Regarding the articles. It'd take a while to remove the digital fingerprinting from the files with the S&S articles, and it would be near-impossible to do so without degrading the image quality, but here's a summary of just about everything that's in them. :
- A very brief reference in an Autumn 1990 article on Charles-Émile Reynaud which briefly mention’s Dick’s appreciation of his work (extremely short, but it’s still interesting to read Dick talk about his inspirations)
- A glowingly positive reference to Dick's segments in Charge of the Light Brigade: “wicked and witty (…), their very success tends to highlight the limitations of the live action sequences."
- An advertisement from a Summer 1959 issue advertising Ford educational films, among them The Story of the Motor Car, with a reference to Dick's previous success with The Little Island as a selling point.
- A short review of A Christmas Carol from its appearance at the Zagreb festival, the reviewer proclaiming that "animation of such skill and richness (…) seems such a shame to present it merely on the TV screen."
- A 1959 review by Dick of Halas & Batchelor's book The Technique of Film Animation, in which he criticises it for being needlessly complicated and lacking humour; as well as the duo's response in a letter column in the subsequent issue.
- High quality scans of Acting with Brushes and Paint, Animation and the Little Island, and Goofy and Babbitt.
- An Autumn 1988 review of Who Framed Roger Rabbit?.
- Very brief period reviews of The Little Island and Raggedy Ann & Andy.
The highlight out of all the findings was an article entitled Cartoons and Commercials, which revealed some very interesting titbits. :
- Dick was scheduled to direct a live-action film in Toronto entitled Flee Seven Ways in the summer of 1963. Much like the equally ill-fated I. Vor Pittfalks, it too was a story about a conman. The film was to be produced by the British outfit Eyeline Films (which, like RWA, specialised in commercials), Kenneth Williams was confirmed for a lead role, and Arthur Kennedy was a possible candidate for co-star.
- Details of another unfinished short entitled Pussy, Pussy : The Story of a Pussycat Called Armstrong. Written by Stan Hayward, who according to the article was still working for the NFBC at the time, the film was to be produced entirely within RWA.
Unfortunately I haven’t got copies of the original magazines they came from, nor do I have any scans that are free from watermarking that identify me as the downloader, but if you want the text of any of these, let me know.
“Roger Rabbit is a live-action picture in which half the cast is made up of animated characters. It is based on the premise that cartoon characters really live. They are not drawn but they exist in this world just like human beings do. Our hero, that’s Roger Rabbit, your basic 6-foot animated rabbit. He’s a second banana on a cartoon series known as the Baby Herman Cartoons. Roger is a lovable, naïve, sincere and goofy type of guy who is always trying to do the right thing but always manages to mess things up.
In our story, which takes place in Hollywood in the 1940s, Roger is framed for the murder of a Hollywood producer and he hires a live=action private detective, a sort of seedy, cynical Humphrey Bogart kind of guy to clear his name. In the course of the story, they come across a number of possible suspects. Among them is Jessica Rabbit, Roger’s wife.
Jessica is a rabbit by marriage only. She’s actually an ambitious young starlet who married Roger to further her career and now that’s she’s been given a part in a film that she’s wanted, she’s cast Roger aside. She doesn’t care for him any more. Roger can’t see that. He’s blindly in love with her. He just doesn’t see Jessica for the cunning and seductive person that she really is.
Then there is Captain Cleaver. Cleaver is the tough cop from downtown. He’s head of the homicide division.”
Valiant (Peter Renaday): “Oh, Cleaver. Sorry I didn’t see you. What’s on your mind?”
Cleaver: (pulling out his gun and poking Valiant) “Get off the Roger Rabbit case. I got the wife pegged as the killer, and I’m an inch away from proving it. You keep poking around you’re liable to screw up my play and that would make me very unhappy.”
“She moves in and around him, interacting with Eddie. That’s difficult. Most films stayed away from that. We are going to try to put together a lot of contact between the live and animated characters.”
Jessica (Russi Taylor): (in a breathy, seductive almost girlish voice) “Mr. Valiant, you have beautiful features. So strong and well defined.”
Valiant (Peter Renaday): “Chipped out of granite. That’s me.”
Jessica: (her hair brushing across his face) “You will take my case, won’t you?”
Valiant: “Not a chance.”
Jessica: (very angry and shouting) “What do you mean ‘not a chance’?”
“Roger was to be voiced by the then barely known Paul Reubens. Paul had both an excitability and a naïve quality to his voice that we felt was essential to the character’s personality. Despite his firmly established role as Pee Wee Herman, Paul is an excellent voice actor, and gave us exceptional readings.
We patterned his appearance after both Tex Avery and Bob Clampett design sensibilities. For some reason, big noses figure prominently in many of their character designs. This was for us the archetypal cartoon look. We had no interest in a more complex style—the purpose of this simple comic design was to belie Roger’s interior, for our aim was to imbue an outwardly zany character with emotional depth and heart.
I think what initially attracted us to Roger Rabbit was the potential for unique character relationships. At the core, this was a buddy movie, but a buddy movie with a twist. We would be developing a friendship between a live human being and a drawing. To us, there was nothing more challenging or exhilarating than the possibility of successfully pulling this off. Once the live action was filmed, we would be creating the other half of the relationship out of thin air. We saw the picture as essentially a live-action film, some of our stars just happened to be animated. It was our feeling that, in this context, we would create the kind of interest in an animated character that would allow Roger Rabbit to cross over into the adult market, and perhaps allow the movie-going public to see animation as something more than babysitting fodder.
We steered clear of using ‘feature’ characters. They appeared in just one film and were integral to that story. They never had any other roles, and consequently didn’t seem to fit any definition of actor. Characters from short cartoons, on the other hand, usually appeared in many films and in many roles, just as live actors did.
We chose to play against Herman’s appearance with a rather haughty Ronald Colmanesque voice. To make him an elitist actor who resented his typecasting in films and lived, instead, for ‘the theater.’"
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