Who Framed Roger Rabbit – 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review

Who Framed Roger Rabbit

Who Framed Roger Rabbit introduced many children, myself included, to the world of Toontown and its connection to the real world. With respect to Avengers: Endgame, this was the ultimate crossover in history because of the collaboration between two rival studios. The film also gave us the strange juxtaposition between being terrified by Judge Doom (Christopher Lloyd) and having weird prepubescent feelings towards Jessica Rabbit (Betsy Brantley). Yet, what sets the film apart is its technical excellence and loving tribute to classic American cartoons.

Of course, something as groundbreaking as this isn’t always perfect. The effects work is not always seamless. There are plenty of instances where the actors aren’t looking at the right place. The sheer complexity of compositing that many elements without the help of a computer are like executing the film based on blind faith.

Nevertheless, the humor is quite clever as it tries to encapsulate what it would be like if cartoons happened in the real world. Sure, some gags can be stale by modern standards, but the film is still original, influential, exceedingly entertaining. Oh, and by the way, it’s a pretty damn good detective story too.

A lot of that has to do with star Bob Hoskins. He does a surprisingly great job keeping a straight face while acting towards rubber sculptures. At the same time, he has to react to the zany one-liners and zingers towards him by Roger Rabbit (Charles Fleischer). It’s a monumental task, but Hoskins pulled it off brilliantly.

Overall, Who Framed Roger Rabbit is a whip-smart film inspired by classic film noir movies such as Chinatown or The Maltese Falcon. The film also wisely targets a more mature audience, which leads to a flick that ages like fine wine. Growing up with the film, you understand and appreciate more of its adult themes.

Movie Rating: 4.5/5 atoms

Who Framed Roger Rabbit - Joanna Cassidy and Bob Hoskins

Video

Who Framed Roger Rabbit hits Ultra HD Blu-ray with an HDR10 transfer and a 1.85:1 aspect ratio. The whites are vibrant, and the blacks are rich and deep. Unfortunately, much of the film noir aesthetic makes things hard to see during the various night scenes. That’s not to say that the shadow details are lost, but it’s just hard to see. Due to the cartoonish nature of Who Framed Roger Rabbit, the movie has such a wonderful and vibrant color palette, and this Ultra HD Blu-ray release has the entire color spectrum leap off the screen. The picture also features a warm color temperature that fits right in with the California sun. 

For a movie that’s more than 30-years-old, the picture looks be-a-u-ti-ful. At the same time, the flickers from some of the animation sequences are fixed here. This new 4K release looks much more filmic with a healthy level of grain to go along with some picture depth. Most films of the era don’t look as good as this when it’s released on Ultra HD, but Who Framed Roger Rabbit clearly does.

Video Rating: 5/5 atoms

Who Framed Roger Rabbit - Jessica Rabbit and Bob Hoskins

Audio

Who Framed Roger Rabbit hits Ultra HD Blu-ray with a Dolby Atmos and a core 7.1 Dolby TrueHD Master Audio track. This review will reflect Who Framed Roger Rabbit‘s Dolby Atmos track. Unfortunately, the audio track doesn’t induce much aural delight, even with Atmos. However, the mix is balanced enough with the dominant fronts and mild surround work. There is some excellent directional spacing across the front channels. As a result, it lets the subtle atmospheric effects be heard within the mix. Not to mention, the use of overheads is limited to atmospherics and Alan Silvestri’s score. Speaking of Silvestri’s score, the orchestrated elements are subtlety spread across the front that blends perfectly with the rest of the mix to create a balanced presentation. The dialogue has such excellent clarity through the center channel.

Audio Rating: 4/5 atoms

Who Framed Roger Rabbit - Roger Rabbit, Christopher Lloyd, and Bob Hoskins

Special Features

Who Framed Roger Rabbit‘s Ultra HD Blu-ray disc has the filmmakers’ audio commentary on it. However, you can find the rest of the special features on the 1080p Blu-ray disc:

  • Audio Commentary with filmmakers Bob Zemeckis, Frank Marshall, Steve Starkey, Jeff Price, Peter Seaman, and Ken Ralston
  • The Roger Rabbit Shorts
    • Tummy Trouble
    • Roller Coaster Rabbit
    • Trail Mix-Up
  • Deleted Scenes: The Pig Head Sequence
  • Who Made Roger Rabbit
  • Before and After
  • Toon Stand-Ins
  • Behind the Ears: The True Story of Roger Rabbit
  • On Set! Benny the Cab
Featurs Assessment

Despite the massive amount of people in this commentary, they methodically and thoroughly talk about the many facets of Roger Rabbit. The group had a lot of fun reminiscing about the film’s production. Their fun becomes contagious, and it leads to a fun commentary. The “Roger Rabbit Shorts” are three Maroon Cartoon shorts from Roger’s filmography. “Pig Head Sequence” is a scene where Judge Doom and the weasels mess with Eddie Valiant by putting a toon pig head on him. This eventually leads to the scene where Jessica Rabbit shows up in his office after Eddie takes a shower.

Charles Fleischer, the voice of Roger Rabbit, hosts the featurette, “Who Made Roger Rabbit.” This feature is a short documentary about this wild and crazy cartoon character. “Before and After” is a split-screen comparison between the raw footage and the final product. “Toon Stand-Ins” showcases the behind-the-scenes work done to get the actors to visualize what the scene will be like when the animation is finally put in. There are no tennis balls here. “Behind the Ears” is a comprehensive behind-the-scenes documentary about the entire film production. “On Set” highlights Zemeckis’ filming process for a scene. 

Special Features Rating: 4/5 atoms


Overall, Who Framed Roger Rabbit is an endearing classic that holds up after all these years. In fact, you may appreciate it more as an adult than you would as a kid. Thankfully, the Ultra HD release of the movie is spectacular on all fronts. Yes, the audio mix isn’t as aggressive as it should be, but it’s still a solid mix. The legacy bonus features help round out this must-own release of an animated classic.

Overall Rating: 4.5/5 atoms

Who Framed Roger Rabbit hits stores on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray on December 7th.

This Blu-ray was reviewed using a retail/advance copy/unit provided by Walt Disney Home Entertainment.

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