Who Framed Roger Rabbit turned out to be a milestone in film history, but it was incredibly challenging to bring to the screen. Director Robert Zemeckis was fearless in his approach to the technique. If a toon sat in a chair, the dust had to rise. If a toon stepped out of the shower, you had to see the wet footprints. Bob chose the brilliant Richard Williams to direct the animation on the show, and Don Hahn spent two years living in London as the film’s associate producer.
After four months shooting, two years animating, and an aggressive post-production period at Industrial Light and Magic, the movie had its world premiere at Radio City Music Hall in the summer of 1988. With a worldwide box office total of $329.8 million, it was the second highest grossing film of that year, and twentieth highest grossing film of all time upon release. Critics cheered the film as a technical breakthrough, and a revival of of interest in American animation steeped in the traditions of Chuck Jones, Tex Avery, Max Fleisher, and Walt Disney.
Nominated for six Academy Awards, Who Framed Roger Rabbit won four, for Sound Editing, Visual Effects, and Film editing, as well as a special Oscar for Richard Williams.