Is Ready Player One the New Roger Rabbit? | NowThis Nerd

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Is Ready Player One the New Roger Rabbit? | NowThis Nerd

Hi everybody, I’m Moose, and I don’t think I would consider ‘Infinity War’ “the most ambitious crossover event in history.” Wow. Everyone’s from the same company. I mean, do you consider ‘Space Jam’ a crossover? Pardon me, Mr. Jordan, can I have your auto-g-g-g- ‘Ready Player One’ feels a little closer, like dumping out all your action figures and having Luke Skywalker fight Carnage. But, when I think of incredible crossovers, of immortal icons impossibly occupying the same screen, The first thing that comes to my mind is ‘Who Framed Roger Rabbit.’ It shares the same Spielbergian source code as ‘Ready Player One, and, well, we know ‘Roger Rabbit’ is amazing. Thanks! I needed that! Since ‘Ready Player One’ is getting rave reviews too, today I want to look at the similarities between them, and ask what could be the most important question of our time: Is Ready Player One the New Roger Rabbit? Let’s start at the source, because both of these films are Based on Weird-Ass Books Look, a lot of people are dismissing ‘Ready Player One’ based on the source novel, and hey– I liked it. I really dug the concept, the plot, the sheer enthusiasm. But let’s face it: You don’t read Ernest Cline for deep characterization and gut-wrenching prose. If you’ve got the e-book, do a control-F search for the word ‘classic.’ he uses it 32 times to describe all the references he drops, instead of, y’know, actually telling us why all these ‘80s icons are so awesome. Classic mixup! Classic! Driving drunk… Classic. For example: ‘The Vonnegut was a heavily modified Firefly-class transport vessel,
modeled after the Serenity in the classic Firefly TV series’ Then, 30 pages later: Shoto’s vessel was a large interplanetary trawler named the Kurosawa, modeled
after a ship called the Bebop in the classic anime series Cowboy Bebop And it goes on like this! Just say why they’re so cool! Because it’s slick and stylish like ‘Cowboy Bebop, or because it’s heartfelt and hilarious like ‘Serenity,’ not ‘classic.’ Hey, you wanna run this ship? Yes. Well… You can’t. Look, when ‘Ready Player One’ came out in 2012, we weren’t quite as inundated with remakes, reboots, and desperate attempts to cash in on our nostalgia. I’ll be back. What? But in a post ‘member berries world, it’s hard to read without cringing just a little bit. ‘Member Chewbacca again? I love to ‘member Chewbacca! Still, the seeds of a great movie are in there! The virtual OASIS offers limitless possibilities for action and spectacle, and the thrilling treasure-hunt is tailor-made for a big, satisfying summer blockbuster. Besides, if history has shown us anything, it’s that the source material doesn’t always tell you a lot about the adaptation. Believe it or not, ‘Roger Rabbit’ was based on a book, a 1981 mystery by Gary Wolf called ‘Who Censored Roger Rabbit?’ It’s got almost nothing to do with the movie. For one thing, the toons in the book are all comic strip characters like ‘Hagar the Horrible’ and ‘Beetle Bailey,’ when they speak, their words appear in speech balloons above their head. It’s not exactly cinematic. For the movie, Disney and Spielberg dumped the comic concept, and pretty much the entire plot, and replaced it with a ‘Chinatown’-esque noir film set in the golden age of animation. Only two lines survived from the book: Baby Herman’s “My problem is I’ve got a 50-year-old lust and a 3-year-old dinky” And Jessica’s iconic “I’m not bad. I’m just drawn that way”, ‘Roger Rabbit’ is a movie that transcends its weird source material to become something greater, and I know Spielberg can do the same with ‘Ready Player One.’ I mean, just look at ‘Jaws.’ Peter Benchley’s book was a trashy beach read, it had boring subplots with the mob and an icky affair between Richard Dreyfuss and Brody’s wife. Spielberg cut away the bullshit until only the pure, compelling narrative remained. From ‘Jurassic Park’ to ‘Minority Report,’ the man’s an adaptation expert, even if and maybe because they aren’t faithful, and If anyone can make an incredible movie out of ‘RPO,’ it’s him. or, if he’s unavailable… Then get me his non-union Mexican equivalent! Listen, Senor Spielbergo, I want you to do for me what Spielberg did for Oskar Schindler! He’s the only human alive who could pull off two crossovers of this magnitude. I mean, who else could Wrangle the Rights? During the pre-production of ‘Roger Rabbit,’ Disney ran into a huge problem: The movie needs to have cartoons spanning all of Hollywood history. It couldn’t just be Mickey and the gang, because then it would just be ‘Kingdom Hearts.’ Ohh, Goofy… They’ll pay for this. But when Disney came looking for the rights, the studios that owned the other characters either refused their requests, or demanded boatloads of money. That’s when they called in Spielberg, who, thank god, is a massive animation geek. I think all directors should be animators first, because you can really take the imagination and become something tangible, something you can hold in your hand and say ‘Can you see this? No? Well, I can.’ He played a huge part in bringing the art-form back to prominence in the ‘80s and ‘90s. From producing ‘An American Tale’ with Don Bluth, to single-handedly reviving Warner Brothers’ animation department. Who are you people? You can thank Spielberg for ‘Tiny Toons,’ ‘Animaniacs,’ ‘Batman,’ and ‘Freakazoid!’ Hey you guys in there! You wanna watch my show? There we go. We did it. We finally mentioned Freakazoid. Insert an unrelated Freakazoid joke here. And now, a shot of a busy freeway: Now, Spielberg didn’t direct ‘Roger Rabbit,’ That was ‘Back to the Future’s’ Bob Zemeckis. But as producer, his most important role was getting the other studios to play ball. Spielberg convinced them to license out their toons for a ridiculously cheap price of $5,000 per character. Just think about how insane that is, I couldn’t license ‘Cow and Chicken’ for five grand! Never? Never! Never? They came with some restrictions, though. In the final film, the biggest stars are always together in the frame, like Donald and Daffy’s piano duel, or Mickey and Bugs’ bizarre skydiving scene. Aw, poor fella! That’s because, in their contract, Warner Brothers insisted that
the Looney Tunes have equal screen time as Disney characters. Now, some studios still had the stones to straight-up stymie Spielberg, which is why you don’t see Tom and Jerry or Popeye or Little Lulu or Casper in the final film. But overall, ‘Roger Rabbit’ is an extremely impressive feat, one I never thought we’d see again in today’s mega-corporate Hollywood. But hey, I thought John Cena vs. the Rock was once in a lifetime, and they had a rematch the next year. For ‘Ready Player One,’ Spielberg came out swinging. For one thing, between Warner Bros. and his own Amblin Entertainment, they’ve already got the rights to a ton of characters referenced in the novel. And given the success of the book, it wasn’t hard to convince other studios to jump on board.. Even video game publishers wanted in, Although, again, sacrifices had to be made. They had to replace Ultraman with the Iron Giant, and while I’m happy to see him again, didn’t he like, choose not to be a mindless weapon of death and destruction? It’s okay, it’s okay… We gotta show them you’re good! Instead of stomping through a CGI battlefield blasting people with reckless abandon? I dunno if Brad Bird would approve, but still, he’s a pretty good get, but he’s small potatoes compared to ‘Star Wars’ I’m sure you are! Not even the House of Mouse can refuse Spielberg, most likely because they really wanna get that new Indiana Jones movie off the ground for whatever reason. And it’s pretty much confirmed we’re at least gonna see an X-wing or two. Although Disney did draw the line at their Marvel characters. And, honestly, with ‘Infinity War’ coming out just a few weeks later, I think I’m all set. The OASIS would be pretty damn sparse without Spielberg, and Toontown’s population would be pathetic. Studios hate sharing with their precious IP, but with Spielberg, they knew it was in good hands. That wasn’t always the case, though. ‘Roger Rabbit’ and ‘Ready Player One’ have one more thing in common: A lot of people had their Doubts. Disney hated ‘Roger Rabbit,’ P-p-p-p-p-lease!!! CEO Michael Eisner and Roy Disney were horrified about how dark and risque the film turned out. And that’s before they found out about the animators sneaking in subliminal nudity! After disastrous test screenings, they demanded changes, but Zemeckis had final cut privileges and refused to alter a single frame. As a result, Disney decided released it under their more adult ‘Touchstone Films’ banner. And, surprise, the movie was a huge success, But because they chickened out at the last minute, ‘Roger Rabbit’ isn’t really considered part of the Disney canon. The bigwigs wouldn’t give it a chance, and it’s their loss. The same way a lot of people don’t want to give ‘RPO’ a chance, people who dismiss it a shallow nostalgia circlejerk. And, having read the book, they kind of have a point. But if look you beyond Ernest Cline’s bad writing and awkward name-dropping, it’s obvious that he really, truly loves the ‘classics,’ and that his passion shines through on every page. ‘Ready Player One’ and ‘Roger Rabbit’ are about breaking down the walls between reality and fiction, between people and pop culture, and between characters you never dreamed would ever meet. If ‘Roger Rabbit’ is any indication, Spielberg will be able to look past all the references, discover a story worth the spectacle, and find the heart at the core of ‘Ready Player One’ Thanks so much for watching! What characters are you most excited to see in RPO Leave a comment below, and as
always subscribe to NowThis NERD!


Christopher Stacchini · March 27, 2018 at 8:00 pm


jaber albasri · March 27, 2018 at 8:02 pm


NowThis Nerd · March 27, 2018 at 8:03 pm

Thanks for watching, nerds! Are you guys hype for 'Ready Player One,' or are you firmly in the camp that it's mindless nostalgia-bait? Let us know!

Ryan Carless · March 27, 2018 at 8:05 pm

Roger Rabbit is the best! I want more animated films like it! Zootopia was the closest to that epic movie!👍

jaber albasri · March 27, 2018 at 8:06 pm

The book is Sooo good that i dont even think the movie will do it justice

Fnaf plushies and friends · March 27, 2018 at 8:20 pm


mr miles 167 · March 27, 2018 at 8:24 pm

i am a 8th commenter

El Vista 665 · March 27, 2018 at 8:39 pm

VR chat the movie looks good

Chandasouk · March 27, 2018 at 8:42 pm

The book any good? I heard it has interesting themes but can be heavy on pop culture references?

pete · March 27, 2018 at 8:42 pm

Oh lady!!!

pete · March 27, 2018 at 8:43 pm

I love freakazoid. He is the internet!

nig nog · March 27, 2018 at 8:51 pm

Kinda shitty that they dropped ultraman for the goddamn iron giant

Leo VeryRare · March 27, 2018 at 8:58 pm


Famous Gamer · March 27, 2018 at 9:13 pm

Oh HELL no

Sam Gallagher · March 27, 2018 at 9:17 pm

As good as Ready Player One is, nothing can ever top Roger Rabbit. That movie is flawless. 👍

Kristopher Hartman · March 27, 2018 at 9:21 pm

Love Spielberg. Love Roger Rabbit. Am hoping Ready Player is better than it's novel. 💜 this channel!

grass hopper313 · March 27, 2018 at 9:26 pm

How to kill preaditor

Daniel Goddard · March 27, 2018 at 9:28 pm

i thingk disney should at least have let some more star wars in because it would not be 1980,s nostolgia without star wars

S-wo · March 27, 2018 at 9:40 pm

Yeah Space Jam is a crossover. NBA x Looney Tunes.

S-wo · March 27, 2018 at 9:47 pm

I think this movie is a hard pass for me.

Magda Leon · March 27, 2018 at 9:47 pm

Wow am early

Jared N · March 27, 2018 at 10:29 pm

Considering WFRR is a giant allegory for the plight of minority entertainers during the time period….

No, I don’t think RP1 is the next.

LetsPlayGamer · March 27, 2018 at 10:55 pm

hey nerd when you said iron giant does not like to be a monster you were right but remember people control these characters

Deathjr136 · March 27, 2018 at 11:18 pm

Those are avatars that’s not the “real” iron giant there are people controlling them.

Stephen Nootens · March 28, 2018 at 12:42 am

It should be noted the Roger Rabbit novel was way more darker than the movie, Jessica Rabbit is a real piece of work.

Kemesha Vassell · March 28, 2018 at 1:01 am

Though I enjoyed the book, in spite of the many times he says "classic", after watching this video, I'm a little more excited to see the movie. If Aech is not portrayed as their character in the book, I'm going to be HIGHLY upset

Daniel S · March 28, 2018 at 11:02 am

You're taking the "classic" part out of context. You have to remember, the novel takes place in 2045. So, by that timeframe, people would consider it a classic (though there's those right now that consider "Firefly" a "cult classic" because of it's following).

Smith Pingree · March 28, 2018 at 12:01 pm

Chill dude he didn’t add enough details it’s a good book

Olle Selin · March 28, 2018 at 6:28 pm

Does Roger appear in Ready Player One?

Youssef · March 28, 2018 at 7:00 pm

Seriously just gonna toss Infinity War scenes in the beginning of the video? People are avoiding watching trailers for that movie you know.

The Unicorn · March 28, 2018 at 10:16 pm

I can appreciate that someone who DID like the book can express their high points (1:10) while still recognizing the faults (1:15). Until now, the only fans that I've seen are ones that harass those who dislike the book. They treat it like the best thing ever without acknowledging the novel's problematic themes, and patronize or just attack those who disagree. Again, I appreciate that this video kind of sets a neutral tone, acknowledging both sides of readers' reactions. I'm one of those who have those doubts (8:50), to a point where, yes, I almost DON'T want to give it a chance. But I do agree that Spielberg would be one to create an epic based on the potential the story had. Not only that, but the core reason for this analysis— the comparison to "Roger Rabbit"— is both original and cleverly written, and for that I totally praise this video essay.

Tyler S. · March 29, 2018 at 4:17 am


Mr. Duck · March 29, 2018 at 6:06 pm

Roger Rabbit, and Ready Player One are my favorite movies of all time.

Luke Dias · March 29, 2018 at 6:56 pm

No, Wreck-It Ralph is.

Yuki Kobayashi · March 30, 2018 at 5:36 pm

this title just shows how high the uploader.

jaber albasri · March 31, 2018 at 1:46 pm

The movie is loosely based on the book. If you read the book already , please have really low expectations otherwise u'll be very disappointed.

Fan Wang · March 31, 2018 at 3:32 pm

Iron Giant didn't replace Ultraman. Gundam did

GorillaGuy10 · April 1, 2018 at 1:55 am

The ready player one book was better than the movie tbh

vigorlilover · April 2, 2018 at 3:41 am

Nope! Not even close. Who Framed Roger Rabbit will go down in history. This movie will be forgotten before the year is out.

Spicy Sausage · April 2, 2018 at 6:25 pm

I'd say is the new Pagemaster

Gedaliah Lieberman · April 3, 2018 at 1:12 am

I see that yes shirt. YES YES YES YES YES YES YES

Justin Smith · April 3, 2018 at 1:48 am

Who Framed Roger Rabit revolutionized animation, yet barely anyone gives it credit today. Not only did it play a role in the “Disney Renaissance” starting with The Little Mermaid, but it also revitalized interest in WB’s animation(think Spielberg’s Tiny Toon Adventures/Animaniacs or even Space Jam and WB Stores), plus a producer on The Simpsons gave it credit for making everyone realize that there was an adult interest in animation, and was what made everyone comfortable with green lighting it at Fox. We probably would never have gotten a Pixar or Dreamworks had Disney not taken the HUGE and expensive risk of making Roger Rabbit. We would be literally living in a completely different world without that movie.
I’ve seen Ready Player One twice now. Its a fun flick, I had a blast watching it, eager to see it again, BUT I doubt it’ll revolutionize much or go down in the history books. It’s two most noteworthy achievements: fantasizing about VR and nostalgizing the 1980s are things that have been pretty commonplace in our culture for a few years now. Its takes more than some cameos to merit the same pedestal as WFRR.

Frankie Featherstone · April 3, 2018 at 3:14 am

Love the Daniel Bryan shirt!

Onebad Tj · April 4, 2018 at 2:28 am

“I Didn’t Kill Nobody! I Swear!”

Ruben Gloria · April 4, 2018 at 3:04 pm

No. Having them in the background in ready player one was simply gratuitous. It’s not really a cross over if there’s no interaction.

itewomeji · April 4, 2018 at 10:21 pm

The movie is good, but it could be 20% cooler.

Rebel Friend · April 5, 2018 at 6:28 am


ali Ubed · April 5, 2018 at 6:44 am

I was enjoying this video until he crapped about the book being bad. Dude have you even read the book the only reason the movie's good is because of the book they copied from most of the stuff in the movie is from the book and very well done by the way because Steven's an awesome director but the books still a1000 times better

Nick Steenson · April 5, 2018 at 9:32 pm

Not to come off as a fanboi, but seeing as the story was set in 2044, many of these series/references ARE to "Classic" (in the traditional sense) media. Like, classic cars etc.

Not saying it was brilliantly written, but classic is a good choice of word there, I suppose "old", "well loved", "dated" etc fit as well, but they don't convey either the positivity or the age like classic does in a word. 2 cents 🙂

Finn 64 · April 6, 2018 at 5:41 am


Lawrence Geller · April 6, 2018 at 1:37 pm

Good video, only problem is: Spielberg doesn’t write the script. It’s been the screenwriters that make those good adaptations. Unfortunately for you, Ernest Cline is one of the screenwriters along with Zak Penn Its up to them to make a good book to film adaptation. (Spoilers: They did.)

White Noise · April 7, 2018 at 4:47 am

Nerds will be Nerds. I liked the Book, Loved the Movie !!

Malou Lewin · April 7, 2018 at 3:56 pm

it turn out only serviceable

john The mechanic · April 10, 2018 at 5:06 pm


ライオン 誇りの罪 · April 12, 2018 at 7:23 pm

It’s an awesome movie especially with the RX-78 kicking Mecha Godzilla’s ass

pizzaguy 110 · April 14, 2018 at 11:59 am


ANT Colony · April 17, 2018 at 8:17 pm

That Iron Giant argument is getting real old. The Iron Giant is not The Iron Freaking Giant. He is a playable skin.

VALENTINEproductions · April 19, 2018 at 12:32 am

I was obsessed with Roger Rabbit as a kid. I gotta see RPO.

koopa159 · April 22, 2018 at 2:56 pm

Definitely not.

Paola Perez · April 25, 2018 at 10:56 pm

The movie sucks

Jess Pehlivan · May 13, 2018 at 12:29 am

Wtf, how can this boi even begin to compare Roger Rabbit and Ready Player One

Malehana Ralepoma · May 18, 2018 at 4:15 pm

My mum sucks i wish i had better parenets

Isaiah Corbin · May 26, 2018 at 4:06 am

Also roger rabbit is definitely a great movie

JazzyMann · May 27, 2018 at 2:58 am

Dude the Iron giant was built by aech hes not the classic

epic rainbows · June 9, 2018 at 3:35 pm

I am excited for chucky

The Mystery Sith · July 6, 2018 at 1:47 am

Went to see ready player one with some chick
Decided to make out with her halfway through
Movie wasn’t that good

Mack Eanes · July 12, 2019 at 4:01 pm

Nice Daniel Bryan Shirt

Burger Boi · July 17, 2019 at 9:22 pm

Nice shirt

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