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From the JHM Archives: Scenes that were cut out of "Who Framed Roger Rabbit"

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From the JHM Archives: Scenes that were cut out of "Who Framed Roger Rabbit"

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We're conducting a little experiment today. Taking one of the more popular pieces that was ever posted on this website (this detailed look at a full 10 pages of script that was cut out of the original theatrical release of "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" originally ran on JHM back in August of 2006) and then bringing it back for an encore.

Depending on the reaction this rerun gets, "From the JHM Archives" could become a regular feature at this site. With specially selected stories from years past being resurrected for your reading pleasure. So if you like what you see here today, don't be afraid to share.

And now ... Join me on a trip back to Toontown, where ...

... there's this transition in "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" that has always bothered film buffs.

You know the scene that I'm talking about, right? It's that moment about midway through the movie where Eddie Valiant -- after he saws his way out of those handcuffs -- entrusts Roger to his longtime girlfriend, Dolores. Eddie then tells Dolores that he's going back to his office to check on something.

Copyright 1988 Touchstone Pictures / Amblin Productions

But the next thing we see is ... Jessica Rabbit's silhouette as she slips into the office of Valiant & Valiant. Eddie is clearly surprised to see Roger's wife as he steps out of his bathroom, shirtless and damp. And the toon and the detective now begin to banter as ...

Wait a minute ... Judge Doom and his weasels are hot on Roger's trail. It's literally life-or-death time for this Hollywood hare. But Eddie choses this exact moment to go and take a shower. Does that make sense to you?

Well, there's a reason that it doesn't. In Jeffrey Price and Peter S. Seaman's original screenplay for this Robert Zemeckis film, an entire day went by between the time Eddie exited the Terminal Bar & Grill and the moment that Valiant encountered Jessica Rabbit as he stepped out of his office bathroom.

Wanna know what this hardboiled detective was originally supposed to be doing during those missing 24 hours? Well, what follows is an excerpt from Price & Seaman's September 1986 screenplay. Which was then titled "Who Shot Roger Rabbit."

The way that Jeffrey & Peter saw the action playing out ... After Eddie left Roger with Dolores, the detective climbed aboard a Red Car. Which then took him to ...


A Red Car pulls up. Valiant climbs off. He calmly crosses the street and ducks behind the cemetery entranceway as Maroon's Packard ROARS through.

(impressed) Love that Red Car.

As Valiant starts to walk up the hill ... CUT TO:


A hearse, and a line of black limos are parked in the lane. Nearby, Marvin Acne's funeral is inprogress. Clustered around a gravesite are the mourners ... TOONS of every stripe. There's MICKEY MOUSE comforting MINNIE. TOM AND JERRY. HECKLE AND JECKLE. CHIP 'N DALE. Everyone from the famous to the not-so-famous is in attendance. The eulogy is being delivered in a familiar blustery Southern VOICE. It's FOGHORN LEGHORN.

Storyboard drawing for the Marvin Acme funeral sequence in "Who Framed Roger Rabbit."
Copyright 1988 Touchstone Pictures / Amblin Productions

Today we commit the body of brother Acme to the cold, I say cold, cold ground. We shed no tears for we know that Marvin is going to a better place. That high, high, I say that high-larious place up in the sky.

Foghorn Leghorn dramatically points skyward.

(in unison) A-men!


is leaning up against a palm tree on the hill. We have been watching the proceedings from his POV. Now he sees Maroon's car pull up. He moves around to the other side of the tree as Maroon passes and starts wending his way through the crowd.

Foghorn Leghorn nods to the funeral DIRECTOR, a pasty-faced human in a black mourning coat. The Director starts to turn the crank lowering the coffin into the grave.

Give us a sign, brother Marvin, that you've arrived ...

Much to the funeral Director's amazement, the crank starts PLINKING out the tune to "POP GOES THE WEASEL". Now the Toon mourners pick up on it and join in.

TOONS: (singing)
Round and round the mulberry bush,
The monkey chased the weasel ...

The crank and SONG start going FASTER AND FASTER.

TOONS: (continuing: singing)
The monkey said it was all in fun POP!
Goes the weasel.

Suddenly half of the lid to Acme's coffin flies open and a harlequin CLOWN BOI-YOI-YOINGS out. The funeral Director faints dead away as the Toon SOBS turn to LAUGHTER. The Toons turn and head away from the grave comforted by a funeral befitting a gag king. They climb into their cars and SCREECH off like the start of the Indy 500.

One mourner is left at the gravesite. Sitting in a chair dabbing at her eyes with a handkerchief is Jessica Rabbit. Maroon walks up behind her.

So ... Trying to pull a fast one on me, huh?

Jessica turns, startled. She stands and faces Maroon.


smiles and leans in. This is the moment he's been waiting for. Now just as the conversation begins, it is drowned out by the NOISE from a LAWN MOWER. Valiant turns to see a GARDENER riding around on a small tractor cutting the grass. Valiant tries to flag him down as he watches Maroon and Jessica having an argument. There's accusatory finger pointing. In pantomime. Maroon gestures into his pocket as if describing the position of Acme's will.

Jessica tries to leave. He grabs her arm. They're screaming at each other but we don't hear a word. Valiant waves frantically for the Gardener to cut the machine. But the Gardener misconstrues it as a friendly greeting and waves back. Valiant turns in time to see Jessica kick Maroon in the groin and stomp off to a red Auburn Speedster. She jumps in and speeds away as Maroon staggers back to his car. The Gardener stops the tractor next to Valiant. He SHUTS OFF THE ENGINE. The cemetery is completely still again.

Somethin' you want, mister?

Not anymore ...


A Steinway piano truck is parked next to the stage door. TWO husky PIANO HOVERS are rolling a baby grand up the ramp to the stage door. They knock on the door. The Gorilla opens it and they muscle the piano inside. After a moment, they reemerge. We FOLLOW them back to the truck where a second baby grand stands ready to be moved.

MOVER #1:I don't know about you, but it makes me sick to think of these beautiful pianos gettin' chopped into match sticks every night by those screwy ducks.

Struggling, they push this second piano into the club.


They roll the piano over to the wall and park it next to the first.

MOVER #2: (shakes head)
And they call it entertainment.

As they go out the stage door, MOVE IN on the baby grand.


is lying prone -- using the Steinway as his own Trojan Horse. He lifts the piano lid to climb out. but then HEARS FOOTSTEPS approaching. He lowers the lid again. Now someone starts testing the keys. We see the hammers strike the strings, RUNNING UP THE SCALES until they reach the one under Valiant's nose. The hammer whacks Valiant's nose on the backswing and strikes the string making a terrible SOUR NOTE.

DONALD DUCK (V.0.) (exasperated QUACK)
Phooey! Out of tune again!

Not to worry, Donald. We can fix that with my sledgehammer.

Never mind. Daffy. I've got an axe in my dressing room.

Valiant's eyes widen.


as the VOICES of Daffy and Donald recede. Valiant raises the lid and quickly climbs out. He eases over to Jessica's dressing roon. As he starts to open the door, he HEARS SCUFFLING from inside. Valiant puts his ear to the door. More SCUFFLING. Valiant straightens, then suddenly whips the door open and flicks on the light.


Nobody's there. Perplexed, Valiant closes the door behind him and checks behind the dressing screen. In the closet. No one. He shrugs and starts to search the room. He goes to Jessica's dressing table and rifles the drawers. In her purse he discovers a Toon revolver. He examines it.

Girl's gotta protect herself.

Valiant puts the gun back in the purse and closes the drawer. As he stands, he pauses to consider a Hurrel-like black-and-white photo of Roger Rabbit in a silver deco frame. He's dramatically posed with a cigarette like he was Tyrone Power. Valiant shakes his head and turns from the table. Something catches his eye.


Behind the dressing table, the corner of a piece of blue paper peeks out. Valiant stoops down and fishes it out. lt's a cover for a legal document. "Last Will and Testament -- Marvin Acme."


stands, pleased. He opens the blue folder. But it's empty, Valiant puts it in his inside pocket and turns to go when suddenly an unseen hand flicks the lights off.

Son of a bitch...

We can't see anything in the darkness. But we hear the SOUND of A FISTFIGHT. There's the CRASHING of lamps and furniture breaking. Now the door opens for a second as the assailant escapes. Light floods in the room, illuminating Valiant on the floor with a curtain wrapped around his head. As he struggles free the door closes. The room is dark again. Valiant scrambles to the door. When he whips it open, REVEAL the Gorilla framed in the doorway. Valiant is frozen. The gorilla flicks on the light. He smiles wickedly.

And here I tought we had mice.

Valiant tries to make a break for it. WHAM! The Gorilla lays him out cold with a right cross.



As his vision comes INTO FOCUS, Valiant sees the Gorilla, Jessica Rabbit, the Weasels and Judge Doom are standing over him.

Copyright 1988 Touchstone Pictures / Amblin Productions

... I caught him rummagin' around in here. Then I called you, Judge, on a counta you be da one we pay juice to.

DOOM: (clears throat)
You did the right thing, Bongo.


pull a groggy Valiant upright and plop him in a chair in front of Doom.

Being caught breaking and entering is not very good advertising for a detective. What were you looking for, Mr. Valiant?

Ask her...

Valiant nods toward Jessica, who stands coolly smoking a cigarette.

Last week some heavy breather wanted one of my nylons as a souvenir. Maybe that's what he was after.

Copyright 1988 Touchstone Pictures / Amblin Productions

Look, doll, if I wanted underwear, I woulda broken into Frederick's of Hollywood. I was lookin' for Marvin Acme's will.

Marvin Acme had no will. I should know, the probate is in my court.

He had a will, all right. She took it off Acme the night she and R.K. Maroon knocked him off. Then she set up her loving husband to take the fall.

You, Mr. Valiant, are either drunk or punch drunk. Probably both.

These are bold accusations, Mr. Valiant. I hope you have some proof?

I found the cover the will came in behind the dressing table.

Valiant reaches into his pocket. But the blue envelope is gone.

VALIANT: (continuing)
They must've taken it off me


The other people who were in here lookin' for the will. I woulda caught 'em if Cheetah here hadn't interrupted me.

The Gorilla makes a move for Valiant. Doom stops him.

Copyright 1988 Touchstone Pictures / Amblin Productions

Take it easy, Bongo. We'll handle Mr. Valiant our own way ... downtown.

Downtown? Fine. Get ahold of Santino, I'd be more than glad to talk to him.

Oh, not that downtown. Toontown.

The mention of Toontown has a visible impact on Valiant.

VALIANT: (nervous)
You're not takin' me to downtown Toontown?

Indeed we are. We'll continue the interrogation there.

VALIANT: (very agitated)
I ain't tellin' you nothin'! Get me Santino.

You're a very stubborn man, Mr. Valiant. Very pig-headed. Boys. show Mr. Valiant how we handle pig-headed men at the Toontown station ...

The Weasels drag Valiant out of the room ...

VALIANT: (screaming)
No... you bastards! Leggo of me!


The Toon Control Wagon streaks along with the cat SIREN WAILING. It flashes by then slams on the brakes at the entrance to an eerie tunnel. A sign next to the tunnel says: "Toontown".


The Weasels look over at the bound and gagged Valiant. One of them turns Valiant's head to look at the Toontown sign.

What're you shakin' for? Didn't you have a good time last time you were here?

With a wicked WHEEZE, the driver floors it.

Copyright Touchstone Pictures / Amblin Productions


The wagon disappears into the murky darkness. PAN UP to the night sky.



PAN DOWN to the Tunnel. We can't see into the darkness but we HEAR HOOTING and HOLLERING from within, GUNS going off, FIRECRACKERS EXPLODING, WHIPS CRACKING, all accompanied by the WHEEZING LAUGHTER of the Weasels.

WEASEL #1: (0.S.)
Soo-eey! Soo-eey!

WEASEL #2: (O.S.)
Let him go, boys. I think he's got the message.

After a beat, Valiant comes staggering out of the tunnel. He's got a burlap sack over his head tied around his waist. Behind him, the Weasels emerge holding paint cans and brushes. They watch as he trips and falls by the side of the road. The Weasels GIGGLE victoriously and head back inside.

Valiant lies there for a moment, catching his breath. Then he struggles to free his hands. Finally he rips the sack off his head and sits up.

Copyright !988 Touchstone Pictures / Amblin Productions


We see he's got a huge Toon pig with a goofy grin painted over his head. Valiant pulls and tugs on it, but this is a costume that won't come off. Valiant curses, gets to his feet and stumbles down the road.


Valiant gets in the back of the line of PASSENGERS boarding the Red Car.


steps aboard. The Trolleynan, who we recognize as Earl from the Terminal Bar, does a double-take when he sees the ridiculously silly looking man/Toon.

Here's one for the books ... a Toon wearin' human clothes.

Earl ... it's me, Valiant.

Eddie? Jesus, what happened?

Toon cops worked me over.

Boy, I'll say. They gave you a real Toon-a-roo.

VALIANT: (apprehensively)
What am I, Earl?

Earl breaks the news to Valiant soberly.

You're a pig... a happy-go-lucky pig.


No ...

Does it hurt?

Not much. lt's hard to talk.

Uh, Eddie, do me a favor. Could you sit in the back so you won't cause as much of a commotion.

Valiant tries to pull the brim of his hat down. But it's comically small on the huge head. He makes his way down the aisle past a veritable gauntlet of RAZZING, poking, tripping PASSENGERS. Finally he finds an empty seat in the back as the Red Car starts up,


wearing a baseball cap is sitting a few seats away with his MOTHER. The Kid looks back at Eddie and laughs. He leans over and whispers something to his Mom.

Can I, Mom?

Go ahead, darling.Take your bat.

The Kid takes his baseball bat and approaches Valiant innocently.

Hi, Mr. Pig. If I hit you on the head, will you make me a cuckoo bird?

The Kid starts to take a swing with the bat.

Kid, if you hit me on the head. I'm gonna throw you out this window.

The Kid's eyes widen in terror. This is not a typical Toon response.

KID: (crying)


We hear the SOUND of the SHOWER. Valiant's hand reaches out past the shower curtain and grabs for a bottle. But it's not shampoo. It's turpentine.

Copyright 1988 Touchstone Pictures / Amblin Productions



The water swirling down the drain is tinged with paint of different colors.

Copyright 1988 Touchstone Pictures / Amblin Productions


He scrubs manically until the last of the pig head is gone. He rinses off and he feels around his face. The absence of the Toon mask seems to bring him some relief. He shuts off the shower and slides the shower curtain back.


is leaning up against the door jam, dressed as usual, in a black cocktail dress with elbow length gloves and pearls.

Hello, Mr. Valiant. I rang the doorbell, but I guess you couldn't hear it.

That's because I don't have a doorbell.

Jessica, caught in her lie, flutters her eyelids nervously.

Oh... well, I ... I just had to see you ...

Okay, you've seen me. Now give me a towel.

As she hands him a towel, she stares down at his anatomy.

What's that thing?

Valiant looks down at what she's referring to.

Come on, lady, haven't you ever seen a mole before?

Toons aren't given imperfections.

No? I guess we're not counting lying, stealing and murder.

Copyright 1988 Touchstone Pictures / Amblin Productions

And after that exchange ... This screenplay's story pretty much plays out the way the finished version of "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" does.

Me personally? I have to admit that I find some of the ideas that Price & Seaman included in their script (Which was the third draft of the "Roger Rabbit" screenplay, by the way) to be pretty provocative. The idea that Eddie (once he had that pig head painted onto his body) was asked to sit at the back of the trolley ... Well, if that had remained in the finished film, that would have really nailed home the idea that Toons were second class citizens in Hollywood.

Likewise having Eddie pull back the shower curtain and find Jessica waiting there for him in the bathroom ... Well, it would have been interesting to see what the folks at the MPAA would have made of that whole "What's that thing?" exchange ... Whether they would have really hammered on Disney for daring to include that sort of double entendre in an animated film.

FYI: Several of the sequences featured in this version of the script (To be specific: Valiant & Doom's confrontation scene in Jessica's dressing room, Eddie being chased out of the Toontown tunnel by the weasels as well as his shower with turpentine) actually were shot and fully animated. But due to studio concerns about "Roger Rabbit" 's tone (Many Disney execs felt that this Steven Spielberg co-production was 'way too dark for what was originally supposed to be a family-friendly film) and the movie's length, these scenes were eventually cut out of the picture.

But the good news is ... Those scenes that were cut out of the theatrical release of "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" eventually found their way into the 15th anniversary edition DVD for this film. So if you'd like to see more than just the image captures that I used to illustrate today's article, then I suggest that you pick up a copy of this disc.

Anyway ... That's a look at "Roger Rabbit" could have been like. So what do you folks think? Do you prefer the finished version of the picture, or would you like to have seen some of the excerpted elements from Jeffrey & Peter's screenplay folded into the film.

Your thoughts?

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  • I believe that the scenes were originally added to the televison broadcast of the movie quite some time ago.

  • I would have loved to have seen the funeral scene.  I just don't know if it would have fit tonally with the rest of the movie.

  • Thanks for bringing this article back up, Jim.  Enjoyed reading it as much or more than I did the first time around.  Roger Rabbit is just a fantastic film and would have loved to have seen these additional scenes included in the film.  The funeral scene would have been great with all those various toon characters, and Foghorn Leghorn giving the eulogy would have been hysterical!  Plus more Daffy & Donald banter at the Ink & Paint Club; who wouldn't enjoy that?  Too bad studio execs interfered once again instead of letting the filmmakers just do their job.  Just glad that these scenes did make it onto the dvd release of the film although, as Movieboy pointed out, I do recall seeing these on one of Roger Rabbit's early television broadcasts.  Hopefully, when this film has its eventual blu-ray release they will allow you to watch them reinserted into the film if you so choose.  The dvd release was very well done, so they'll need to go the extra mile to top it with their blu-ray release.

  • Movie funerals are always at the gravesite... I don't think I've ever seen a gravesite funeral in real life.

  • Look we all liked this article back in 2006  but , wheres the new stuff that was promised or continuation or conclusions of articles from long long ago???

  • Those scenes only made a really bad movie worse.


  • It would've been even more interesting if Felix the Cat, Popeye, Olive Oyl, Bluto, Tom & Jerry, Little Lulu, and Casper appeared in the film like originally intended. I just hope if a sequel gets made it will take place somewhere in the 1990's (1996 in particular) and that it will be a lot easier to use post-1947 characters (a few appeared in this like Marvin the Martian, Wile E. Coyote, Roadrunner, Mr. Toad, Tinkerbell, Speedy Gonzales, Maleficent's goons, and the penguin waiters) like post-1947 Disney (both theatrical and television), post-1947 Warner Bros. (both theatrical and television), UPA, Peanuts, Hanna-Barbera, Jay Ward, Total Television, Alvin and the Chipmunks, Nelvana, DiC, Film Roman, Universal, FOX, MTV, Nickelodeon, and Cartoon Network.

  • I forgot to mention DePatie-Freleng characters in characters to use in a Roger Rabbit sequel.

  • Also, if the film is took place in 1996, the only CGI characters that would be in it are Woody and Buzz Lightyear.

  • Movieboy, they showed the unedited version of the movie on TV in the '90s. The funeral scene would have been interesting. Elmer Fudd and Yosemite Sam were also supposed to appear as pallbearers, according to a script written and signed by Mel Blanc:


    The sequel I have read somewhere was going to be set in the '50s and feature cameos by Golden Age characters that didn't appear in the original film:

    Heckle and Jeckle, Mighty Mouse, Popeye, Bluto, Olive Oyl, Chip and Dale, Pepe Le Pew(?), Little Lulu and the Fleischer version of Superman.

    I would watch it if they gave Elmer Fudd a much bigger screen presence this one, as opposed to that brief cameo he had at the end of the original.

  • Hello. Beside's Elmer Fudd's cameo at the end, he appears in the Maroon Cartoon lot in the widescreen version of the film:


    I have read Popeye and Bluto would have appeared in Toontown meeting up with Valiant and fighting over who would pay for his drink:


  • I have never considered this a children's film.  I, fact, I don't think it ought to BE a "Children's Film."  This is a film for a new generation of moviegoers, the generation that saw Simba's father murdered, and a great deal of other darker, grittier filmmaking; and for Gawd Sakes, this is cartoon Film Noir!  It NEEDS to be darker and edgier to be believable!

    Those scenes from the original script--possibly excluding the "never seen a mole" exchange--would certainly give the film the necessary punch for audiences to believe it was actually filmed in the post-war heyday of Hollywood Animation.  In fact, even the "mole" scene would fall within MPAA limits these days.  They've actually "PG" rated brief full-frontal shots in certain contexts; so what the hell is wrong with verbal innuendo in a flick that was PG rated already?

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