Ross Movie Challenge: 'Who Framed Roger Rabbit' vs. 'What's Up Doc?'
Every week EW’s Dalton Ross and his wife, writer Christina Kelly, have a… um, lively discussion about what movie they should watch with their two children (Dale, 12, and Violet, 9) that weekend. Now they make their cases publicly and you get to vote on the choices and decide how the Ross family will be spending part of their weekend. The power is in your hands, people. Christina’s two match winning streak came to a screeching halt last week as her pick of ‘Finding Neverland’ struck out against Dalton’s choice of ‘Field of Dreams.’ Read on and then vote for which film they should watch this week.
Dalton’s Pick: Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988)
The only thing I don’t like about Who Framed Roger Rabbit is that there is no question mark at the end of the title. I mean, is that a statement or a question? What’s the deal there? Otherwise, I am as smitten as a kitten. Is it vaguely creepy that I have a crush on Jessica Rabbit, who just happens to be a cartoon character? Perhaps. But she’s not the only thing to admire from this Robert Zemeckis mash-up of humans and toons co-existing in the same world.
To recap the plot would be to assume that you have not seen the masterpiece of hilarity and technical achievement, but I’ll do it anyway. Cartoon character Roger Rabbit is framed for murder, and only toon-despising detective Eddie Valiant (played by Bob Hoskins) can save him. The result is a cross between a film noir detective story and a Warner Bros. cartoon, complete with cameos from many famous animated figures. Translation: It’s awesome. And I already know the kids think it’s awesome as well since I showed them the first half of it on a plane on the way back from a trip last year. Just one problem — the plane landed. Which is to say, we never finished the film. How can they live without knowing if Roger will make it out alive? Yes, it would be odd and slightly traumatic if they killed off the lead character of a kids’ film, but their suspicions of survival will not be completely confirmed until they see the end for themselves. So give them that gift this holiday season, won’t you? Vote for Who Framed Roger Rabbit — regardless of the questionable punctuation.
Christina’s Pick: What’s Up Doc? (1972)
When Dalton told me he wanted to watch Who Framed Roger Rabbit this weekend, I naturally thought of rabbits, which made me consider the 1950 movie Harvey. But since Jimmy Stewart spends that film talking to an imaginary rabbit while drinking heavily in a bar, it didn’t seem quite right for family viewing. What’s Up Doc?, on the other hand, seems just the ticket. This light comedy is a tribute to the screwball comedies of the thirties and stars Barbara Streisand and Ryan O’Neill. It’s not technically about rabbits, but the title comes from Bugs Bunny’s catchphrase. Our kids love Bugs Bunny. The plot is centered on four identical overnight bags, which get mixed up. Highjinks ensue. It’s madcap, I tell you. And it all works out in the end.
Who Framed Roger Rabbit