t has been said that those who cannot remember the past are doomed to repeat it. Indeed, humankind’s endeavors to document the past for the sake of educating future generations are one of the species distinguishing features. Examples are myriad, ranging from primitive cave paintings, hieroglyphics, epic poems, monuments, on through our more modern documentaries and national holidays. Enter into this list Who Framed Roger Rabbit?
Produced by Steven Spielberg, directed by Robert Zemeckis, and written by Jeffrey Price and William S. Seamen, the popular children’s movie combines live action with animation in order to tell the story of a ’toon wrongfully accused of murdering a human. Beneath the film’s “loony” plot and glossy, Technicolor veneer exists a cleverly wrought allegory on the Holocaust that will help to perpetuate the important lessons of that terrible atrocity for audiences old and new.
The filmmakers immediately draw a connection between the unfortunate circumstances of Roger Rabbit and the events of the Holocaust by placing the action of the movie in the 1940s. While the viewer is denied a concrete declaration regarding the year of the setting, the style of dress, the automobiles, and the music of the film are all from that decade. Notable as well are the post-Prohibition bar (which serves as the backdrop for one of the film’s most memorable scenes), and the expressions that color the characters’ speech. In one typical exchange, Roger asks a familiar taxi cab, “Benny, is that you?” to which the disgruntled Benny sarcastically replies, “No, it’s Eleanor Roosevelt.” Read More.