Who Framed Roger Rabbit and the car industry

Project:Overshoot TV (General issues)
Component:Video material
Category:feature request
Project wiki:Video and Documentary Projects

One of the major plot device in the 1988 Disney cartoon Who Framed Roger Rabbit is a crazy, corrupted industrialist who purchases the LA streetcar company, and wants to destroy Toontown in order to build a freeway and make a huge profit with all the connected industries (gas stations, motels, fastfood restaurants, etc.)

In a big way, this is actually what happened in the US in the mid 20th century.



The subplot involving "Cloverleaf" was the planned story for the third chapter of a Chinatown trilogy (the trilogy was abandoned following the failure of 1990's The Two Jakes). [1] Price and Seaman said that "the Red Car plot, suburb expansion and urban political corruption really did happen," Price stated. "In Los Angeles, during the 1940s, car and tire companies teamed up against the Pacific Electric Railway system and brought them out of business. Where the freeway runs in Los Angeles is where the Red Car used to be."


One of the themes in the film pertains to the dismantling of public transportation systems by private companies who would profit from an automobile transportation system and freeway infrastructure. Near the end of the film, Judge Doom reveals his plot to destroy Toon Town to make way for the new freeway system. This is an indirect historical reference to the dismantling of public transportation trolley lines by National City Lines during the 1930s. The name of Doom's company, Cloverleaf Industries, is a reference to a common freeway-ramp configuration-- an image of which was prominently displayed in the opening credit sequence of 'The Wonderful World of Disney'.