The following article first appeared on my original Jessica Rabbit Yahoo Group. It then appeared for a time on Wikipedia. The Jessica Rabbit and Roger Rabbit section of Wikipedia has severely changed and my article is heavily altered. The article was then part of my Jessica Rabbit Video Toonography. It's come to my attention that other sites have copied the origial article, are using my photos and videos. I do not have a problem with that. For a long time now, there have not been any websites for Jessica Rabbit fans excepts the ones I have created, so p-p-p-please bookmark this site to keep visiting IMNOTBAD.com - The Only Jessica Rabbit News Site and Photo Archive on the web.
My original article was as follows:
After the film, Jessica also appeared in the Roger Rabbit/Baby Herman shorts; Tummy Trouble as a nurse, Roller Coaster Rabbit as a damsel in distress and Trail Mix-Up as a park ranger. She also appeared frequently in the Roger Rabbit comic book series and she had her own feature in most issues of Roger Rabbit's Toontown such as Beauty Parlor Bedlam where she comes face to face with her female weasel counterpart Winnie.
With the success of the film and upon the opening of Disney’s MGM Studios on May 1, 1989, the film’s characters had great presence within the company. After taking the Backlot Tram Tour, various props decorated the streets. This is where you had two different photo opportunities with Jessica. For regular photos, a glittery cardboard cutout awaited you by a green brick wall and nearby, The Loony Bin photo shop allowed you to take pictures in costume standing next to an actual cartoon drawing of characters from the movie. There was also a plethora of merchandise such as t-shirts and the infamous Jessica Rabbit rub-on stickers called "pressers."
Disagreements between the Disney Company, Amblin Entertainment and Gary Wolf (jointly owning rights to the characters) made it difficult for any merchandise or projects to get off the ground and caused the halt of a short film Hare in my Soup and the next film Who Discovered Roger Rabbit. In this prequel, Roger meets his bride-to-be, Jessica Krupnick, who is not yet exactly the sultry toon we had come to know. A completed score by Alan Silvestri is said to exist as well as test footage and computer generated versions of the characters. Also cancelled was an animated TV series, which was replaced by a show called Bonkers about a feline cop. Many park attractions never got out of development, like Roger Rabbit's Hollywood and Baby Herman's Runaway Buggy.
In 2000, MGM Studios stopped using any character memorabilia in the park but some props are still present. Across from the Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular show, a Maroon Cartoon sign with Roger, Jessica and Baby Herman still remains.
Who Stole Jessica Rabbit
Conjoined with MGM Studios opening was that of Pleasure Island, Disney’s nightclub attraction and shopping area. Included was the Jessica’s store that featured nothing but Jessica Rabbit merchandise. From her own signature nightgowns and jewelry to shower curtains and beach towels, the Jessica’s store had it all. A giant two-sided neon Jessica sign with sequined dress and swinging leg sat atop the light purple colored building. A floor to ceiling windowed corner of the store allowed light to shine in during the day and a great fireworks view at night. Another corner of the store had a large stage door with Jessica’s name on it. There was a cardboard cutout of Jessica reclining above the cash register area and another of Jessica, Roger and Benny the Cab. Cast members wore regular uniforms and there were no special shopping bags or print material for the store other than mention in the Pleasure Island guide map where they invited people to visit this "torch singer’s boutique." The store was abruptly closed some time in 1993 only to rumor that Jessica was "too sexy" for Disney. The large neon Jessica sign was relocated to another area of the park along side a Pleasure Island Tonight! sign where it stayed for many years until it was removed in June of 2006.
In 1994, the Roger-based attraction Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin opened in a new Toontown section of the Disneyland park. This area was inspired by the Who Framed Roger Rabbit film and included, shops, character houses and rides. As part of the ride queue, passengers walk through the dark streets of Toon Town and see the shadows of Jessica and the Weasels walk by windows and hear their plot to kidnap her. There is also a glimpse of a complaining Baby Herman. On this entirely dark-light ride, you board Lenny the Cab, Benny’s cousin, and race through streets, back alleys and buildings. Jessica can first be seen in the beginning tied up in the trunk of Smart Ass Weasel's and then later with a giant mallet making her escape at the ride's end. Tokyo Disneyland also has a version of this ride and both are still very popular attractions.
In the early days of Toontown's opening, there was a fake magazine resting on an easy chair in Minnie Mouse's house entitled Jessica's Secret. An image of Jessica in pink overalls with a toolbox marks the Women's Room and you can hear special messages from Jessica by turning the dial on her mailbox in Disneyland’s Toontown Post Office:
- Oh, this is much better than playing patty cake.
- You really should drop me a line sometime. I’d like that.
- My mail’s not bad, it’s just written that way.
- I’m not bad, it’s my mail that is.
- Oh I hope I get some strong handsome mail today.
- My honey bunny Roger sends the cutest letters.
- Roger, darling, is that you? Come home and I’ll bake you a carrot cake.
Even with the success of the ride, Jessica and co. disappeared not too long after their big debut, leaving behind a multitude of confused and disappointed fans. Sporadic merchandise was produced, such as an embroidered baseball-style shirt, The Jessica Rabbit doll, a Classics Collection statue of the couple and a Jinglin’ Jessica and Merry Melodies Roger Christmas ornament set. However the 15th Anniversary Edition of Who Framed Roger Rabbit on DVD was a great tribute and long-awaited shot in the arm for the film and caused enough of a stir to revive these characters.
Relaxed, Refreshed, Reanimated
With the DVD release in 2003 and with the pin collecting craze already underway, Jessica herself made a splash with her Aloha, from Jessica pin, featuring the sultry toon in a bikini and grass skirt. It didn’t take long for people’s interest to be renewed and various pins were released each month, often selling out the same day. After time, a diverse array of Jessica pins were created featuring her playing sports, visiting New York City, dressed for various holidays and events and just being her "not bad" self with pins utilizing glitter accents, movement and multiple layers. These pins range from simple to elaborate.
The Nurses Association vs. Jessica Rabbit
A seemingly harmless hobby, some pins have become quite notable and notorious. One being the 2004 Nurses Day Jessica depicting Jessica dressed as a nurse from the Tummy Trouble short. Several complaints from the Nursing Association forced Disney to pull this pin off the store shelves. A very similar pin was released the year before and sold out within a few hours, however the 2004 pin included a Nurses Day logo.
An unnamed author of the Nursing Advocacy wrote: "At least 300 Nurses wrote to protest Disney's sultry Jessica Rabbit nurse pins..." "Within 48 hours of starting our campaign, Disney agreed to 'remove the pins from sale." "Therefore we are asking Disney to make amends to the profession by supporting activities to repair the harm that has been done to nursing's image."
Then-Executive Director, Sandy Summers, writes to Michael Eisner, "I am writing to urge you to end the sale of Disney's Jessica Rabbit 2004 Nurses Week pin and to refrain from 'honoring' nurses in the future with such pins. The sexually suggestive Jessica Rabbit pin, which reinforces the harmful 'naughty nurse' stereotype that has long plagued our profession, is not a good way to thank the skilled, hard-working nurses who are fighting a critical nursing shortage and associated short-staffing to save patients' lives." "In addition to retiring the Jessica Rabbit nurse pin, I encourage you to make amends to the nursing profession by supporting efforts to improve public understanding of the profession in a tangible way."
According to the Nursing Advocacy website, then-secretary David K Thompson of the Disney Company responded, "I hope you understand that no offense was intended in the release of the pin. Jessica Rabbit remains a very popular member of the Disney family of characters. Nonetheless, we understand your concern and have taken action to remove the pin from sale."
Upon the Associations call for a public apology, The Disney Company declined.
This Item Is Not Available
Another famous pin is the Jessica Movie Star Jumbo which features Jessica dressed as Marilyn Monroe (not to be confused with a similar Marilyn style pin released as part of the Jessica in Hollywood set on DisneyShopping.com). Being immediately dubbed the "Holy Grail" of Jessica pins, it was a limited edition of 100 and all were legitimately sold for $103 on Disney Auctions website. Days later, Disney sent out a statement to most bidders and claimed the pins were "not available" at the time of auction and that no one would be billed unless the pins arrive. Frantic pin buyers, who frequent such websites and DizPins and PinPics, banded together and contacted Disney cast members over several weeks by phone and email, only to be told the pins were "lost" and that no one would receive them. An attendee of the 2006 It All Started With Walt Pin Event photographed one of these pins as part of a prize package Disney was giving away, although that pin was an Artist Proof. This soon became a common occurrence with such pins said to be missing as Jessica Back to School and Jessica and Roger at the Beach, after bidding was complete. This may or may not be related to Disney Auctions closing in 2006.
Time To "TOON" In Again
The Disney Store in New York became the World Of Disney. Disney’s Catalog was discontinued and they also changed their website address three different times. Yet with all this controversy, Jessica fans saw merchandise continue to flow and as commonly as some of Disney's hottest characters; Stitch, Tinker Bell, and Maleficent. Disney began selling their precious pins on-line through Disney Shopping and listing them in the middle of the night. Many people quickly caught on and buyers were often disappointed to see Jessica pins, limited to 100 or 250, sold out by mid-morning.
More items soon followed such as a life-sized Big Figure, statues, shirts, snow globes and of course, pins. Disney Paris offered it's own character-accurate statue in 2006 while Tokyo Disney created dramatic and colorful stationery in 2007. Even Roger himself was not getting as much attention as his voluptuous wife, so it is now common to see him alongside his toon bride. By the close of 2006, the "goth-trendy" store Hot Topic became the first retail chain since 1988, other than Disney, to offer Jessica memorabilia and continued to surprise fans with edgy couture of this Disney diva.
Who Created Jessica Rabbit
- Richard Williams and Russell Hall were the main artists who brought Jessica to life in the film Who Framed Roger Rabbit.
- Mark Marderosian - Jessica’s Store sign, Jessica name license plate, various Jessica store merchandise
- Kent Melton - Classics Collection Statues "Dear Jessica, how do I love thee" and "I’m not bad, I’m just drawn that way." The Walt Disney Classics Collection piece "I’m not bad, I’m just drawn that way" was first in the Leading Ladies Series.
- Allison Lefcort - Jessica Rabbit "Femme Fatal" Painting
- Mark and Rita Dornan - Jessica and Roger Rabbit Markrita Pin Box Statue
- Glenn Winters - Walt Sent Me! Pin from the 'It All Started with ....Walt' Pin Event
- Eric Robison - Disney Auctions Eric Robison Portrait Series Roger and Jessica Rabbit
- Cody Reynolds - Jinglin’ Jessica ornament, Jessica Big Figures
- Jennifer Oliver - Millennium Pin, Disney Auctions Jessica 6 pin set 2004, Jessica and Roger Light-Up Snowglobe Frame Statue
- Lisa Temming - Jessica Rabbit Mattel Doll Designer
- Jim Licaretz - Jessica Rabbit Mattel Doll Sculptor
- Rachael Sur - Jessica Rabbit’s Room Hinged Jumbo Pin
- Store Operations Cast Member, Ashley Baer, won a contest for creating the Jessica and Roger pin entitled, He Makes Me Laugh.