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When author Gary Wolf wrote Who Censored Roger Rabbit?, no thought was given to a possible film sale, since the book's premise seemed so obviously unfilmable. After all, an author can do anything on the written page; to bring Roger to the screen, a method would have to be devised to enable cartoon characters to live and work in the real world on a scale never before attempted. They would have to open real doors, cast shadows, bump into people, pick up objects and maintain eye contact with human actors. Ideally, it should look as though Bugs Bunny and Mickey Mouse had been hired to appear in a live-action movie. In other words, in order to make a movie of Gary Wolf's novel, his fantasy premise had to become reality.

As a youngster, Wolf was a voracious reader of comics. In later life as a writer, he decided that he wanted to do something that reflected his interest in comics. "I did a lot of research on cartoons and the nature of cartoon characters themselves," Wolf explains. "I looked at the things about cartoon characters that nobody ever really paid I attention to. For instance, what happens to a cartoon character when he gets all squashed up and stuffed in a trombone? What would that do to a cartoon character, if he happens to be real?
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