Roger Rabbit is the titular deuteragonist and a frantic over-anxious type who often stutters while screaming. The character first appeared in the book, Who Censored Roger Rabbit? by Gary K. Wolf, which was adapted into the 1988 Academy-Award winning film, Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Mixing both live action and animation to create a believable "toon" universe, Disney studios set up an animation studio in Camden Town, London, whilst the live action was shot at Elstree film studios. Both the animation and live action were then composited by ILM fx studios in LA. In the book, Roger is a sidekick in a popular comic strip called "Baby Herman", his murder is being investigated by a detective named Eddie Valiant and a slowly evaporating stunt doppelganger of himself that he created hours before being shot. In the film version, he is re-envisioned as a 1940's character in animated cartoons and a resident of the fictional Los Angeles enclave, Toontown. He is framed for a murder and seeks out Valiant to help clear his name. In the film, the voice of Roger is performed by comedian Charles Fleischer, who was known for electing to wear an actual rabbit costume on the set to get into the role. One of his famous traits is his voice, "P-b-b-b-b-bleeeease!". He is a white clownish rabbit with a gap between his front teeth, a voice that resonates of Huntz Hall in "The Bowery Boys", a blue Porky Pig-like bowtie with yellow polka dots, a red-haired Bugs Bunny-like head with blue eyes, a pink nose and round-tipped ears, red Oswald the Lucky Rabbit-like pants with a green patch behind and yellow Mickey Mouse-like gloves.
Roger has been known to become very loud when he drinks alcoholic beverages, making a piercing steam-whistle noise that is loud enough to shatter any glass objects nearby. Afterward, his mood swings violently.
Roger also starred in a comic book series from April 1990 to September 1991 and a spin-off series called Roger Rabbit's Toontown, published from June to October 1991, which featured Roger in the first story and supporting characters like Jessica Rabbit (Roger's voluptuous humanoid wife), Baby Herman (his co-star in Maroon Cartoons), Benny the Cab (Roger's taxicab friend), and The Weasels (Roger's enemies).
In the 1989 ABC special, Mickey's 60th Birthday, Mickey Mouse is punished by a sorcerer for his conceited, "everybody loves me" attitude with a curse which results in no-one knowing who he is. Mickey must now wander the real world as an unknown, until he finally learns humility. After the curse is lifted, Roger Rabbit rediscovers Mickey, and is hailed as a hero.
Disney and Amblin Entertainment attempted to resurrect Roger for a sequel. However, a preliminary budget was deemed too large and the film never got past the script stage. Several 3D CGI tests and a 3D CGI rendering of Roger were completed, however, despite the fact that no actual footage was actually shot or completed. However, Frank Marshall, the producer of the first film, told MTV in late 2007 that he would be open to any plans to bring the Roger sequel back in the works.
Roger Rabbit was originally going to be the star of the animated series now known as Bonkers. However, because of copyright conflicts between Amblin and Disney, the show was forced to create original characters.
Roger Rabbit made his footprints and handprints with his signature phrase "P-p-p-p-lease" (pucker and bubble bottom lip) in front of the Chinese theatre at Disney's Hollywood Studios on its opening day along with Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Minnie Mouse, and Goofy.
Roger is also the inspiration for a popular dance move in the early 1990s, called "the Roger Rabbit" due to the floppy movements of the character.
Roger Rabbit is a popular character at Disneyland and Tokyo Disneyland, both of which contain identical versions of the Roger Rabbit's Car Toon Spin attraction, which opened in 1994 in a new Toon Town section of the park, inspired by the Who Framed Roger Rabbit film and included shops, character houses and rides. As part of the ride's queue area, passengers walk through the dark streets of Toontown and see the shadows of Jessica and the Weasels walk by windows and hear their plot to kidnap her. On this entirely dark-light ride, you board Lenny the Cab (Benny’s twin cousin) and race through streets, alleys and buildings.
Roger also appeared at other Walt Disney Parks and Resorts as a meetable character during the early years of his career. Until 1999, Roger could be seen at the Magic Kingdom as the music conductor in the park's nighttime parade, SpectroMagic. Currently, Roger continues to appear at Tokyo Disneyland as a meetable character.
However, (with the exceptions of rare, infrequent appearances, including at Disney's Pop Century Resort and various merchandising items) he's hardly heard of at Walt Disney World, Disneyland Resort Paris and Hong Kong Disneyland.
Also, Roger Rabbit appears in the Disneyland Fun sing-along video and in other 1990s Disney television specials.