Today I was searching for some new info related to Roger Rabbit, and then I stumbled upon this blog, with some scans from the ticket of the world premiere of “Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin” (the wacky, spinning attraction based on Roger’s movie) on Mickey’s Toontown.
Then I read a comment that got my nerves:
Did Disney really think Roger Rabbit was going to be the next Mickey Mouse? The movie was good, but, something about it seemed uninspired to me. I think that uninspired feeling translated right into Toontown and Roger Rabbit's Car Toon Spin.
WHAT’S THE FRIGGIN’ DEAL WITH THIS GUY??
I mean, Roger was in fact BIGGER than Mickey Mouse in the late 80’s and early 90’s. He was prominently featured in Mickey’s 60th anniversary TV special, even he had a huge role in Walt Disney’s World 20th. anniversary. People had to watch movies like “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids”, “Dick Tracy” and “A Far-Off Place” just for having the privilege of enjoy the latest Roger Rabbit animated shorts. HE WAS EVERYWHERE, and Disney knew it.
What happened with Roger, then? The story is well known: Steven Spielberg (Amblin) and Michael Eisner (Disney) got issues about the choice of the movies that would need the boost of a Roger Rabbit animated short (ultimately, Disney won) and Spielberg wasn’t agree with some stuff about merchandising, royalties and usage of the characters from the movie. At that point, Roger was losing momentum and, instead of settling down all those issues, Spielberg and Eisner abandoned Roger and forgot about him. There were several attempts for bringing Roger back, but they were also too expensive for making a quick profit (fortunately, we didn’t have to suffer a lame Roger Rabbit “cheapquel”, I mean, a cheap straight-to-video release). Add to the mix the lawsuit between Disney and Gary Wolf (the real creator of Roger Rabbit, his friends and the Toontown concept) for unpaid royalties and the final result is one of the biggest messes in Hollywood’s history. For short: as of today, Roger Rabbit is lost in legal limbo.
How do I feel about this, being a big Roger Rabbit fan? Well… Most of the time I think how things would be if Roger had enough support for surviving the 90’s. I mean: Bonkers’ cartoon was supposed to be Roger Rabbit’s debut on saturday morning shows, and there was a great script for filming a prequel of “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” that was discarded in favor of a softer, more “Broadway-themed” script (that also was discarded as well). Big plans for launching a zany, sweet and lovable rabbit to the stars and beyond, that got ruined by corporate issues.
I’m sad about this. Sad and disappointed. All we can get of Roger Rabbit and his pals today are those uninspired pins, some shirts with Jessica Rabbit on them, those incredibly expensive resin figures, and the occasional re-runs of “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” on TV. That’s not enough for me and for many of us that love the rabbit. He deserves more than this. He deserves a second chance. Even some little kids know about Roger and love him, despite the fact they can’t have dolls in the shape of the rabbit for playing with him.
Maybe the world don’t need Roger Rabbit anymore.