Also known as: Roger Rabbit: Trail Mix-Up (alternative title)
Release Date: March 12th, 1993
Directed by: Barry Cook
Written by: Rob Minkoff, Barry Cook, Mark Kausler, Patrick A. Ventura
Music by: Bruce Broughton
Cast: Charles Fleischer, Kathleen Turner, Lou Hirsch, April Winchell, Corey Burton, Frank Welker
Amblin Entertainment, Walt Disney Pictures, Buena Vista Pictures, 8 Minutes
“Jeepers Baby Herman, you had me worried. I almost dropped a log back there.” – Roger Rabbit
Like the two Roger Rabbit shorts before this one, Trail Mix-Up was paired with a theatrically released Disney film. In the case of this short, it played before 1993’s A Far Off Place, which was a safari movie starring a young Reese Witherspoon and Maximilian Schell, who I know best from his role as the villainous Dr. Hans Reinhardt from 1979’s The Black Hole.
This short feels like a step up from the previous one, as the art looks better with more emphasis on shadows and shading and it felt a bit more fluid.
Additionally, I liked the setting and the gags in this one better, as it sees Roger chasing Baby Herman through the woods and ultimately ends up in a dangerous lumber mill.
However, this one was probably cheaper to produce as it doesn’t feature live-action elements like the previous two and the 1988 feature film. They try to play that off with some art trickery at the end, where it sort of breaks the fourth wall but it does so without actual human actors.
Overall, this was more of the same but when “the same” is a good formula, why change it too much?
Pairs well with: other Roger Rabbit shorts, as well as the fill-length Who Framed Roger Rabbit.