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Wednesday, March 10, 2010
The Cheshire Cat's Roger Rabbit Cameo And The Who Replaced Roger Rabbit Film (SPOILER: CGI Characters Did It!)
I was watching Who Framed Roger Rabbit a few days ago, and with the recent release of Disney's Alice in Wonderland, I remembered the almost subliminal cameo appearance the Cheshire Cat makes in Roger Rabbit's ToonTown finale.
I was only aware of this cameo because I own the Sotheby's catalog/book "The Art of Who Framed Roger Rabbit." This showcased artwork that was up for auction on June 28, 1989. I bought this book for $15 at the local Disney Store way back then. Production cels in this collection featured characters created for the Roger Rabbit film, as well as Disney characters, Warner Brothers characters, and Betty Boop. Droopy Dog (Turner Entertainment) and Woody Woodpecker (Universal) were not included in any of the artwork for sale.
The last piece for sale in the catalog features Porky Pig and Tinkerbell, and in the background you can see the grinning Cheshire Cat riding on the back of Benny the Cab.
Through the magic of DVD, we can see that this particular single frame of film is not actually in the movie!
Check out the photo of the production cel up for auction, then notice how the Porky Pig drawing and the Tinkerbell drawing are actually in two completely different shots in the movie. The background is also different.
Part of the Cheshire Cat's head, body and tail is very briefly visible in the crowd of Toons at the end of the movie (you can see Tweedle Dum or Dee here, too). Further shots of the Cheshire Cat are blocked by Pegleg Pete and Porky Pig.
Since Roger Rabbit's story is set in 1947, I think it's pretty clever how the ending features some characters that would make their film debuts in the 1950s.
Be sure to click on the pictures so you can get a good look at the characters!
UPDATE April 7, 2014:
I have an idea for a sequel to Who Framed Roger Rabbit called Who Replaced Roger Rabbit. Set in modern times, computer animated characters start to take over ToonTown. Realistic computer animated people mix and mingle with humans, and plot to take over the world and destroy the human race. Roger Rabbit discovers their downfall when he opens an email from a "Nigerian Prince" and unleashes a computer virus. My dream would be for the main villains to be the children from The Polar Express.