Hey there, Drinkers!
Sorry for the long delay but the anniversary of our nation’s founding threw my schedule a little out of whack. But with the 4th safely behind us, I thought it was high time we celebrate another anniversary: the 25th release anniversary of Who Framed Roger Rabbit while sipping on Port Brewing’s (10th?) Anniversary Ale. So let’s get celebrating, shall we?!
25 years ago, Robert Zemekis and Steven Spielberg released the incomparable, technically-stunning Who Framed Roger Rabbit. For the unfortunate ones who have not seen this film, it’s essentially a 1940’s noir set in a fictional Hollywood in which cartoons are real. It’s a bit of an odd concept (one originally created in the form of a novel actually) but the murder mystery that drives the film is quite clear and easily understood, so the film remains grounded and on-course despite its inherent zaniness. In fact, the noir story in and of itself is quite compelling. The murder mystery is captivating and well-paced and the subplot regarding the reconfiguration of Los Angeles travel (the birth of freeways) is also well-integrated. Moreover, what I learned only a few years ago, the film is a purposeful parable and critique of Los Angeles gentrification and minority-community dispersal. In the film, greedy men and studios wheel and deal to remove Toon Town and remake Los Angeles in their image. In the real world, the creation of the now-infamous LA freeway system split and destroyed historically African-American communities that are still reeling from the negative impact to this day.
Aside from a strong story with a pertinent subtext, Who Framed Roger Rabbit is simply an excellent example of great filmmaking. From a technical standpoint, the hybrid of live-action and hand-drawn animation (no CGI here, folks!) is simply incredible. The forethought in the scene-blocking, the complete dedication of the acting…it’s all truly remarkable. Not to mention that the animation is simply just good. It feels like a classic Looney Toon cartoon! From a world-detail standpoint, everything we see on-screen feels like it belongs in the world. The period-setting is accurately done and the cartoon elements feel about as real as they should be. It would have been easier (and probably cheaper) to say “ah it’s just cartoons so no one will really care anyway” but fortunately, that was not the case. The detail of what we see lends such authenticity to the story that you can’t help but love the film more. Third, from a business standpoint, seeing Warner Bros and Disney character side-by-side on film is really remarkable. I don’t know how those deals got made but I’m just impressed. And finally, the film is just really damn funny. Aside from all the easy toon-related gags, there’s a good amount of subtle or below-the-radar humor that I’ve only picked up on from having seen the movie many (MANY) times. Also, being an Los Angeles resident also lends a little bit of humor to the mix, as the film relentless pokes fun at the modern day city. How about them Brooklyn Dodgers?!
So in case you haven’t picked up on it already, I really love this film. As a kid, as an adult, as a film-student, as an Angeleno…everything about this movie is truly wonderful. Go watch it!. It’s on Netflix.
Seriously, go now.
Oh and the bad guy Judge Doom is still terrifying. Just FYI.
And while not “zany,” I have to say that Port Brewing’s Anniversary Ale was quite the treat. Released every spring and summer, this year’s iteration of the Anniversary Ale is a super-hopped strong pale ale. Yes, “strong” is actually a type of beer. Pouring a hazy golden orange reminiscent of summer wheats, this beer smacks you with powerful hoppiness and a mild-mannered head. There are also hints of sweet citrus in there but you’ll most get those once you take a sip. Despite the hefty 10% ABV, the beer does not come off as too boozy. Rather, you’re hit again with that strong hoppy flavor accompanied with notes of grapefruit and a little bit of grain. All of those flavors mellow out as it warms, so this one I’d suggest you don’t let sit out too long. But other than that, it’s actually quite easy to drink if you like hops. And finally, I think I could classify the texture or mouthfeel as chewy and/or sticky. Neither of those words make a beer sound appealing but it’s actually a pretty accurate description for how the beer feels on your tongue (hence it’s called mouthfeel). The Port Brewing website also describes the beer this way, so I’m not completely out of my mind. But overall, this is a very good beer that I’d recommend to any hop-head.
So there you have it, Drinkers. Another successful adventure! What better way to relax like an adult than with cartoons and beer? A seriously good movie for all audiences and a great beer for the educated drinker. I think I’ll be enjoying both again in the future.
Who Framed Roger Rabbit:
-Amazing technical feat
-Captivating story with real-world touchstones
(and yes I realized I missed many “hoppy” pun opportunities. sue me.)