“Who Censored Roger Rabbit?” and the film adaptation, “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?” both include fictitious characters, one of them being named Jessica Rabbit. She is shown as Roger’s cartoon wife throughout the numerous Roger Rabbit media. One of the sex icons of the animation industry, Jessica is known for her provocative antics. The phrase, “I’m not bad, I’m just drawn that way,” is also associated with her.
How it All Started
Author Gary K. Wolf based Jessica on the cartoon character Red from Tex Avery’s Red Hot Riding Hood. The film version of the character was inspired by many actresses. Richard Williams said, “I tried to make her like Rita Hayworth; we took her hair from Veronica Lake, and Zemeckis kept saying, ‘What about the look Lauren Bacall had?‘” He depicted that combination as an “ultimate male fantasy, drawn by a cart Jessica was inspired by Tex Avery’s Red Hot Riding Hood cartoon character, as stated by author Gary K. Wolf. Many actresses were considered for the role in the film adaptation. We got her hair from Veronica Lake, and I attempted to make her appear like Rita Hayworth, but Zemeckis kept suggesting, “What about the style Lauren Bacall had?” In his illustration, the two together represented the “ideal masculine dream, rendered by a cartoonist.” Jessica originally had a different design and Russi Taylor was set to do her voice until Robert Zemeckis came on board (as director). While working on Romancing the Stone, Zemeckis recruited Kathleen Turner to voice Jessica. Because she was expecting a child, Turner took the part for which she received no credit because she “just had to show up and do her voice.”
Summary of the Morally Questionable Rising Star
The protagonist’s ex-husband becomes enamored with the fictional Jessica, a comedy actress and immoral star of the novel. She is portrayed as a sexy yet moral vocalist at a Los Angeles supper club called The Ink and Paint Club in the film. Her husband, a famous cartoon actor, has been accused of murder, and she is a suspect in the case. Kathleen Turner provides the voice acting, although she is not given any credit. For Jessica’s opening moment, Amy Irving was chosen to perform “Why Don’t You Do Right?” Director of animation Richard Williams said she is more than just a sassy redhead who loves her husband Roger in spite of his cheating ways. She even refers to him as her “honey-bunny” and “darling.” Roger tries to rescue her from Judge Doom and the Toon Patrol, and she says he’s “better than Goofy” since he makes her laugh and is a better lover than a driver. She shows her devotion to Roger by participating in the investigation and telling Eddie that she is willing to pay any price to clear his name.
Some of the comic cartoon traits common to other Toons are demonstrated by this human Toon. One of the weasels searching her cleavage for Marvin Acme’s will and testament got his hand trapped in a bear trap, to which Valiant made a pun in response. Jessica’s bosom bounces up when a real woman’s breasts bounce down and vice versa, a subtle effect introduced by animator Russell Hall. Another possible explanation is her subdued “wild take” upon learning of Judge Doom’s plan regarding the Dip. The lip kisses she blows are likewise done in a somewhat cartoony fashion.
A number of Roger Rabbit/Baby Herman films followed the feature film’s release, and Jessica made appearances in all three of them: Roller Coaster Rabbit (as a damsel in distress), Tummy Trouble (as a nurse), and Trail Mix-Up (as a park ranger). While appearing in both Tummy Trouble and Roller Coaster Rabbit, she failed to make an impression in either. In contrast, Roger fancies her in Trail Mix-Up, where he refers to her as a “babe in the woods” and puffs like a dog whenever he thinks about her. In addition to her regular appearances in the Roger Rabbit comics, Jessica Rabbit starred in her own feature in the majority of Roger Rabbit’s Toontown issues, such as “Beauty Parlor Bedlam,” in which she confronts Winnie the Weasel, her female weasel counterpart.
Though Jessica didn’t physically appear in the Disney film Aladdin and the King of Thieves, a cardboard After hearing “Jasmine,” he did the Wolf-whistle. In the 1991 episode “New Character Day” of Tiny Toon Adventures, she was referenced, and in the 1993 episode “Buster and Babs Go Hawaiian,” her legs were briefly seen protruding from a limo door.
The Jessica Rabbit Shop and Its Profound Legacy
Characters from the film were given major roles in the corporation after its popularity and the opening of Disney’s Hollywood Studios on May 1, 1989. A sparkly cardboard cutout of Jessica and a photo booth called “The Loony Bin” where you could pose in costume next to an actual cartoon drawing of characters from the film were among the many artifacts that littered the streets after the Studio Backlot Tour. Pressers, which are like rub-on stickers, featuring Jessica Rabbit were among the many other items for sale. Once a component of Disney’s Pleasure Island, the nightclub attraction and retail area, the Jessica Rabbit Store, now known as Jessica’s, was a fan favorite. The shop sold nothing but Jessica Rabbit stuff and had a large neon Jessica sign with a sequined frock and a swinging leg outside. In 1992, the shop finally shut its doors for good.
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Her famous phrase, “I’m not bad, I’m just drawn that way,” was nominated as one of the 400 best cinema lines of all time by the American Film Institute’s 100 Years… When it came to the top 100 Movie Quotes, this one didn’t quite make the cut. On Empire’s 2010 list of the 50 Best Animated Movie Characters, Jessica Rabbit ranked #6.
Kathleen Turner, who voiced Jessica Rabbit, has said in interviews that she is asked to sign more images of the character than of herself. Furthermore, the same magazine placed her as the sixth best animated character of all time, arguing that “She’s got more going on than just the kind of lines that would win her America’s Next Top Model. Underneath that beautiful facade is a good person with a quick wit.” Internet Movie Database had a poll that ranked her as the most alluring Disney character according to votes from audiences of the page.
The Nudity of Jessica Rabbit and the Ensuing Scandal
Variety originally reported this in March 1994, shortly after the Laserdisc release of Who Framed Roger Rabbit, claiming that viewers had discovered multiple clips purportedly showing brief instances of nudity on the part of Jessica Rabbit. The Laserdisc player allowed the spectator to advance the film frame by frame, revealing sights that were otherwise undetected when played at the standard pace of 24 frames per second. It’s unclear if they were supposed to represent the character’s nudity or not. It was reported that Laserdiscs sold out at several stores within minutes of their release. Media coverage of the incident, including articles on CNN and other outlets, helped fuel the run.