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Who Framed Roger Rabbit
1988 Buena Vista

1988 Touchstone

2002 Walt Disney

Composed, Conducted, and Produced by:
Alan Silvestri

Orchestrated by:
James Campbell

Performed by:
The London Symphony Orchestra

Labels and Dates:
Buena Vista Records

Touchstone Records

Walt Disney Records
(April 16, 2002)

Also See:
Romancing the Stone

Audio Clips:
2002 Disney Album:

1. Maroon Logo (0:17):
WMA (114K)  MP3 (138K)
Real Audio (85K)

5. Hungarian Rhapsody (0:33):
WMA (213K)  MP3 (266K)
Real Audio (165K)

10. Jessica's Theme (0:32):
WMA (209K)  MP3 (258K)
Real Audio (161K)

11. Toontown (0:30):
WMA (195K)  MP3 (241K)
Real Audio (149K)

The 1988 Buena Vista Promo (CD 010) and 1988 Touchstone Records commercial album are both out of print, but their extensive original pressing made them relatively easy to find on the secondary market. The 2002 Walt Disney Records album was a regular U.S. release, but fell out of print as well.

  Nominated for a Grammy Award.

Who Framed Roger Rabbit
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Sales Rank: 487552

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Buy it... if you can't get enough of that old Warner Brothers, Looney Tunes style of frenetic, enthusiastic orchestral slapstick music.

Avoid it... if dizzy, swinging, and dynamic music for cartoons makes you want to strangle an animated character.

Who Framed Roger Rabbit: (Alan Silvestri) Hailed as one of the most successful technological breakthroughs in the history of the animated film genre, Who Framed Roger Rabbit was an incredibly popular merging of animated and live-action filming technologies in 1988. And while the seamless integration of these two genres was heralded to no end at the time, the film strangely had little impact on the actual future of animation and live action films. It would take until 2003's Looney Tunes: Back in Action before the technique could be perfected in the digital realm. Ironically, the industry encountered even greater grosses in the interim by going back to the strictly animated scene, and Disney would hit the financial pot of gold beginning the next year with The Little Mermaid and continuing through all of the Alan Menken-composed projects of the 1990's. Despite the success of the visuals, Who Framed Roger Rabbit turned out to have a bigger legacy in the other realm in which it dabbled: cross-studio character mingling. It was also famous for its rare collaboration between Warner Brothers and Disney, and the licensing and copyright nightmare that the film ended up creating unfortunately made it a one-time experiment for quite some time. No better a director to pull off this competitive corporate challenge than Robert Zemeckis. Having proven with Back to the Future that he was a bankable director, Zemeckis tackled the project with charm and succeeded in making a film that was much better than the nightmarish corporate circumstances under which it was created. Zemeckis had discovered composer Alan Silvestri during the production of Romancing the Stone just a few years earlier, and their work together on Back to the Future created undeniable movie magic. The director naturally continued to trust Silvestri's talents, bringing the aural atmosphere of a fictional cartoon studio to life in Who Framed Roger Rabbit before concentrating solely on the Back to the Future sequels. Ultimately, Silvestri's task for Who Framed Roger Rabbit would be to do a little merging of his own, too. The old, frentic Looney Tunes style of writing had to be infused into the jazzy atmosphere of 1940's Los Angeles that still exuded a hint of noir personality.

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Just as the film successfully combined its disparate visual halves, Silvestri created an extremely serviceable score for both the cartoon characters and the real life location of the film. In its general demeanor, Who Framed Roger Rabbit is a trademark cartoon score, with slapstick breaks and dizzy rhythms that challenge the London Symphony Orchestra to keep up with the mad dashing of the animated characters. It's a lightweight score in tone, with minimal thematic development of a truly memorable nature. The work relies more on the bouncing creativity and positive energy that the orchestra generates in order to provide the same children's ambience that you'd expect to hear in any Warner Brothers cartoon. The delightful, upbeat personality of the score is carried by Silvestri's ability to adapt the style of legendary Warner Brothers animation composer Carl Stalling, who created all of the memorable themes for the studio's legacy cartoons. No better a tribute is made to Stalling than in the logo music for the Maroon studio that opens the real film. Many subsequent cues exhibit the same Stalling character, fulfilling the basic environment necessary. Several slapstick adaptations of other famous themes are included in the mix, as well as the integration of dialogue from the film. A few direct statements of old Warner pieces throughout the score, including "That's All Folks," are a treat. Film music collectors will likely be drawn more to the 1940's jazz, performed by trumpet with great solace in "Valiant & Valiant" and in the famous song "Who Don't You Do Right?" (which is the musical centerpiece of the film). On album, various score and source music, as well as dialogue from the film, has been released several times over the years. At the time of the film's debut, a 40-minute album of music and dialogue from Who Framed Roger Rabbit was released directly by Buena Vista (Disney) in a promotional format (of sorts) that was sold mostly at Disney-related locations. Concurrently, Touchstone Records released a 46-minute album with more of Silvestri's music featured. Both albums fell badly out of print and were, for a while, considered significant collectibles. Finally, in 2002, Disney Records itself re-issued an identical copy of the 1988 Touchstone album with re-mastered sound and new cover art, and this updated product remained readily in print and easy to find for a few years before likewise becoming scarce. On any album, the score is a wild ride (as to be expected), but cartoon lovers will devour its shameless enthusiasm. **** Price Hunt: CD or Download

Bias Check:For Alan Silvestri reviews at Filmtracks, the average editorial rating is 3.36 (in 33 reviews)
and the average viewer rating is 3.24 (in 31,658 votes). The maximum rating is 5 stars.

 Viewer Ratings and Comments:  

Regular Average: 3.59 Stars
Smart Average: 3.42 Stars*
***** 153 
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    * Smart Average only includes
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              to counterbalance fringe voting.
   Re: Music from the Maroon Moviola
  RiosJOHANNA34 -- 12/7/11 (11:28 a.m.)
   Music from the Maroon Moviola
  Mark Toonery -- 3/18/10 (9:16 p.m.)
   you forgot to mention forrest gump! *NM*
  Composer -- 8/22/03 (11:27 a.m.)
   Silvestri strikes again
  David -- 8/21/03 (4:20 p.m.)
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 Track Listings (1988 Buena Vista Album): Total Time: 39:15

• 1. The Setup (6:01)
• 2. Judge Doom (6:12)
• 3. The Will (9:17)
• 4. On the Lam (6:12)
• 5. Toontown (2:21)
• 6. The Last Laugh (9:12)

 Track Listings (1988 Touchstone and 2002 Disney Albums): Total Time: 46:02

• 1. Maroon Logo (0:17)
• 2. Maroon Cartoon (3:21)
• 3. Valiant & Valiant (4:19)
• 4. The Weasels (2:04)
• 5. Hungarian Rhapsody (Dueling Pianos) (1:49)
• 6. Judge Doom (3:46)
• 7. Why Don't You Do Right? - performed by Amy Irving (3:02)
• 8. No Justice For Toons (2:40)
• 9. The Merry-Go-Round Broke Down (Roger's Song) (0:44)
• 10. Jessica's Theme (2:00)
• 11. Toontown (4:39)
• 12. Eddie's Theme (5:19)
• 13. The Gag Factory (3:54)
• 14. The Will (1:06)
• 15. Smile Darn Ya Smile/That's All, Folks! (1:17)
• 16. End Title (4:56)

 Notes and Quotes:  

The inserts for all available albums include no extra information about the score or film.

  All artwork and sound clips from Who Framed Roger Rabbit are Copyright © 1988, 2002, Buena Vista Records, Touchstone Records, Walt Disney Records. The reviews and other textual content contained on the site may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of Filmtracks Publications. Audio clips can be heard using RealPlayer but cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 7/1/03 and last updated 3/18/09. Review Version 5.1 (PHP). Copyright © 2003-2015, Christian Clemmensen (Filmtracks Publications). All rights reserved.