Who Framed Roger Rabbit has long been one of DVD's most requested titles, and this two-disc set was worth the wait. A once-in-a-lifetime pleasure, this dizzying and dazzling tour de force combines, like no film before it, live-action and animation. With the loving craft of Disney, the outrageous humor of Warner Bros. cartoons, and the anarchic spirit of animator Tex Avery, this looney homage to film noir and animation's golden age conjures up Hollywood, circa 1947, and a delirious parallel cartoon universe, Toontown, where beloved "toons" born of pen and ink in the 1930s and '40s reside. Here, and nowhere else, will you see Donald Duck and Daffy Duck sharing the same stage and Mickey Mouse and Bugs Bunny as prank-playing partners. Heading the human cast is Bob Hoskins as down-and-out private eye Eddie Valiant, who is investigating the murder of Toontown owner Marvin Acme. The prime suspect is toon star Roger Rabbit, whose impossibly curvaceous wife, Jessica (indelibly voiced by Kathleen Turner) has been seen playing patty-cake (literally) with Acme. Or was it Jessica herself? ("I'm not bad, Mr. Valiant," she purrs, "I'm just drawn that way.") Or was Acme's murder part of a more diabolical plot that could erase Toontown from the map? Animation buffs especially will delight in the sly in-jokes ("Walt sent me," is the password into the Pen and Ink nightclub) and cameo appearances by such classic toons as Betty Boop, Yosemite Sam, and Dumbo. Hopping with entertaining extras, this set does full justice to this pioneering breakthrough and heartfelt labor of love. "Family Friendly" Disc 1 contains the full-screen version of the film, a segment about the making of the film, and the Roger Rabbit short subjects, "Tummy Trouble," "Rollercoaster Rabbit," and "Trail Mix-Up." Disc 2 is for the real "Enthusiast," with a wide-screen presentation of the Oscar-winning film; optional audio commentary by director Robert Zemeckis, the producers, and the screenwriters; the deleted nightmarish "Pig Head" sequence; fascinating production segments; and a viewing option that offers onscreen text revealing all of Roger Rabbit's mysteries. This is one of the year's best DVDs. To quote Roger, p-p-p-lease don't miss it.
Barnes & Noble - Donald Liebenson
An army of special effects wizards is responsible for creating this breakthrough work that is an awesome and seamless combination of live action and animation.
Who Framed Roger Rabbit expertly combines elements of film noir with the wacky slapstick conventions of animated features, all at the service of story with some serious thematic concerns. The most impressive aspect of the film is that the animated characters, amidst the manic and anarchic energy of their prescribed roles, are taken seriously and become real, living characters who live in a completely fascinating world with its own physical and moral laws, and whose dilemmas draw us in and elicit our empathy. Bob Hoskins as Eddie Valiant is as gritty and abrasive as sandpaper; his misanthropic gumshoe as dark as any Raymond Chandler creation. The implicit parallels between Tinseltown's treatment of the 'toons and the nation's abuse of racial minorities are carefully developed, and rather than overwhelm the film, they intelligently augment it. Kathleen Turner, who does her best Barbara Stanwyck impersonation while lending her vocal talents to the voluptuous Jessica Rabbit, is a standout, as is Christopher Lloyd as the despicable Judge Doom. A groundbreaking film, notable for both as a technical achievement and quality entertainment, Who Framed Roger Rabbit won four Academy Awards, including one for Richard Williams, the director of animation.
All Movie Guide - Dan Jardine