18 June 2008

What a great toon

Throughout Walt Disney World there are stories, and details from stories, and details that tell a story, but never has there been a more complete story told than with this stunt vehicle and two framed pictures. Located in a tucked away corner of Disney’s Hollywood Studios’ Backlot Express, these pieces of cinema history tell the story of Who Framed Roger Rabbit’s crabby cabby, Benny the Cab.

Benny the Cab was a mesh of stunt vehicle effects and animation. The process of shooting the Benny the Cab scenes were stressful, especially for Bob Hoskins who had to act and react to the animated Benny and Roger characters, who were not present, all while pretending to drive. That’s right, pretending to drive. Readers with eagle-eyes may notice that behind Bob Hoskins brownish’ seat is another seat, lower and with a more orange tone. This seat was reserved for Charles (Charlie) Croughwell, a stunt driver who would don a completely black jumpsuit and hood before taking to the wheel as Benny the Cab. A vague outline of Charles’ head can be seen behind Bob Hoskins in the photograph.

Even without research, this corner of Backlot Express tells the story of how the effect of Benny the Cab was built, layered, and executed. From expert driving, finessed acting, and well-placed strokes of animation, Benny was given life instead of just simply being a stripped-down stunt vehicle. So, don’t forget when you’re looking up, down, and all around that sometimes the story is right before your eyes.

5 comments:

Craig Wheeler said...

Great detail. I haven't seen this before.

Biblioadonis aka George said...

Great catch...

-- Ryan P. Wilson said...

For those of you in search of Benny, the vehicle and photographs are off to the left of the registers, along a partition between the dining areas.

Princess Fee said...

I feel ashamed - WFRR is one of my favourite Disney/Touchstone movies and I've never noticed this before - AND it's one of my favourite food joints!!
Gonna add it to my 'must see' list in September! :)

Andy said...

Another reason to spend even more time there - I walked right past it before...