Who Framed Roger Rabbit is a “story of greed, sex, and murder” and cartoons! That sounds like one entertaining movie, huh? “You’d better believe it, buster.” Here’s the scenario: a cartoon rabbit named Roger, whose whole purpose in life is to make people laugh, has been accused of murder and the only guy who can clear Roger Rabbit’s name and save him from a vat of Judge Doom’s Dip is a booze-drinking, toon-hating, private investigator named Eddie Valiant. Think film noir but with cartoons. And boy, does this have cartoons! This movie is jammed-packed with animated stars. There’s Mickey Mouse and Bugs Bunny (Sharing the screen!), Donald Duck and Daffy Duck (Also together.), Betty Boop, Droopy, Woody Woodpecker, and many more familiar faces. But as much as I adore all the cameos, my favorite Toon in this film is Roger. I was crazy about the guy before the opening cartoon even had a chance to end.
This film jumps straight into a Maroon Cartoon starring Roger Rabbit and Baby Herman called Somethin’s Cookin’. When Baby Herman’s mother goes out, she leaves her son in Roger’s care. (And threatens to send Roger back to the science lab if he doesn’t take good care of Baby Herman.) Now this wouldn’t be much of a cartoon if Roger was a perfect babysitter and Baby Herman didn’t get in any trouble, so of course Baby Herman escapes from his playpen as soon as Mrs. Herman is gone. He sees a full cookie jar sitting atop the refrigerator and heads straight for it. Baby Herman makes his way through the dangerous kitchen unscathed and gets himself a golden, crinkly cookie, but Roger doesn’t fare as well and ends up with the refrigerator on his head.
Recipe makes about 20 peanut butter crinkle cookies
½ cup shortening
½ cup peanut butter
½ cup sugar, plus more for rolling cookies
½ cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 ¼ cups flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
¾ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl.
In a stand mixer on medium speed, beat the shortening, peanut butter, and sugars until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Add the egg and the vanilla. Gradually add the dry ingredients and mix until combined.
Shape the dough into rounded tablespoon sized balls. Roll the dough balls in sugar and place on parchment-lined baking sheets.
Bake until cookies are golden, 10-12 minutes.
Remove the cookie sheets from the oven and allow the cookies to cool for 5 minutes before moving them to a wire rack to cool completely. Now you can fill up that cookie jar!
Baby Herman looks awfully happy to get that cookie. Sure he’s just acting, but he’s believable. I remember how shocked I was to see his true self when I watched this movie for the first time. He’s not really a sweet baby, so I wasn’t much of a fan. But my love for Roger only grew as the movie went on. He and all of the other cartoon characters were brought to life so perfectly in a live-action film, I really believed that the Toons and humans acted together. (It was tough for me to accept that Roger didn’t exist in “real life.”) But even if Roger isn’t “real,” the laughs he’s given me are. And “a laugh can be a very powerful thing. Why, sometimes in life, it’s the only weapon we have.”
Tune in next week for more Cartoon Cravings!