Before Richard Williams directed the animation for Who Framed Roger Rabbit, there was an earlier attempt at Disney, from 1981 to 1983, to adapt Gary K. Wolf’s book “Who Censored Roger Rabbit.”
John Culhane takes us behind the scenes of the unmade Darrell Van Citters version of Who Framed Roger Rabbit, 1983. With designer Mike Giamo and producer Marc Sturdivant.
Disney 1981-1983. Animators: Chris Buck, Randy Cartwright. Character design and concepts: Mike Giamo, Mike Gabriel. Paul Reubens, known as Pee Wee Herman, plays Roger Rabbit. Peter Renaday and Mike Gabriel as Eddie Valiant. Russi Taylor as Jessica. Jack Angel as Captain Cleaver. Screenwriters Peter Seaman and Jeffrey Price. Producer Mark Sturdivant.
Darrell Van Citters couldn’t remember who had played Baby Herman, but believes his name was Byron.
While Roger was a villain in the book, trying to solve his own murder, this Roger is a loveable goofball in white fur and red overalls - a prototype for the final film. Jessica Rabbit appears to be the villain of the piece. Still, this version clearly laid some groundwork for the Zemeckis/Williams production a few years later.
The prototype Roger Rabbit appears cheering in the stands in the featurette “Sport Goofy in Soccermania.”
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