“Holy smokes, he’s a Toon”
Fifth in my Childhood Villains series is the sinister, screeching Judge Doom from ‘Who Framed Roger Rabbit?’ (1988) as portrayed by the fantastic Christopher Lloyd.
I grew up on steady diet of old Warner and Fleischer Brothers cartoons so I loved seeing all the old cartoon characters in the same film when I was a kid. I still think it’s a funny and wonderfully made film. 20 years later it still makes you wonder “How did they do that?” which is lacking in anything computer generated nowadays.
With the exception of Moominpapa, all the villains in this series are supposed to be scary and I think they only do their job right if they do freak us out a little. Judge Doom is a stern figure throughout most of the film, but it’s only after he’s flattened by a stray steamroller that he’s revealed as a Toon in human disguise. There’s a section of stop motion animation of the flat Judge Doom getting to his feet and wobbling over to an air pump to blow himself back up again. The slightly jerky animation adds to the freakishness of this scene and when followed by the high pitched, red eyed reveal of the real Judge Doom, it creates a wonderfully frightening villain.
I wish Christoper Lloyd was in more films these days.
Next week: The Wheelers!
Tags: childhood villains