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Thread: RIP Richard Williams (Roger Rabbit animator)

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2017
    Nottingham, UK

    Default RIP Richard Williams (Roger Rabbit animator)

    Not quite a famous name as such, but the Canadian-born animator Richard Williams who worked on the film Who Framed Roger Rabbit, has died aged 86 in Bristol - ironically enough, a city associated with animation courtesy of Nick Park's Aardman Animations, maker of Creature Comforts and of course Wallace and Gromit. Ironically, I had a videotape which had the Channel 4 premiere of Creature Comforts and the Wallace and Gromit animation A Grand Day Out along with some associated documentaries with them, and I had actually taped over them with the premiere of Who Framed Roger Rabbit (no question mark, I see...)

    Despite not being too well-known, I have decided to give Williams a mention on here because of his work on the Roger Rabbit film, and his efforts to allow Mickey Mouse and Bugs Bunny to share scenes in the film, despite the probable "Red Tape" rivalry between the cartoon characters' "agents" of Disney and Warner Brothers respectably. Even Woody Woodpecker and Betty Boop made cameos as well thanks to the efforts of Williams. He helped prove the late Bob Hoskins that "it's good to talk" to the animated images if they were fellow actors, and without using the telephone as well as Hoskins did a few years later on behalf of British Telecom.

    I first saw the Roger Rabbit film when it was a Saturday evening movie premiere on ITV at 7.15 pm on Saturday 28th November 1992. Of course, Saturday evening autumn schedules in 1992 were really as full they were back then - I had to miss that week's edition of Bruce Forsyth's Generation Game which also started at 7.15 pm, and I also had to miss Casualty which was on after that, so I could see the film when they both ended at 9.05 pm - I was both recording and watching the film, hence missing what was on BBC 1 that Saturday evening. Meanwhile, it was really great to see real-life action "rubbing shoulders" with cartoon characters which even in 1988 when the film was made seemed like a huge advance in film and animation technology. Even Bugs Bunny appeared in a Weetabix advert during one of the Central region ad breaks of that showing of the film. - remember the closed bracket otherwise the link will not work properly.
    Telling it almost exactly like it was so many years later - and proud of doing so!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2009

    Default Re: RIP Richard Williams (Roger Rabbit animator)

    Sad news, I really like Who Framed Roger Rabbit.

    I saw it in the cinema when it was first out, & a few times on TV before buying it on DVD.

    The mixing of live action & animation was mind blowing when I first saw it, & still looks good today.

    I remember mentioning in another site last year that it was made in a sweet spot where the technology was good enough it make it work & many of the personnel from the golden age of animation were still around to work on it. A few years later many had passed on & the use of CGI would have been obtrusive.
    The Trickster On The Roof

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