars, Bugs and Daffy, get just as much screen-time as Disney's top stars, Mickey and Donald. In fact, only 10 characters in the entire film are not copyrighted by Disney. That's one of the reasons why Toontown is primarily filled with Disney characters. No wonder they were constantly fighting all the time.
[The climax of the piano duel with Donald and Daffy is shown, with Donald winning the duel by firing a cannon at Daffy's piano, causing Daffy to be stuck in the piano whooping as usual as two large canes drag his and Donald's piano off the stage. The number 10 is shown]
NC (vo): A lot of us pick up Judge Doom's rubbery face, teeth and exaggerated stilted movements, indicating that he's an evil Toon in disguise. But have you ever noticed another clue most evil cartoon characters had back then that he constantly has? There's almost always a gust of wind blowing his cape back. Yep, even indoors, somehow, that little cape always keeps blowing sinisterly backwards. Subtle.
Judge Doom: Don't you appreciate the magnitude of that?
[The number 9 is shown]
NC (vo): There's a few references younger audiences might not get, but are definitely products of the time. When Roger cuffs Eddie, he's doing an impression of popular comic strip Dick Tracy.
Roger Rabbit: [imitating Dick Tracy] Eddie Valiant!
NC (vo): And remember Angelo's imaginary friend when Doom is looking for Roger?
Angelo: Well, say hello...Harvey.
NC (vo): That's a reference to a popular Jimmy Stewart movie about a man who sees an imaginary rabbit.
[The poster to the movie Harvey is shown]
NC (vo): The owner of Maroon Cartoons is also a satire of an insult that was thrown around quite a bit back then.
Bugs Bunny: What a maroon.
NC (vo): And remember this line?
Benny the Cab: And how about those Brooklyn Dodgers? Are they bums or what?
NC (vo): That's foreshadowing that the Brooklyn Dodgers would eventually move to California and become the LA Dodgers, meaning those "bums" he was complaining about, he'd soon be rooting for in the future.
Benny the Cab: This is no way to make a living.
[The number 8 is shown]
NC (vo): Does Roger have the Force? Because he lifted that coat up before even touching it.
[The number 7 is shown]
NC (vo): If you ever wonder why Eddie is taking a shower in the middle of the day, it's to wipe away a torture device that Judge Doom put on Eddie in a deleted scene. Well, not torture, but more humiliation. You can see more of that scene in the special edition DVD.
[The number 6 is shown]
NC (vo): What you can't see in the special edition DVD is a controversial couple of frames where Jessica is thrown out of the car and reveals that she went Commando under that dress. That's right. It's not even a second long, but she flashes the camera, out and open. This was caught on VHS and removed when the DVD was released. Fair enough...
[A shot from The Lion King is shown]
NC (vo): ...but how come that wind in Lion King still says "Sex"?
[The caption "It's SFX" is shown as a buzzer is heard]
NC (vo): Sure it is.
[The number 5 is shown]
NC (vo): That wonderful shot of Eddie's desk presents a history of him and his brother being jokesters, showing that a lot of the background pictures in this film show a much more completed story. For example, Eddie's backflips and juggling are suggested by his father and his brother being in the circus. We also see Betty Boop is the only Toon he seems to have nostalgic respect for, and thus, it's the only piece of Toon merchandise he keeps in his office.
Betty Boop: But I still got it, Eddie.
Eddie Valiant: Yeah, you still got it.
[The number 4 is shown]
NC (vo): While all the cartoons were, of course, animated, there were one or two shots that were too quick or too dangerous to perform with human actors. This meant that Hoskins himself had to be animated for a couple of shots. [The shots mentioned are shown] Weird.
Eddie Valiant: I don't know who's Toonier.
[The number 3 is shown]
NC (vo): When Doom looks at the "Merry-Go-Round-Broke-Down", a record that Roger was playing earlier, he deems it...
Judge Doom: Quite a loony selection for a group of drunken reprobates.
NC (vo): This is very fitting, seeing how the "Merry-Go-Round-Broke-Down" is the main theme for the Looney Tunes shorts.
Roger Rabbit: [singing] My buddy's Eddie V, a sourpuss, you see...
[The Looney Tunes "That's All, Folks!" logo is shown as the same exact tune plays]
NC (vo): Now how he could tell he was there by smelling it...that's...just...odd.
Eddie Valiant: I don't get it.
Judge Doom: Of course not. You lack vision.
[The number 2 is shown]
NC (vo): Do you need a permit for escape-proof Toon rope?
Judge Doom: Use that escape-proof Toon rope!
NC (vo): I mean, don't get me wrong, I know why they use it as we clearly see Roger can slip out of any bindings, but the term "escape-proof Toon rope" would indicate it would only be needed to restrain and hang someone. In fact, Jessica has a few strands around her neck and somehow, miraculously, doesn't seem to choke. This is a pretty fucked-up product the more I think about it!
Lt. Santino: That's what I call one seriously disturbed Toon.
[The number 1 is shown]
NC (vo): And the Number 1 Thing You Never Knew About Roger Rabbit is...pretty much everything in the background of Toontown. Okay, so there's way too many signs and little touches all throughout this scene, and I doubt I can name all of them in such a short video. So here's just a quick sum-up of the best of them. The movie theater indicates they change their shorts daily. [A rimshot is heard] The first popular cartoon series, Felix the Cat, is on top of the Toontown tunnel, proving that it does, in fact, have a very long history. The shadows of both the Road Runner and Coyote are seen in the elevator, indicating they're searching for one another throughout the building. The Jessica imposter has a shoe tree outside her door. I don't like what that's indicating. Everything in Toontown has a happy face, even the clouds. [beat] Creepy. Eddie's Toon gun was given to him by Yosemite Sam, who apparently did time. I can't imagine for what. And my absolute favorite out of all of them...oh, hell, just read it.
[A writing on the wall of the bathroom Eddie is in is shown. It says, "For a good time, call Alyson Wonderland. The best is yet to be."]
NC (vo): That is fucking hilarious. And one of the many touches that makes Roger Rabbit an absolutely awesome movie.
NC: Are there any more that you noticed? Are there any more touches you're talking about? Well, leave them in the comments below and talk about a movie that's definitely worth talking about. I'm the Nostalgia Critic. I remember it so you don't have to.
[He gets up and leaves. The credits roll]