It’s not easy being a Disney diva these days. First, Disney spokeskater Nancy Kerrigan is overheard whining to Mickey Mouse during a Disney parade. Now, Variety has uncovered evidence from the smash Touchstone film “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” that proves Jessica Rabbit wasn’t kidding when she uttered the classic line, “I’m not bad, I’m just drawn that way.”
Some mischievous animators snuck in a few frames of Jessica that are reminiscent of Sharon Stone’s interrogation scene from “Basic Instinct.”
Disney, the home of wholesome family entertainment, released an animated film that features a full-frontal — if almost subliminal — nude shot of one of its franchise females.
Legend has it that Disney animators for years would amuse themselves by drawing occasional bawdy frames — which couldn’t be detected on movie screens, where images flash at 24 frames per second. These examples — which, rumor has it, include a chipmunk in “Snow White” who defecates in the forest — could never truly be substantiated, until the advent of laserdisc, which enables the viewer to advance scenes frame-by-frame.
Buzz has uncovered several such scenes on the “Roger Rabbit” laserdisc. The most compelling is the scene in which the cartoon Jessica Rabbit is riding with Bob Hoskins through Toon Town in an animated taxi. The cab careens into a light post, and both Hoskins and Jessica are thrown from the vehicle. Jessica spins in Kerrigan-like triple lutz fashion, with her red dress hiking up.
On the first spin, she appears to be wearing underwear. On the second spin, however, there are three frames that clearly show she’s wearing nothing at all. You can see right down Broadway.
Another risque scene appears at the beginning, when the diaper-clad Baby Herman, who’s voiced by an adult, angrily stomps off the set. He passes under the dress of a woman, who screams and jumps away. Onscreen, it looks playful. Advanced frame by frame on laserdisc, Herman can be seen extending his middle finger upward as he jumps beneath the skirt, and then reemerges with a spot of drool on his upper lip.
Other scenes Buzz heard were in the original film were undetectable on laserdisc. One scene showed Hoskins stepping into a Toon Town men’s room, where some graffiti was scrawled on the wall. It read “For a good time, call Allyson Wonderland,” and, right beneath that, “The Best Is Yet to Be.” In one frame, the latter message was supposedly replaced by Disney chairman Michael Eisner’s home phone number. The pranksters must have eradicated that frame for the laserdisc version.
THERE’S A MAD DASH by athletes from the Winter Olympics to make TV deals for themselves, and several participants are close to the finish line.
CBS is finalizing negotiations to make a TV movie of the life of Ukrainian gold medalist skater Oksana Baiul, with Edgar Scherick co-producing with Baiul’s manager, Michael Rosenberg.
Dan Jansen might also be close to a deal. Speed skater Jansen got skunked in the Olympics in 1988 and again four years later; Jansen lost his first race in Lillehammer, but rebounded to win the gold in his final Olympic race. He’s on the verge of making a telepic deal with one of three parties: producer Steve Tisch (who already bagged the Kerrigan telepic), Warner Bros. TV, or Patchett Kaufman Ent., makers of NBC’s “In the Line of Duty” series.
Meanwhile, it looks like Tonya Harding will option her TV rights to producer Zev Braun for a $ 50,000 upfront payment against $ 500,000. Braun thinks he’ll be able to set up the Harding story either at a network or off-network, since webs have been reluctant to make a deal with Harding, who could be hit with felony charges.
The story of skater Bonnie Blair, perhaps the most positive of all, seems hopelessly locked out of TV movie contention for now. Her agent, Peter Sawyer at Fifi Oscard, said she’ll do a book first, plus commercial endorsements. He hopes a pic opportunity will result from the book. You’d think she’d be a shoo-in: Blair won just about every Olympic race she ever entered.
THE BOOK RIGHTS marketplace has begun heating up. Paramount and producer Mark Johnson last week closed an option deal of $ 50,000 against $ 250,000 for “Terminal Games,” a cyberthriller that will be published by Bantam. It’s penned by Cole Perriman, a pseudonym for Portland scribes Wim Coleman and Pat Perrin.
The book is about computer addicts who spend all their time playing a computer game in which they create fantasy alter egos who go to pickup bars and witness fantasy murders in a snuff room. The heroine, a computer junkie, soon realizes that a real murder was identical to a murder she saw in the computer game.
The buy was generated from New York, where the agent, Katinka Matson of John Brockman, is based.
Also expected to be hot reads are two other titles soon to hit market. One is Pete Dexter’s latest novel, titled “If I Should Die,” about a woman whose lover is in prison, and who enlists the help of her brothers to get him out. Dexter wrote “Paris Trout.” Rosalie Swedlin has an exclusive first-look window, but that’s coming to an end, and the book, which is being handled by ICM, is expected to make the rounds this week.
The other hot read of the week is “Brothers and Sisters,” a novel by Beebe Moore Campbell about sexual harassment. The upcoming Putnam book will be dispersed shortly by CAA’s Bob Bookman, whose last sale of a sex harassment novel was Michael Crichton’s “Disclosure,” which got $ 3.5 million.
Though this won’t fetch Crichton bucks, book buyers are intrigued by its premise: A black woman and a white woman work together at a law firm and are best friends until the arrival of a new boss, a black man. One loves him, the other might have been harassed by him. Conflict ensues as sides are chosen.