While the main draw of the “The Backlot Express” is its burgers and chicken nuggets, there’s more to this Disney’s Hollywood Studios quick service restaurant than just what’s on the menu. Themed to look like a collection of studio workshops and offices, the dining rooms are littered with all kinds of movie props. Tucked away in one corner is a nondescript black go-kart-like vehicle. However, the pair of pictures hanging up behind it explains its previous life: on-set stand-in for Benny the Cab, the toon taxi from “Who Framed Roger Rabbit.”
The 1988 blockbuster, released under Disney’s Touchstone Pictures label, wowed audiences with its elaborate combination of animation and live action. One memorable scene involved human Detective Eddie Valiant, portrayed by Bob Hoskins, and toon fugitive Roger Rabbit ride in an animated cab during a wild car chase through LA.
In order to accomplish this, director Robert Zemeckis first filmed Hoskins riding in this bare-bones vehicle on location with a stunt driver hidden in the back. Then that footage was shipped to London where animation director Richard Williams and his crew would essentially draw Benny the Cab over the on-set vehicle. Although it was never seen on screen, this prop played a vital part in bringing the animated world of Roger Rabbit to life.
What’s your favorite place to grab a quick meal at Disney’s Hollywood Studios? Let me know in the comments section!