The internet got all excited a couple of days ago when Robert Zemeckis mentioned to MTV that he was bringing aboard original screenwriters Jeffrey Price and Peter S. Seaman to write the sequel to the 1988 hit Who Framed Roger Rabbit he’s been threatening to make.
Let’s forget for a minute how irritating Hollywood’s remake/sequel addiction is.
Let’s also forget how far Robert Zemeckis has his head up the ass of technology and how the more lifelike his animation becomes, the more lifeless.
Finally, let’s forget Zemeckis has lined up to ruin The Beatles’ Yellow Submarine.
Any one of those things would be enough to kill my interest in a Rabbit sequel, but I have a better one: the original is a crappy movie. Take away the groundbreaking technology that seamlessly fused the plastic world of classic animation with live action and you’re left with a busy, shrill and irritating piece of work filled with obnoxious toons and lifeless human beings.
Maybe if the sequel is called Who Beats the Living Shit Out of Roger Rabbit and Leaves His Rotting Carcass in the Sun Where the Birds Can Get It I might be curious. Maybe.
And what about Price and Seaman? These are the same assholes who helped foist Ron Howard’s wretched Why… I mean How The Grinch Stole Christmas upon the world. Before they did that, they did Caddyshack II, Doc Hollywood, Mr. Baseball and Wild Wild West for chrissakes.
Now let’s go back to Zemeckis’ obsession with technology for a minute. The best thing about Roger Rabbit was the fusion of toon and human. The wide gulf between the old school, hand drawn cartoons and the live action humans made it all the more interesting, but what about this creepy 3D motion capture business Zemeckis has been trafficking in the last half-decade or so? If he goes that route, he’ll just be minimizing the one thing that made the original interesting.
Does Zemeckis have the stones to tell a story where old-fashioned toons rise up and take the animation world back from their 3D mocap offspring? I doubt it, but that might be a movie I’d be interested in.