This is a really great find, via Cartoon Brew and /Film. It’s an excerpt from an obscure Disney Channel series called Disney Studio Showcase that focuses on a very early version of Who Framed Roger Rabbit, with Paul Reubens (a.k.a. Pee-wee Herman) providing the voice of Roger. Producer Mike Giaimo, director Darrell van Citters, and producer Marc Sturdivant give host John Culhane a tour through their pre-production design concepts (including a Jessica Rabbit who’s a lot less sexy and a lot more cruel), and offer a sample of how they plan to blend the live-action and animated characters. There’s also a brief bit of rough animation of the original Roger Rabbit.
Here’s the eight-minute excerpt, as edited and restored by Garrett Gilchrist:
This Roger Rabbit looks a lot darker, and probably a lot less commercial, than the version Robert Zemeckis made in 1988. The Roger Rabbit that did get released is one of my favorite movies from the 1980s, and as cool as it is to hear Pee-wee Roger Rabbit, he doesn’t hold a candle to Charles Fleischer’s dynamic, obnoxious, soulful vocal performance. Still, I can’t deny I was slightly blown away by this glimpse of what could have been.