‘Rabbit’ Framed for DVD (Again)
HOLLYWOOD (Variety) – Disney is pulling out all the stops for the March 25 release of the 15th anniversary double-disc edition of “Who Framed Roger Rabbit.”
The package will feature rare new animation of Roger and other animated characters from the groundbreaking combination of live-action and original cartoon characters and legendary animated stars from every studio.
It marks the closest thing there may ever be to a follow-up of Disney’s unprecedented and since unmatched collaboration with Warner Bros., filmmakers Steven Spielberg, Robert Zemeckis, Frank Marshall, Kathleen Kennedy and Don Hahn, and a who’s who of cartoon voice talent.
Disney’s longtime DVD menu designer John Ross recently spent a day shooting footage for the menus at the same historic Ren-Mar Studios in Hollywood where scenes of the fictional Maroon Studios from the movie were shot. The footage will be used to create animated menus of toon character Benny the Cab (voiced by Charles Fleischer) driving DVD users around the studio to various program selections while offering his trademark wisecracks.
Marshall, one of the original producers, said Fleischer also voices a newly animated version of Roger in a 15-minute featurette called “Who Made Roger Rabbit,” in which Roger goes in and out of existing scenes through the use of blue screen.
Marshall, who also directed parts of the three Roger Rabbit theatrical cartoon shorts that were produced in subsequent years and will be included on the DVD, said the movie was so much work that if the filmmakers knew in advance how hard it turned out to be, they might never have made it. That’s why he says there are no plans to do a sequel or a prequel, or even produce new Roger Rabbit animated shorts.
“I think the movie sort of stands on its own,” he said. “I think it’s kind of like ‘E.T.’ for all of us; everybody came together at the right point of their careers.”
Also included on the special edition will be an audio commentary track, which was recorded by the filmmakers for a previous laserdisc edition.
Other extras include two scenes from an “Invisible Man” movie where actors were filmed doing their scenes with rubber dolls being held and carried around by people approximating where the toon characters would be drawn in later.