I saw on this blog about Walt Disney World (*Passport to Dreams Old & New) that according to the writer, being based on "Who Framed Roger Rabbit", Mickey's Toontown is not classically Disney, compared even to Mickey's house in Mickey's Birthdayland (the thread is about how wonderful Storybook Circus is shaping up to be). Here's what the blog said about it:
It probably seems like I'm being very down on Roger Rabbit, and I'm not. The film is wonderful, and it's grown into a real classic. But replicating the style of the "Toontown" sequence into an entire area which only the Disney characters inhabit was a real mistake. That style was only ever devised to make a universe where Mickey Mouse and Bugs Bunny - two characters who starred in very different films from very different studios - live in the same place and seem credible. The style of Who Framed Roger Rabbit is not that of Disney animation. It wasn't even released as a Disney film, but under the "Touchstone" banner invented by Ron Miller in the early 80s.
There is also something to be said about the wisdom of attempting to recreate this particular visual style at all: buildings designed to move and sway and sing are one thing, but building the style necessarily involves freezing it into plaster and lathe and in that process something is lost.
Yet by 1993, the "Toontown" concept had already spread like crab grass. Some of you may remember the "Bonkers" cartoon of the early 90s, with Bonkers being a Toontown cop, an unacknowledged riff of the Roger Rabbit franchise. What Disneyland built in 1993 is what people of that era would have expected to see, and there is of course a Roger Rabbit ride nearby to motivate the style. But doing so means that the "Toontown" concept was replacing over sixty years of visual continuity of films and in cartoons and even theme parks. Despite the name, this was in no way "Mickey's" Toontown.
It seems as if he is knocking Mickey's Toontown simply because he doesn't think it's in step with Disney continuity, whatever that may be. I personally don't see anything wrong with Mickey's Toontown. I like it. (But then again, I'm probably one of the few on these boards who does like it.)
Thoughts, comments, concerns?