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Late Shift Cinema: Who Framed Roger Rabbit

Late Shift Cinema: Who Framed Roger Rabbit

Dan Bernardi
[intro-text size=”25px”]Twice a month, Cleveland Cinemas plays host to the Late Shift Series, a collection of classic and beloved films that have achieved cult status among fanatic cinephiles. Teaming up with Melt Bar & Grilled, the Cedar Lee and Capitol theaters bring us the chance to watch our favorite flicks up on the big screen in all of their intended glory.[/intro-text]

This weekend… take a trip to Toon Town.

Satuday at 9:30 and midnight, Cedar Lee Theater is getting animated when they screen the 1988 live-action cartoon hybrid Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Directed by Robert Zemeckis of Back to the Future fame, Who Framed Roger Rabbit is another fantasy adventure with a noir twist. Set in 1947 Hollywood in a reality where humans and cartoons co-exist, private detective and toon hater Eddie Valiant reluctantly teams up with Roger Rabbit, a slipping cartoon comedy star framed for murder. Despite their rocky relationship, together they try to find the real killer.

Another gem produced by Steven Spielberg, everything about Who Framed Roger Rabbit is amazing. The production is spot on, with sets and characters that feel like they’re ripped right out of 1947. Dozens of animated toons plugged into these gorgeous scenes provide some heavy eye candy throughout the entire film. And the toons do steal the show. Despite legendary actors Bob Hoskins and Christopher Lloyd delivering rock solid performances, you can’t help but feel like a kid again as you watch your favorite Loony Tunes, Disney characters, and more share the screen. There nothing quite like Donald and Daffy playing dueling pianos…

This was one of my favorite films when I was young, likely because its funny to watch Roger get slapped around. Also Jessica Rabbit is pretty easy on the eyes. But if you haven’t seen the movie in a couple decades, you may not realize how deep it actually is. There are layers of social commentary, sexual innuendos, not to mention some pretty dark and sinister undertones that you may miss as a wide-eyed kid taking in the classic, colorful 2D animation. But all of these elements make Who Framed Roger Rabbit a perfect film, and nearly thirty years later, its still a one of a kind cartoon-lover’s dream.

If you’re feeling loony, go tackle the mystery of Who.

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