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This Early Take on Who Framed Roger Rabbit Never Made It To the Theater

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As a kid, the wow-factor of seeing live action and animation come together in Who Framed Roger Rabbit was a mind-blowing blast of: Howdedoodat? The 1988 feature we know and love was actually Disney's second attempt at bringing this particular story to life, and a new-to-the-internet clip from 1983 reveals how much the tale and tech evolved—and stayed the same!—from its original inception.

The process was one that Disney studios had actually been perfecting since its early days. One of Walt's first creations was the Alice Comedies, a series that followed the exploits of a flesh-and-blood little girl and her 2D pals. (I visited the Walt Disney Family Museum in SF a few weeks ago, and only just learned about her adventures.)

After buying the film rights to Who Censored Roger Rabbit?, Gary Wolf's 1981 novel that established this strange world where people and drawings interact, Disney began developing it into a movie that definitely set the vibe of the later version.


Check out this behind-the-scenes glimpse at how they began to pull the clips together:

Roger was voiced here by none other than Paul Reubens, aka PeeWee Herman, which—well, it works! It's hard not to be partial to Charles Fleischer's now-iconic take from the movie, though.


Even with all the crazy cinematic advancements we've seen since then, it's still a thrill to see this kind of celluloid hybrid evolve into something that really does play with the imagination.

I haven't watched the film in years—decades, even—but this clip made me want to queue it up again. And hey, whaddya know: It's streaming on Netflix! What can I say: I'm not bad; I just blog that way. [Netflix; The Dissolve]