Who Framed Roger Rabbit? (1988)
Simultaneously wholesome and risqué, equal parts light-hearted and terrifying (at least to 7-year-old me), a splendid balance of hard-boiled fiction and colorful, bouncy cartoons, Who Framed Roger Rabbit is the kind of kids movie that made you feel like you were watching a grownup movie – and getting away with it! The film opens with an animated sequence that could have given any Saturday morning cartoon a run for its money, but the moment Baby Herman opens his mouth and a gravelly old man’s voice comes out, you know you’re in a whole different world.
Although technically a Disney movie, there is no fairy tale princess to be found, only wacky, screwball slapstick in the vein of Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies. In fact, the main female animated character is undoubtedly the sexiest to ever grace the screen (unless you count Bugs Bunny in drag). Jessica Rabbit, with her sultry voice and slinky… err… sequins, shows us that even two-dimensional beings aren’t always what they appear to be. Hardly a brainless bimbo, she manages to protect her mercurial husband and even saves Eddie’s life at one point.
Eddie Valiant – laconic, alcoholic gumshoe – is easily my favorite character and the perfect foil to Roger’s energetic lunacy. When he licks his lips and eyes R.K. Maroon’s whiskey, you can almost feel how dry his mouth is and how badly he needs another drink. I love his deadpan delivery of one-liners like “What’s up doc?” and “Nice booby trap.” He’s pretty quick on his feet too, both in thinking and in dancing! But the best part is the effortless nonchalance with which he and the other humans must accept ‘toons as part of their everyday life… can you imagine how chaotic that must be?
This movie is just as entertaining in adulthood as it was in childhood, and the fact that it was all done without CGI makes one appreciate the craftsmanship even more. Hand-drawn animation was painstakingly added in frame by frame, with enormous attention paid to lighting, motion tracking, and perspective between humans and toons to make the whole effect look as realistic as possible. Everything comes together quite nicely, just like the various cartoon characters from all the different studios. Had this film been made today, it seems unlikely that the same licensing rights would have been granted across the board – nobody plays nice anymore 😦
For Who Framed Roger Rabbit, CineMixers proudly presents: Absinthe Three Ways. Absinthe is the alcoholic equivalent of Marvin Acme’s gag hand buzzer. It packs quite a punch (perhaps from a spring-loaded boxing glove?) and could probably be substituted for turpentine in the Ink & Paint Department. Historically known to induce madness and hallucinations, a splash of absinthe may be just what you need to cross the border into Toontown. You’ll be seeing stars – or tweety birds! – before you know it. Warning: alcohol consumption may cause your eyes to bulge wayyy out of your head, your heart to pound out of your chest cavity, or your body to defy the laws of gravity while running or falling through the air.
From Serious Eats.
- 2 oz gin
- 1/2 oz dry vermouth
- absinthe rinse
Stir gin and vermouth in a mixing glass with ice. Strain into an absinthe-rinsed martini glass.
From Serious Eats.
- 2 oz dry vermouth
- 3/4 oz yellow chartreuse
- 1/4 oz green chartreuse
- 1/4 oz absinthe
Shake all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Strain into a coupe glass.
Last Will and Testament
From Sippity Sup.
- 2 oz old tom gin
- 1/2 oz lemon juice
- 1/4 oz absinthe
- 1/2 oz maple syrup
- 1 egg white
- 3 drops creole bitters
Dry shake the egg white in an empty cocktail shaker. Shake with ice and remaining ingredients (except bitters). Strain into a coupe glass. Top with bitters and swirl with a toothpick.