As time passes, a sequel to the 1988 hit Who Framed Roger Rabbit seems to increase its probability of becoming real. Though it’s been a rumor and nothing more for years, with Robert Zemeckis having confirmed a script but leaving out strong details, I feel that in order for the film to be a success among both modern and elder cartoon lovers, a few things need to be tweaked in order for this film to be a success.
1. The addition of the Hanna Barbera cast: Yes, it’s about as controversial of a demand as you could make. In fact, it might be as ridiculous as asking for the inclusion of Spongebob Squarepants in the movie. Make no mistake, however, time has passed, and to modern audiences, characters like Yogi Bear, Fred Flintstone, and Quick Draw McGraw are as old as the Looney Tunes and Disney characters were when the original was released. Of course, these characters would have no major roles (We wouldn’t be calling in Freddie and the Gang to solve anything), rather they could make simple cameos like Huckleberry Hound patrolling a street in a police car, or Top Cat taking a taxi for a spin.
2. A deeper development of Toontown: Let’s find what makes Toontown work. Are there different boroughs for the various ages of animation? Do iconic buildings such as the clock tower from the Disney short “Clock Cleaners” exist, or are there forests in which Bugs, Daffy, and Elmer hold their violent escapades? How do the new computer graphics fit into this world? Is there an entirely different suburb for Shrek and Woody? Basically, let’s see more of Toontown, but maintain a balance with the neat setting of classic Hollywood.
3. Keep the story focused: The geniuses in charge of this film without question understand that the success of the story lies in centering it, once again, around Roger Rabbit and Bob Hoskins, however, what I am afraid of is that the companies lending their characters will get too greedy and ask for a story more driven by their characters. What made the movie such a success was that the moments on screen were special. Daffy Duck and Donald Duck together for just 2 minutes was priceless, and it left the audience screaming for more. And that’s just the point: the short moments of cameos are what make the film so exciting to watch. Otherwise, it’d be a dumb cross over between franchises, sort of like a silly Batman meets Superman ordeal.
4. Forget the family factor: In the first Roger Rabbit, there was an unmistakable adult feel to the film. While it was by no means an “adult film,” it’d be hard to picture cartoons, murder, sex, and drugs all together on one screen. It worked though, and to draw the same crowds as the first, especially with the content audiences are accustomed to today, a Roger Rabbit sequel will have to again toe that adult line, and at times even cross over it.