Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Feelin’ sad for Roger

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.


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.


Alexander said...

I gotta agree with ya. Damn, this is depressing. This character was one of my major childhood heros and I kept waiting impatiently year after year as a kid for him to return in a another film, cartoon or something else.
I wish there was more focus on the character like House of Mouse cameos, comics, merchandise and so on.
Roger is such a wonderful character with tons of potential and having him swept under the rug by stubborn Disney and Speilberg is indeed both frustrating and sad.

Bunnyfriend said...


I remember when I was a little kid. I absolutely loved Roger Rabbit, and I really believed that toons and humans could live together in the same world. One of my dreams was meeting my favorite cartoon characters like Mickey, Daffy, Goofy, Bugs, Donald, Popeye and of course, Roger. That´s the magic of “Who Framed Roger Rabbit“.

Last time I updated the journal from our Roger Rabbit Fan Club, I was hoping the rumors eventually came true at last... Sadly, nothing has been done yet. Right now almost all the people involved with Roger Rabbit (specially Spielberg, Zemeckis and Alan Silvestri) are working with/close to Disney, but even with that I lost all hopes about a Roger Rabbit sequel or prequel.

Poor Roger =(

Alexander said...

Yeah, I used to visit Gary Wolf's site from time to time in hope of any news about Roger, but I'm starting to give up now. I guess it's up to us fans to keep the character alive through fan arts since it seems Disney or Spielberg have no intention of doing it through movies or any other media.

Bunnyfriend said...

You´re right Alexander.

I remember our mutual friend rotten-orange being frustrated and sad about the sudden dissapearing of the Roger Rabbit costumed character from Mickey´s Toontown on Tokyo Disneyland. That was the only place in the entire world where you could still meet Roger Rabbit “in person“.

It´s sad to give up, but I guess it´s the best for us Roger Rabbit fans.

rotten-orange said...

I've been waiting for Roger's comeback, still now. But it seems even waste of time. I love Roger of course, and I'm sure his fans are waiting like us. Despite it, the sad reality is Roger's comeback plan makes no progress....
There's some their goods, but Roger and his pals deserves more good treatment.

Bunnyfriend said...

Sadly I gave up all my hopes, my dear Ayaka-imouto-chan. I know Roger won´t come back from his forced retirement. Because no one seems to be interested in a zany, lovable rabbit that only wants to make people laugh.

I´m still very sad, since I feel like I´m wasting my time with Roger.

rotten-orange said...

Though, there are still some Roger's fans. He definitely gave us good laugh and the precious moment, even if it was a short time. In that sense, I think he accomplished a purpose.
It's obviously that Disney's golden age was supported by WFRR.

It's too ironical ending.

Bunnyfriend said...

You´re right, my dear little sister. At least he gave us the best of him, and still does (my favorite Roger plushies always smile at me, and that makes me feel fine, even when I´m depressed).

Would I still be a Roger Rabbit fan for the following years? I really don´t know. But I don´t want to lose him.