The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: Disney - 1988
MPAA Rating: PG
Feature running time: 104 minutes
Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 1.85:1
Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, French Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Starring: Bob Hoskins, Christopher Lloyd, Joanna Cassidy, Voices of: Kathleen Turner, Mel Blanc, Charles Fleischer
Directed by: Robert Zemeckis
Music by: Alan Silvestri
Written by: Jeffrey Price & Peter Seaman
Region Code: A,B,C
Blu-ray Disc release Date: March 12, 2013
It’s 1947 Hollywood and Eddie Valiant (Bob Hoskins), a down-on-his-luck detective, is hired to find proof that Marvin Acme, gag factory mogul and owner of Toontown, is playing hanky-panky with femme fatale Jessica Rabbit, wife of Maroon Cartoon superstar, Roger Rabbit. When Acme is found murdered all fingers point to Roger who begs the Toon-hating Valiant to find the real evildoer.
Who framed Roger Rabbit is a contemporary classic built in a fictional world where laughing can be dangerous, romance can come at a price, and Toons and people live side by side. I remember the fervor that surrounded this film when it was released. The concept wasn’t new but the implementation was groundbreaking. I saw it theatrically and like most that did got caught up in the period style whodunit infused with slapstick, light romance and gags/appearances derived from animated favorites from years gone by. Truth be told, what really made this film special was an inescapable feeling of nostalgia and the combining of live action and animation through superbly integrated (back then anyway) effects that simply made it captivating to watch.
Now 25 years later the award winning special effects show their age but contextually shine brilliantly and the wonderfully conceived/executed screenplay remains as entertaining as ever. I am a Bob Hoskins fan and have been since first seeing him in a film called The Cotton Club. He was the perfect choice to play the outwardly gruff but warmhearted Eddie Valiant. The actors that lent their voices to the various animated characters featured in the film helped make it special. This was especially true in the case of the great Mel Blanc who reprised several of his classic characters/voices.
Who framed Roger Rabbit is near and dear to its many fans who have an appreciation for how special it was and the enjoyment it brought through innovation. I am pleased that it has finally come to Blu-ray in this 25 anniversary edition that sports legacy bonus material and digitally restored high def video.
The rating is for thematic material and mild violence that may be inappropriate for young viewers.
AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65
**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency extension:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
Who framed Roger Rabbit comes to Blu-ray Disc from Disney featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 32 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate 3.8 Mbps.
Overall this 1.85:1 framed high definition presentation looks solid on Blu-ray. Resolution and overall clarity is quite good although sharpness can be minimally inconsistent. This appears innate and generally affects sequences which include abundant special effects shots. Otherwise images are predominantly well resolved with discernible definition and fair rendering of fine detail during close ups and mid-level camera pans. With the exception of occasional overlapping live/animated elements (an innate byproduct) color balance is good as both primary and secondary hues appear vivid with clean rendering and pleasing levels of saturation. Skin tones have good tonal depth, delineated highlights and lifelike texture.
Blacks tend to have a murkiness that rears its head in low level sequences. The most glaring example can be seen as Eddie enters the dark vestibule of the night club where Jessica performs. The detail in his hat, jacket and background is almost smeared and has an odd tinge that isn’t close to black, weird. The effect can be seen at other points here and there but to a degree that isn’t nearly as obvious. In brighter sequences containing mixed content blacks look fine. I didn’t see any signs of the application of unwanted noise reduction or excessive manipulation. Grain is rendered in varying layers that can become more noticeable against dark backgrounds. I never found it to be objectionable. The print is in excellent shape and shows no signs of deleterious wear.
The lossless soundtrack is presented in a front oriented mix that is highlighted by Alan Silvestri’s engaging music score. The orchestrated elements are spread across the front of the room with subtle articulation that blends perfectly with the rest of the soundtrack to create an evenly balanced, multi-dimensional presentation where the music helps drive the story. Excellent directional spacing and imaging across the main three channels enables smaller background sounds within the mix to be detectable. Dialogue is definitively authoritative with excellent clarity and room penetration through the center channel. The soundstage opens up during a handful of sequences and extends the dynamic range nicely. Low frequency detail has fair tactility during these segments, but isn’t frequently used over the course of the film. I thought this was a satisfying and appropriate surround mix that hit the high points quite well.
- (HD) The Roger Rabbit Shorts - Tummy Trouble, Roller-Coaster Rabbit & Trail Mix-Up
- Who Made Roger Rabbit? – mini-documentary hosted by Charles Fleischer, the voice of Roger Rabbit
- Audio Commentary - with filmmakers Robert Zemeckis, Frank Marshall, Jeffrey Price, Peter Seaman, Steve Starkey and Ken Ralston
- (HD) “Toontown Confidential” – viewing option with intriguing and hilarious facts and trivia
- Deleted Scene: “The Pig Head Sequence” with filmmaker commentary
- “Before & After” - Split-Screen comparison with and without animation
- “Behind The Ears: The True Story of Roger Rabbit” – An exclusive, in-depth behind-the-scenes documentary
- “Toon Stand-Ins” Featurette – Rehearsing with stand-ins for the Toons
- On Set! Benny The Cab – The Making of a scene from the film
- Bonus DVD
Who framed Roger Rabbit is a contemporary classic that is near and dear to its many fans who have an appreciation for how special it was and the enjoyment it brought through innovation. It comes to Blu-ray from Disney in this 25th anniversary edition that features digitally restored high definition video that while not perfect yields gratifying image quality that easily bests any previous home video release. Add to that crystal clear lossless sound and a decent assortment of bonus supplements and you have a worthwhile Blu-ray offering to replace your aging DVD (or VHS!).
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Stewart Filmscreen - Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16x9 Screen
Onkyo PR-SC5508 THX Ultra 2 Audio/Video Processor
Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier
Oppo BDP-103 Universal Disc/3D capable Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Panasonic DMP-BDT310 3D capable Blu-ray Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Toshiba HD-XA2 HD DVD Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player (HDMI Audio/Video)
System Controller: Apple iPad/iRule Pro HD Universal Remote Control
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APC AV S15BLK Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
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Cool Components - CP-CP102 cooling package