Who Framed Roger Rabbit

Monday, December 9 - Rush line only
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1hr 44mins // directed by:Robert Zemeckis // featuring:Bob Hoskins, Christopher Lloyd, Charles Fleischer // 35mm

A hit with critics and audiences alike, director Robert Zemeckis’s 1988 film broke new ground with its seamless mix of live action and animation wizardry.

Based on classic LA private eye movies, Who Framed Roger Rabbit takes place in 1947 Hollywood, where gruff gumshoe Eddie Valiant (Bob Hoskins) agrees to take the case of Roger Rabbit, a zany, fast-talking cartoon star framed for the murder of Marvin Acme, gag factory mogul and owner of Toontown. The plot thickens as Eddie uncovers scandal after scandal and realizes the very existence of Toontown is at stake. In addition to intermingling cartoon characters with live actors and locations, Roger Rabbit also unites the greatest array of cartoon stars in the history of motion pictures, including Betty Boop, Bugs Bunny, Mickey Mouse, Daffy Duck, Woody Woodpecker, Tweety Bird, and more

The suspension of disbelief and the normal laws of physics has been part of animated cartoons almost from the beginning. The reason is simple. As Roger explains in the film, cartoons are allowed to bend or break natural laws for the purposes of comedy. In other words, it makes us laugh.

In a classic example of cartoon physics, a cartoon character runs or dives over a cliff and hovers in midair until he looks down. Only when he realizes he is suspended over empty space do the rules of gravity take over, and he plummets to the ground. Other examples abound. Cartoon characters are capable of jumping straight into the air when poked in the rump. A character sent flying through a window leaves an exact silhouette. Holes are movable. Objects can be in several places at once.

Join us before the film as Harvard University Physics Chair Melissa Franklin talks about how cartoon physics deviate from our own laws of physics – and what happens when you start separating cartoon characters from their natural setting and vice versa.

That’s all folks!

About the Speaker

Melissa Franklin is the Mallinckrodt Professor of Physics at Harvard University and Chair of the Department of Physics. She is an experimental particle physicist who studies proton-proton collisions produced by Large Hadron Collider. She has worked on the Collider Detector at Fermilab since 1983. She is also a collaborator on the ATLAS experiment where she works in collaboration with more than 3,000 physicists. She is currently studying the properties of the Higgs boson. Professor Franklin, born and raised in Canada, received her B.Sc. from the University of Toronto and her doctorate from Stanford University.