1988 was an incredibly significant year for American animation.
In this historic year, Walt Disney subsidiary Touchstone Picture released “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?”, a live-action/animation drama adventure film adaptation of the novel “Who Censored Roger Rabbit?”. The film stars Bob Hoskins, Charles Fleisher, Christopher Lloyd, and Joanna Cassidy. In the universe of the film, cartoon characters co-exist with real life people and live in their own fictional “Toon Town” in Hollywood. A-list toon, Roger Rabbit (Voice and Body Stand by Fleisher), is framed for a crime he did not commit. Detective Eddie Valiant (Hoskins) is hired to look into the case, and the two find themselves uncovering a large conspiracy that threatens the existence of “Toon Town.”
While the plot of “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?” is heavily focused on the adventure of its two protagonists, Valiant and Roger, the film is most famous for its iconic cameos. In order to convey a sense of realism, Walt Disney acquired the licenses to have several well known cartoon character cameo in the film. Executive Producer Steven Spielberg held extensive creative control of the project, and had several well standing relationships with different film studios. Warner Bros., Fleischer Studios, King Features Syndicate, Felix the Cat Productions, Turner Entertainment, and Universal Pictures all loaned there well known character to have appearances in the film. The following is a shortlist from the films more significant and iconic appearances.
Bugs Bunny and Mickey Mouse First Official On Screen Appearances Together:
This above scene marks the first time in animation history that Bugs Bunny and Mickey Mouse have appeared on screen together. Warner Bros. lent the use of Bugs Bunny to Disney under strict provisions. He must share the exact amount of screen time and dialogue as Walt Disney’s mascot, Mickey Mouse. Warner Bros. wouldn’t accept more or less, they wanted the two icons to stand as equals. Disney agreed to these demands, and took it a step further by having the characters appear together, and sharing the exact same amount of screen time down to the frame. Mickey Mouse appears as the innocent one of the two, while Bugs is the mischievous stinker.
An interesting aspect of this scene is that this is last time Bugs Bunny’s original voice actor, Mel Blanc, would provided the voice for the wascaway rabbit. Blanc died a year after the film was released.
Daffy and Donald Duck’s Piano Duel
In addition to having the two giants appear on screen together, the films also features a hilarious piano duel between the rival studios dastardly duck characters. Similarly to Bugs and Mickey, both characters appear on screen together and share the same amount of dialogue.