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Following the smashing success of the 1988 fantasy / comedy film Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, Disney, Spielberg, and Zemeckis saw an opportunity to kill two birds with one stone: promote the new Disneyland attraction "Roger Rabbit's Car Toon Spin" on the one hand, and revive the great tradition of animated theatrical shorts (dead since the nineteen-sixties) that ran before the feature film, where the trailers are today, on the other. So they produced a series of three partly live-action, mostly animated short films starring the Toon characters from the feature.
All three shorts follow the pattern set by Something's Cookin' (the film within the original film) and, supposedly, what the titular lagomorph's big-screen escapades were generally like in the world of the movie. In each one, Roger is trusted to babysit Baby Herman by his imposing mother, who threatens Roger with some outrageous punishment should anything happen to her little darling. Inevitably, Baby Herman gets away from his caretaker and innocently puts himself in grievous harm's way, prompting Roger to leap to the rescue and get badly battered in the process. At the end, Roger will ruin the take in some amusing way (such as setting his feet on fire or accidentally deflating the planet), infuriating the live-action human director and stage crew.
These are the cartoons, and the film they opened for:
- Tummy Trouble - Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (1989)
- Roller Coaster Rabbit - Dick Tracy (1990)
- Trail Mix-Up - A Far Off Place (1993)
A fourth film, Waiter, There's a Hare in My Soup was planned, but never produced. Though it is mentioned in the novels.
Needless to say, the revival did not succeed (which may have had something to do with the movies they opened for), although all three shorts are available in the Vista Series DVD set of the movie.
See also: Pixar Shorts
- Absurd Altitude - The roller coaster in Roller Coaster Rabbit and the log flume in "Trail Mix-Up"
- Adult Fear
- Amusing Injuries
- Badly-Battered Babysitter - Roger, natch.
- The Cameo - Droopy Dog and Jessica Rabbit both get one per cartoon.
- Chained to a Railway - Droopy has Jessica Rabbit chained to a roller coaster in Roller Coaster Rabbit.
- Jaw Drop - Roger, reading Baby Herman's medical bills in Tummy Trouble
- Getting Crap Past the Radar - In Trail Mix-Up there are two instances of it; when Roger warns Baby Herman not to burn his 'weenie' at the fire (when he has a hot dog), and when he says he was so scared he almost 'dropped a log while they're in a sawmill.
- George Lucas Throwback - to the pre-feature animated shorts from The Golden Age of Animation.
- Here We Go Again - In Tummy Trouble.
- Infant Immortality
- ISophagus - After Roger swallows Baby Herman's rattle in Tummy Trouble.
- Missing Episode - Waiter, There's a Hare in My Soup, the un-produced short.
- Nice Character, Mean Actor - Pretty much the entire gag behind Baby Herman.
- No Ending - Roller Coaster Rabbit ends with Roger messing up the scene and being scolded by his director. Trail Mix-Up ends with Roger messing up the scene and destroying the planet. Tummy Trouble on the other hand, ran smoothly and ended quite well.
- Pun - "That was bracing!" in Roller Coaster Rabbit
- Really Seven Hundred Years Old - Baby Herman, who's really 50 (36 in the books).
- Roger Rabbit Effect
- Rushmore Refacement - In Trail Mix-Up.
- Shockingly Expensive Bill - At the end of Tummy Trouble.
- Toon Physics - They had some fun with it too.
- Wild Take - There's a definite Tex Avery influence in these shorts.