Who Framed Roger Rabbit was also a critical success and received positive reviews. Roger Ebert gave a positive review, predicting it would carry "the type of word of mouth that money can't buy. This movie is not only great entertainment but a breakthrough in craftsmanship." Janet Maslin of The New York Times commented that "although this isn't the first time that cartoon characters have shared the screen with live actors, it's the first time they've done it on their own terms and make it look real." Desson Thomson of The Washington Post considered Roger Rabbit to be "a definitive collaboration of pure talent. Zemeckis had Walt Disney Pictures' enthusiastic backing, producer Steven Spielberg's pull, Warner Bros.'s blessing, Canadian animator Richard Williams' ink and paint, Mel Blanc's voice, Jeffrey Price's and Peter S. Seaman's witty, frenetic screenplay, George Lucas' Industrial Light & Magic, and Bob Hoskins' comical performance as the burliest, shaggiest private eye."
In contrast, Richard Corliss, writing for Time, gave a mixed review. "The opening cartoon works just fine, but too fine. The opening scene upstages the movie that emerges from it," he said. Corliss was mainly annoyed by the homages to the Golden Age of American animation. Animation legend Chuck Jones made a rather scathing attack of the film in his book Chuck Jones Conversations. Among his complaints, Jones accused Robert Zemeckis of robbing Richard Williams of any creative input and ruining the piano duel that both he and Williams storyboarded.
As of October 2011, 46 reviews collected by review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes indicated 98% of reviewers enjoyed the film, earning an average score of 8.3/10. The consensus reads: "Who Framed Roger Rabbit is an innovative and entertaining film that features a groundbreaking mix of live action and animation, with a touching and original story to boot." Metacritic calculated an average score of 83, based on 15 reviews.
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