The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show

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"Boris & Natasha" redirects here. For the movie by that name, see Boris and Natasha: The Movie.
This article is about the television series. For the video game, see The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle and Friends (video game). For the 2000 movie, see The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle.
Rocky and His Friends
The Bullwinkle Show
Rocky and Bullwinkle intro.jpg
Rocky and Bullwinkle intro card from the official DVDs
Also known as Rocky & His Friends (ABC)
The Bullwinkle Show (NBC)
The Rocky Show (Syndication)
The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle & Friends (DVDs)
Bullwinkle's Moose-A-Rama (Nickelodeon)
Genre Comedy
Adventure
Satire
Variety
Created by Jay Ward[1][2]
Alex Anderson[3][4]
Bill Scott
Voices of June Foray
Bill Scott
Paul Frees
Daws Butler
Edward Everett Horton
Walter Tetley
Charles Ruggles
Hans Conried
Narrated by William Conrad, Paul Frees & Edward Everett Horton
Theme music composer Frank Comstock (Season 1-2)
Fred Steiner (Season 3-5)
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 5
No. of episodes 163 (326 Rocky & Bullwinkle segments) (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s) Ponsonby Britt, O.B.E
Producer(s) Peter M. Piech
Running time 23 minutes
Production company(s) Jay Ward Productions
Gamma Productions
Producers Associates of Television, Inc. (P.A.T.)
Distributor Filmtel International
Dancer Fitzgerald Sample (1959–1979)
The Program Exchange (1979-present)
Classic Media (2002–2012)
DreamWorks Classics (2012-present)
Broadcast
Original channel ABC[5] (1959-61)
NBC[6] (1961-64)
Picture format Color (but aired in black and white from 1959-61)
Audio format Monaural
Original run November 19, 1959  – June 27, 1964

The Rocky & Bullwinkle Show (known as Rocky & His Friends during the first two seasons and as The Bullwinkle Show for the remaining seasons)[7] is an American animated television series that originally aired from November 19, 1959, to June 27, 1964, on the ABC and NBC television networks. Produced by Jay Ward Productions, the series is structured as a variety show, with the main feature being the serialized adventures of the two title characters, the anthropomorphic moose Bullwinkle and flying squirrel Rocky. The main adversaries in most of their adventures are the Russian-like spies Boris Badenov and Natasha Fatale. Supporting segments include Dudley Do-Right (a parody of old-time melodrama), Peabody's Improbable History (a dog and his pet boy Sherman traveling through time), and Fractured Fairy Tales (classic fairy tales retold in comic fashion), among others.[8]

Rocky & Bullwinkle is known for quality writing and wry humor. Mixing puns, cultural and topical satire, and self-referential humor, it appealed to adults as well as children.[8] It was also one of the first cartoons whose animation was outsourced; storyboards were shipped to Gamma Productions, a Mexican studio also employed by Total Television. The art has a choppy, unpolished look and the animation is extremely limited even by television animation standards at the time. Yet the series has long been held in high esteem by those who have seen it; some critics described the series as a well-written radio program with pictures.[9]

The show was never a ratings hit and was shuffled around (airing in afternoon, prime time, and Saturday morning timeslots) but has garnered an influential cult following over the decades, influencing programs from The Simpsons to Rocko's Modern Life.[10] Segments from the series were later recycled in the Hoppity Hooper show.

There have been numerous feature film adaptations of the series' various segments, such as the 2000 film The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle which blended live-action and computer animation[11] and the 1999 live-action film Dudley Do-Right,[12] which both received poor reviews and was financially unsuccessful. By contrast, an animated feature film adaptation of the "Peabody's Improbable History" segment, Mr. Peabody & Sherman, was released to good reviews in 2014, and despite its modest box office, it will be followed by an 78-episode television series.[13]

In 2013, Rocky and His Friends and The Bullwinkle Show were ranked the sixth Greatest TV Cartoon of All Time by TV Guide.[14]

Background[edit]

The idea for the series came from Jay Ward and Alex Anderson, who previously collaborated on Crusader Rabbit, based upon the original property The Frostbite Falls Revue. This original show never got beyond the proposal stage. It featured a group of forest animals running a television station. The group included Rocket J. Squirrel (Rocky), Oski Bear, Canadian Moose (Bullwinkle), Sylvester Fox, Blackstone Crow, and Floral Fauna. The show in this form was created by Alex Anderson.[15] Bullwinkle's name came from the name of a car dealership in Berkeley, California called Bullwinkel Motors. Mr. Anderson changed the spelling of the name and gave it to his moose, and an unforgettable cartoon character was born.[16]

Ward wanted to produce the show in Los Angeles; however, Anderson lived in the San Francisco Bay Area and did not want to relocate. As a result, Ward hired Bill Scott as head writer and co-producer at Jay Ward Productions, and who wrote the Rocky and Bullwinkle features. Ward was joined by writers Chris Hayward[17] and Allan Burns; the latter eventually became head writer for MTM Enterprises. In a 1982 interview, Scott said, "I got a call from Jay asking if I’d be interested in writing another series, an adventure script with a moose and a squirrel. I said, 'Sure.' I didn’t know if I could write an adventure with a moose and a squirrel, but I never turned down a job."[18]

Production[edit]

The series began with the pilot, Rocky the Flying Squirrel. Production began in February 1958 with the hiring of voice actors June Foray, Paul Frees, Bill Scott, and William Conrad. Eight months later, General Mills signed a deal to sponsor the cartoon program, under the condition that the show be run in a late-afternoon time slot, when it could be targeted toward children. Subsequently, Ward hired the rest of the production staff, including writers and designers. However, no animators were hired. Ad executives at Dancer, Fitzgerald, & Sample — the advertising agency for General Mills — set up an animation studio in Mexico called Gamma Productions S.A. de C.V., originally known as Val-Mar Animation. This outsourcing of the animation for the series was considered financially attractive by primary sponsor General Mills, but caused endless production problems. In a 1982 interview by animation historian Jim Korkis, Bill Scott described some of the problems that arose during production of the series:

We found out very quickly that we could not depend on Mexican studios to produce anything of quality. They were turning out the work very quickly and there were all kinds of mistakes and flaws and boo-boos ... They would never check ... Mustaches popped on and off Boris, Bullwinkle's antlers would change, colors would change, costumes would disappear ... By the time we finally saw it, it was on the air.[19]

Network television: 1959–1982[edit]

The show was broadcast for the first time on November 19, 1959, on the ABC television network under the title Rocky and His Friends twice a week, on Tuesday and Thursday afternoons, following American Bandstand at 5:30 p.m. ET, where it was the highest-rated daytime network program.[20] The show moved to the NBC network starting September 24, 1961, broadcast in color, and first appeared on Sundays at 7 p.m. ET, just before Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color. Bullwinkle's ratings suffered as a result of airing opposite perennial favorite Lassie. A potential move to CBS[19] caused NBC to reschedule the show to late Sunday afternoons (5:30 p.m. ET)[19] and early Saturday afternoons in its final season. NBC canceled the show in the summer of 1964. It was shopped to ABC, but they were not interested. However, reruns of episodes were aired on ABC's Sunday morning schedule at 11 a.m. ET until 1973, at which time the series went into syndication. An abbreviated fifteen-minute version of the series ran in syndication in the 1960s under the title The Rocky Show. This version was sometimes shown in conjunction with The King and Odie, a fifteen-minute version of Total Television's King Leonardo and His Short Subjects. The King and Odie was similar to Rocky and Bullwinkle in that it was sponsored by General Mills and animated by Gamma Productions. NBC later aired Bullwinkle Show reruns at 12:30 p.m. ET Saturday afternoons during the 1981-1982 television season.

On cable, the series had extended runs on Nickelodeon (early-late 1990s), Cartoon Network (late 1990s-early 2000s) and Boomerang (early 2000s). Since the late 2000s, The Program Exchange has typically only licensed the series for short-term runs; nationally, the series has seen limited airings on WGN America (2009), VH1 Classic (2012) and Boomerang (2013).

Syndicated package[edit]

The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show remains in syndicated reruns and is available for local television stations as of June 2013; WBBZ-TV, for instance, airs the show in a strip to counterprogram 10 PM newscasts in the Buffalo, New York market.[21] No other made-for-television cartoon has lasted longer in syndication, and very few series (I Love Lucy being another) have lasted as long as Rocky and Bullwinkle.

Sponsor General Mills retains all United States television rights to the series, which remains available in domestic syndication through The Program Exchange, although the underlying rights are now owned by DreamWorks Animation, which in 2012 acquired Classic Media, and who in turn with copyright holder Ward Productions formed the joint venture Bullwinkle Studios, which manages the Rocky and Bullwinkle properties. Two packages, each containing different episodes, are available. The syndicated version of The Bullwinkle Show contains 98 half-hour shows (#801–898).[22] The first 78 comprise the Rocky & Bullwinkle story lines from the first two seasons of the original series (these segments originally aired under the Rocky and His Friends title). Other elements in the half-hour shows (Fractured Fairy Tales, Peabody's Improbable History, Dudley Do-Right of the Mounties, Aesop and Son, and short cartoons including Bullwinkle's Corner and Mr. Know-It-All) sometimes appear out of the original broadcast sequence. The final 20 syndicated Bullwinkle Show episodes feature later Rocky & Bullwinkle story lines (from "Bumbling Bros. Circus" through the end of the series, minus "Moosylvania") along with Fractured Fairy Tales, Bullwinkle's Corner, and Mr. Know-It-All segments repeated from earlier in the syndicated episode cycle. Originally, many syndicated shows included segments of Total Television's The World of Commander McBragg, but these cartoons were replaced with other segments when the shows were remastered in the early 1990s. A package, promoted under the Rocky and His Friends name but utilizing The Rocky Show titles, features story lines not included in the syndicated Bullwinkle Show series.[23]

The currently syndicated Rocky and His Friends package retains the 15-minute format, consisting of 156 individual episodes, but like The Bullwinkle Show, the content differs from the versions syndicated in the 1960s.[23] In fact, neither package includes all the supporting cartoon segments; however, all of the Fractured Fairy Tales (91), Peabody's Improbable History (91), and Aesop and Son (39) segments are syndicated as part of Tennessee Tuxedo and His Tales, and 38 of the 39 Dudley Do-Right cartoons are syndicated as part of Dudley Do Right (sic) and Friends. Syndicated versions of the shows distributed outside of the United States and Canada are again different, combining the various segments under the package title Rocky and Bullwinkle and Friends; it is this version of the show that is represented on official DVD releases by Classic Media, now known as DreamWorks Classics, due to the purchase by DreamWorks Animation.

Characters[edit]

(From left to right) Rocky, Bullwinkle, and Captain Peter Peachfuzz.

The lead characters and heroes of the series were Rocket "Rocky" J. Squirrel, a flying squirrel, and his best friend Bullwinkle J. Moose, a dim-witted but good-natured moose. Both characters lived in the fictional town of Frostbite Falls, Minnesota, which was based on the real life city of International Falls, Minnesota.[24] The scheming villains in most episodes were the fiendish, but inept, agents of the fictitious nation of Pottsylvania: Boris Badenov, a pun on Boris Godunov, and Natasha Fatale, a pun on femme fatale. Boris and Natasha were commanded by the sinister Mr. Big and Fearless Leader. Other characters included Gidney & Cloyd, little green men from the moon who were armed with scrooch guns; Captain Peter "Wrongway" Peachfuzz, the captain of the S.S. Andalusia; and the inevitable onlookers, Edgar and Chauncy.[25]

Structure[edit]

When first shown on NBC, the cartoons were introduced by a Bullwinkle puppet, voiced by Bill Scott, who would often lampoon celebrities, current events, and especially Walt Disney, whose program Wonderful World of Color was next on the schedule. On one occasion, "Bullwinkle" encouraged children to pull the tuning knobs off the TV set. "In that way," explained Bullwinkle, "we'll be sure to be with you next week!" The network received complaints from parents of an estimated 20,000 child viewers who apparently followed Bullwinkle's suggestion. Bullwinkle told the children the following week to put the knobs back on with glue "and make it stick!" The puppet sequence was dropped altogether.[26] Scott did a segment called "Dear Bullwinkle," where letters written for the show were read and answered humorously.[27] Four episodes of "Dear Bullwinkle" are on the Season 1 DVD.

Each episode is composed of two "Rocky & Bullwinkle" cliffhanger shorts that stylistically emulated early radio and film serials. The plots of these shorts would combine into story arcs spanning numerous episodes. The first and longest story arc was Jet Fuel Formula consisting of 40 shorts (20 episodes). Stories ranged from seeking the missing ingredient for a rocket fuel formula, to tracking the monstrous whale Maybe Dick, to an attempt to prevent mechanical, metal-munching, moon mice from devouring the nation's television antennas. Rocky and Bullwinkle frequently encounter the two Pottsylvanian nogoodniks, Boris Badenov and Natasha Fatale.

At the end of most episodes, the narrator, William Conrad, would announce two humorous titles for the next episode that typically were puns of each other (and usually related more to the current predicament than to the plot of the next episode). For example, during an adventure taking place in a mountain range, the narrator would state, "Be with us next time for 'Avalanche Is Better Than None,' or 'Snow's Your Old Man.'" Such a 'This,' or 'That' title announcement had been used in The Adventures of Sam Spade radio shows produced in 1946-50. The narrator frequently spoke with the characters, thus breaking the fourth wall.

Episodes were introduced with one of four opening sequences:

  • Rocky flies about snow-covered mountains. Below him, hiking on a snowy trail, Bullwinkle is distracted by a billboard featuring his name, and walks off a ledge. He becomes a large snowball as he rolls downhill. Rocky flies to him and pushes against the snowball, slowing it to a halt at the edge of another cliff. Bullwinkle pops out of the snowball to catch the teetering squirrel at the cliff edge.
  • In a circus, Rocky is preparing to jump from a high diving board into a tub of water tended by Bullwinkle. However, when Rocky jumps, he ends up flying around the circus tent, while Bullwinkle chases after him carrying the tub. As Rocky lands safely, Bullwinkle tumbles into the tub. This was the same intro used for the Buena Vista VHS series in the early 1990s.[28]
  • Rocky is flying acrobatically about a city landscape. Bullwinkle is high atop a flagpole painting, and is knocked from his perch as the squirrel flies by. Rocky attempts to catch the plummeting moose with a butterfly net, but the moose falls through. Rocky then flies lower to find his friend suspended from a clothesline, having fallen into a pair of long johns.
  • Similar to the previous opening, Rocky is again flying about the city. Bullwinkle is suspended from a safety harness posting a sign on a large billboard. He loses his balance as the squirrel zooms past him and tumbles off the platform. The moose lands on a banner pole mounted on the side of a building, and the recoil springs him back into the air. He lands on a store awning, slides down, and drops a few feet to a bench on which Rocky is seated. The impact launches the squirrel off the bench, and Bullwinkle nonchalantly catches him in his left hand to end the sequence.

Episodes ended with a bumper sequence in which a violent lightning storm destroys the landscape, appearing to engulf Rocky and Bullwinkle in the destruction and accompanied by dramatic piano music. The music would become more lighthearted, and the ground would scroll upward while the outlines of the heroes gradually appeared. We then see a smiling sun overlooking a barren field which rapidly fills with sunflowers until Rocky and Bullwinkle finally sprout from the ground.[29]

Supporting features[edit]

Sherman and Mr. Peabody enter the WABAC machine

The "Rocky & Bullwinkle" shorts serve as "bookends" for popular supporting features, including:

  • Dudley Do-Right of the Mounties, a parody of early 20th century melodrama and silent film serials of the Northern genre. Dudley Do-Right is a Canadian Mountie in constant pursuit of his nemesis, Snidely Whiplash, who sports the standard "villain" attire of black top hat, cape, and over-sized moustache. This is one of the few Jay Ward cartoons to feature a background music track. As is standard in Ward's cartoons, jokes often have more than one meaning. A standard gag is to introduce characters in an irised close-up with the name of the "actor" displayed in a caption below, a convention seen in some early silent films. However, the comic twist is using the captions to present silly names or subtle puns. Occasionally, even the scenery is introduced in this manner, as when "Dead Man's Gulch" is identified as being portrayed by "Gorgeous Gorge," a reference to professional wrestler Gorgeous George.
  • Peabody's Improbable History features a genius talking dog named Mister Peabody who has a pet boy named Sherman. Peabody and Sherman use Peabody's "WABAC machine" (pronounced "way-back", spelled WAYBAC in season 1, episode 4, and partially a play on names of early computers such as UNIVAC and ENIAC) to go back in time to discover the real story behind historical events, and in many cases, intervene with uncooperative historical figures to ensure that events transpire as history has recorded.[30] The term "Wayback Machine" is used to this day in Internet applications such as Wikipedia and the Internet Archive to refer to the ability to see or revert to older content. These segments are famous for including a pun at the end. For example, when going back to the time of Pancho Villa, they show Pancho a photo of a woman and he promptly feels the urge to take a nap. When Sherman asks why this is so, Peabody says that the woman's name is Esther, and whenever you "see Esther" (siesta) you fall asleep.
  • Fractured Fairy Tales presented familiar fairy tales and children's stories, but with altered storylines and modernized for humorous effect. This segment was narrated by Edward Everett Horton; June Foray, Bill Scott, Paul Frees, and an uncredited Daws Butler often supplied the voices.
  • Aesop & Son is similar to Fractured Fairy Tales, complete with the same theme music, except it deals with fables instead of fairy tales. The typical structure consists of Aesop attempting to teach a lesson to his son using a fable. After hearing the story, the son subverts the fable's moral with a pun. This structure was also suggested by the feature's opening titles, which showed Aesop painstakingly carving his name in marble using a mallet and chisel and then his son, with a jackhammer and raising a cloud of dust, appending "And Son." Aesop was voiced (uncredited) by actor Charlie Ruggles and the son, Junior, was voiced by Daws Butler.
  • Bullwinkle's Corner features the dimwitted moose attempting to introduce culture into the proceedings by reciting (and acting out) poems and nursery rhymes, inadvertently and humorously butchering them. Poems subjected to this treatment include several by Robert Louis Stevenson ("My Shadow", "The Swing", and "Where Go the Boats"); William Wordsworth's "Daffodils"; "Little Miss Muffet", "Little Jack Horner", and "Wee Willie Winkie"; J. G. Whittier's "Barbara Frietchie"; and "The Queen of Hearts" by Charles Lamb. Simple Simon is performed with Boris as the pie man, but as a variation of the famous Abbott and Costello routine "Who's on First?".
  • Mr. Know-It-All again features Bullwinkle posing as an authority on any topic. Disaster inevitably ensues.
  • Rocky and Bullwinkle Fan Club, a series of abortive attempts by Rocky and Bullwinkle to conduct club business. The fan club consists only of Rocky, Bullwinkle, Boris, Natasha, and Captain Peter Peachfuzz. These shorts portray the characters out of character.
  • The World of Commander McBragg, short features on revisionist history as the title character would have imagined it; this was actually prepared for Tennessee Tuxedo and His Tales (and later shown on The Underdog Show). Although the shorts were animated by the same animation company, Gamma Productions, they were produced for Total Television, rather than Ward Productions. These segments were packaged with pre-1990 syndicated versions of The Bullwinkle Show and appear in syndicated episodes of The Underdog Show, Dudley Do Right and Friends, and Uncle Waldo's Cartoon Show.

Voices[edit]

The following table summarizes which characters were voiced by which actor, as documented in the Frostbite Falls Field Guide and June Foray interview in the Complete Series boxed set, as well as Rocky and Bullwinkle sub-articles here on Wikipedia.

Actor Character(s) voiced
Bill Scott Bullwinkle, Dudley Do-Right, Fearless Leader, Gidney, Mr. Big, Mr. Peabody
June Foray Rocky, Natasha Fatale, Nell, various witches, princesses, and hags in Fractured Fairy Tales, and every other female character in the show
Paul Frees Boris Badenov, Captain Peter Peachfuzz, Cloyd, Inspector Fenwick, narrator for Dudley Do-Right (shared), various historical figures in Peabody's Improbable History
Walter Tetley Sherman
Daws Butler Aesop Junior, various characters in Fractured Fairy Tales and Aesop and Son
Charlie Ruggles Aesop
Hans Conried Snidely Whiplash
William Conrad narrator for Rocky and Bullwinkle, narrator for Dudley Do-Right (shared)
Edward Everett Horton narrator for Fractured Fairy Tales

Reception and cultural impact[edit]

  • As a publicity stunt, Ward and Scott campaigned for statehood for "Moosylvania", Bullwinkle's fictional home state. They drove a van to about 50 cities collecting petition signatures. Arriving in Washington D.C., they pulled up to the White House gate to see President Kennedy, and were brusquely turned away. They learned that the evening they had arrived was during the height of the Cuban Missile Crisis.[31]
  • British Invasion band Herman's Hermits got its name because bandmates thought lead singer Peter Noone looked like Sherman of "Mr. Peabody" fame, and the name "Herman" was close enough to "Sherman" for them.
  • TSR, Inc. produced a role playing game based on the world of Bullwinkle and Rocky in 1988. The game consisted of rules, mylar hand puppets, cards, and spinners.[32]
  • A pinball machine dedicated to Rocky and Bullwinkle was released in 1993 by Data East.[33]
  • In 1999, Mattel made Rocky & Bullwinkle-themed cars under its Hot Wheels line.[citation needed]
  • In 2002, Rocky and His Friends ranked #47 on TV Guide's 50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time.[34]
  • In January 2009, IGN named Rocky and Bullwinkle as the 11th best animated television series.[35]
  • To date, Rocky and Friends has aired in 100 countries.[citation needed]

Revival attempts[edit]

There were attempts to revive Rocky & Bullwinkle throughout the 1970s. A revival in 1981 parodied the Super Bowl. A script was written, storyboards were produced, the network gave it a green light, but the project was canceled because of objections from the NFL. (Actual team owners were parodied, and Boris was fixing the game.)[19]

CED Videodisc releases[edit]

The program debuted on home video with two compilation CED Videodiscs released by RCA during the format's rise in the early 1980s, featuring complete, uncut story arcs and accompanying alternating segments and bumpers. Volume 1 contained the complete story for "Wossamotta U", while volume 2 contained "Goof Gas Attack" and "The Three Mooseketeers".

VHS and LaserDisc releases[edit]

Buena Vista Home Video released the show on VHS and LaserDisc in the early 1990s, under the title The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle. These are presented differently from when broadcast. Two "Rocky and Bullwinkle" chapters were sometimes edited together into one (removing the "titles" for the next chapters as well as part of the recap at the beginning of the next), usually showing the storyline in four or five chapters per video. For example, the 12-episode Wossamotta U. adventure is reduced to seven episodes, and runs about seven minutes shorter. The "Bullwinkle Show" closing was used on these.

The first eight videos were released under the "Classic Stuff" banner, with covers and titles being parodies of famous paintings or painters. Four more videos were released under the "Funny Stuff" banner, but unlike the first eight, these were not numbered, the video titles matched the title of the featured "Rocky and Bullwinkle" storyline, and the covers represented scenes from shows (such as Bullwinkle pulling a rhino out of a hat as the cover for "Painting Theft"). (The change in the banner might have been due to a video magazine publishing a letter criticizing the editing.) The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle Season 1 is available in Cracker Barrel for VHS.

Volume # (LD #) VHS name Ep Additional segments
1. (1) "Mona Moose" "The Treasure of Monte Zoom" Fractured Fairy Tales: Riding Hoods Anonymous, Bullwinkle's Corner: How to Be Happy (Though Miserable), Peabody's Improbable History: Robinson Crusoe, Dudley Do-Right: The Disloyal Canadians, Mr. Know-It-All: How to Get into the Movies Without Buying a Ticket
2. (1) "Birth of Bullwinkle" "The Ruby Yacht" Peabody's Improbable History: Robin Hood, Bullwinkle's Corner: Little Miss Muffet, Fractured Fairy Tales: Sleeping Beauty, Mr. Know-it-All: How to Catch a Bee and Make Your Honey Happy, Dudley Do-Right: Flicker Rock
3. (2) "Vincent Van Moose" "Goof Gas Attack" Fractured Fairy Tales: Rapunzel, Dudley Do-Right: Finding Gold, Mr. Know-It-All: How to be an Archeologist - and Dig Ancient History, Aesop and Son: The Dog and His Shadow
4. (2) "Blue Moose" "Rue Britannia" Peabody's Improbable History: Cleopatra, Bullwinkle's Corner: The Queen of Hearts, Dudley Do-Right: Mountie Without a Horse, Fractured Fairy Tales: The Ugly Almond Duckling
5. (3) "La Grande Moose" "Box Top Robbery" Dudley Do-Right: Saw Mill, Fractured Fairy Tales: The Frog Prince, Aesop and Son: He Who Laughs Last
6. (3) Canadian Gothic Four "Dudley Do-Right" segments, instead of a "Rocky and Bullwinkle" storyline ("Marigolds", "Trading Places", "Lure of the Footlights", and "Whiplash Captured") Aesop and Son: The Hound and the Wolf, Fractured Fairy Tales: The Frog Prince, Bullwinkle's Corner: Simple Simon, Mr. Know-it-All: How to Do Stunts in the Movies without Having the Usher Throw You Out, Peabody's Improbable History: The Royal Mountie Police
7. (4) Whistler's Moose "Moosylvania" and "Moosylvania Saved" Aesop and Son: The Mice in Council, Mr. Know-it-All: How to Direct a Temperamental Movie Star, Bullwinkle's Corner: Tom Tom the Piper's Son, Peabody's Improbable History: Whistler's Mother, Fractured Fairy Tales: Little Red Riding Hood
8. (4) Norman Moosewell" "Wossamotta U" Bullwinkle's Fan Club, Peabody's Improbable History: William Shakespeare, Fractured Fairy Tales: Rumpelstiltskin, Dudley Do-Right: Dudley's Brother
9. (5) "Pottsylvania Creeper" "Pottsylvania Creeper" Dudley Do-Right: Recruiting Campaign, Bullwinkle's Corner: Mary Had a Little Lamb, Peabody's Improbable History: Lawrence of Arabia, Fractured Fairy Tales: The Red-Haired Duke, Mr. Know-It-All: How to Sell Vacuum Cleaners, Aesop and Son: Two Heads are Better than One
10. (5) "Painting Theft" "Painting Theft" Peabody's Improbable History: Mati Hatti, Fractured Fairy Tales: The Enchanted Prince, Bullwinkle's Corner: Hickory Dickory Dock, Dudley Do-Right: Coming-Out Party, Mr. Know-It-All: The Old West
11. (6) "The Weather Lady" "The Weather Lady" Peabody's Improbable History: William Tell, Bullwinkle's Corner: Wee Willie Winkie, Dudley Do-Right: Mortgagin' The Mountie Post, Mr. Know-It-All:How to Escape From Devil's Island, Fractured Fairy Tales: Hansel and Gretel
12. (6) "Banana Formula" "Banana Formula" Peabody's Improbable History: Bonnie Prince Charlie, Mr. Know-It-All: How to Make Friends, Aesop and Son: The King of the Jungle, Bullwinkle's Corner: The Ditzy Daffodils, Dudley Do-Right: Trap Bait, Fractured Fairy Tales: The Golden Goose

Years after the Buena Vista releases ended, another series of "Rocky and Bullwinkle" VHS tapes were released, both separately and as a boxed set. These videos included Upsidaisium, The Last Angry Moose, Metal-Munching Mice, Much Mud, and Rue Britannia.

DVD releases[edit]

In 2002, Jay Ward Productions established a partnership with Classic Media called Bullwinkle Studios.[citation needed] From 2003 to 2005, the partnership produced DVDs of the first three seasons of the series, which were renamed (for legal reasons) Rocky & Bullwinkle & Friends. Releases then stalled until 2010, when season 4 was released, in part to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the series.[36] The complete series was released on January 4, 2011,[37] marking the debut of season 5 on DVD. A standalone release of season 5 was released on March 29, 2011.[38] The DVDs for the first 3 seasons were distributed by Sony Wonder, while season 4, 5 and Complete Series sets are currently distributed by Vivendi Entertainment. Seasons 1, 2, and 3 are currently out of print as of December 2012.

The DVD releases differ somewhat from the originals. The renaming of the show led to a sometimes clumsy superimposition of the new title onto preexisting opening credits and interior bumpers.[39] A Bill Conrad sound-alike was used to announce the new title, which some viewers found jarring.[39] In addition, a semi-transparent "R&B" logo appears for five seconds at the beginning of each segment in the lower right-hand corner. Some segments were moved from their position in the original episodes. Also, the season 5 shows on DVD recycle supporting features found on the DVDs for the first four seasons. Mathematically, this makes sense since the total number of supporting features (assuming two used per show) exactly equals the number of shows created during the first four seasons. The first set, most of the second set, and the fifth season set use the second opening and closing used for the "Rocky and His Friends" broadcast, while the last two story arcs in the second set, as well as the third and fourth season sets, use the original opening and closing from the "Rocky and His Friends" broadcast. Frank Cornstock's musical themes are replaced on the sets with Fred Steiner's music produced for The Bullwinkle Show. In addition, the first four season sets include optional Spanish-language audio tracks.

In 2005, Classic Media released a series of "best of" DVD compilations of popular segments of the series: two volumes of "The Best of Rocky and Bullwinkle", plus the single-volume "The Best of Boris and Natasha", "The Best of Mr. Peabody and Sherman", "The Best of Fractured Fairy Tales", and "The Best of Dudley Do-Right". These compilations contain episodes from the entire run of the show.

On October 30, 2012, Classic Media released a DVD called "The Complete Fractured Fairy Tales" which includes all 91 Fractured Fairy Tales segments.

DVD name Ep # Release date (Region 1) Discs Extras
Complete First Season[40] 26 August 12, 2003 4 Network promos; "Savings Stamp Club" episode; "Dear Bullwinkle" bumpers; "The Many Faces of Boris Badenov" (a montage of Boris scenes); two segments from Season Two's "Metal Munching Mice"
Complete Second Season[41] 52 August 31, 2004 4 (double sided) Interview with June Foray; Three Cheerios commercials (storyboard and final versions); "Moosecalls: The Best of Bullwinkle Sings" (a parody of television ads for compilation records); a segment from Season Three's "Missouri Mish Mash"
Complete Third Season[42] 33 September 6, 2005 4 Bullwinkle puppet openings; "The Best of Bullwinkle Follies" (a vaudeville themed montage of clips); the first segment of Season Four's "Painting Theft"
Complete Fourth Season[43] 19 August 17, 2010 2 None
Complete Fifth Season[38] 33 March 29, 2011 4 Audio outtake from "Goof Gas Attack"
Complete Series 163 January 4, 2011 18 In addition to previous extras, a 70-page "Frostbite Falls Field Guide" detailing the history of the show; "Exceptional Adequacy" award ribbon

In other media[edit]

Films[edit]

Comics[edit]

  • A syndicated daily newspaper comic strip titled Bullwinkle began on July 23, 1962 with original stories drawn by Al Kilgore. It ended in 1965.[48]
  • Rocky and Bullwinkle comic books were published by Dell Comics, Gold Key Comics, Charlton Comics and Star Comics (an imprint of Marvel Comics). All were called Bullwinkle and Rocky. The comics, although for children, did contain numerous references spoofing issues such as celebrity worship or the politics of the 1980s. In one Star Comics issue, Bullwinkle owns a small company, which makes him eligible to compete in a fun run in Washington DC for presidents of small companies. When Bullwinkle says he is there for the race, it is mistaken that he is campaigning for President. The comic also spoofed US President Ronald Reagan, and he personally thanks Bullwinkle for stopping Boris & Natasha by rewarding him with monogrammed jelly beans. Another comic broke the fourth wall when the narrator is outraged at a plot of Boris', to which Boris claims he has control of everyone "by capturing the Marvel Comics building and tying up the editor". When the narrator comments on how this is morally wrong, Boris quiets him by saying, "You will agree or you will not find paycheck in mail this month!" The same issue made reference to the 1988 Olympics, which Boris had engineering in Fort Knox, Kentucky in an attempt to steal its gold by carving all the bars into gold medals, as well as furnishing false information to every country so Pottsylvania would win all the gold medals (and thus take all true gold) by virtue of default. After Boris is foiled, the narrator comments that the games will go on as planned in real time in Seoul, South Korea.
  • In April 2013, it was announced that IDW Publishing with DreamWorks Classics and Bullwinkle Studios will release comics of Rocky and Bullwinkle, Dudley Do-Right and Peabody and Sherman.[49]

Recordings[edit]

  • A phonograph album of songs, Rocky the Flying Squirrel & His Friends, was released in 1961 by Golden Records, using voice actors from the series. Boris and Natasha, for example sing: "We will double, single and triple cross, our very closest friends!"
  • A 78rpm single (Golden 659) was released on yellow vinyl. This had Rocky singing "I Was Born To Be Airborne" on one side, backed with Bullwinkle singing "I'm Rocky's Pal." The single sold in grocery stores. Paul Parnes (who later wrote songs for Sesame Street) is credited as composer. "Some nutty characters get together here for the benefit of the very young. Lots of laughs for the juvenile sense of humor."[50]

Video games[edit]

Children's opera[edit]

  • In 1997, The Los Angeles Opera toured a children's production named "Les Moose: The Operatic Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle" around various L.A. County Elementary Schools. The story followed Boris and Natasha as they tried to steal the formula for Mooseberry Rocket Fuel from Bullwinkle J. Moose.

Hot wheels Cars (1999)[edit]

  • In 1999, Mattel released a collector numbered series under its Hot wheels toy line, the "Car-Toon Friends" series. It contains 4 cars; The now retired model "XT-3" for Rocky, "Double Vision" for Bullwinkle, "Saltflat Racer" for Natasha, and "Lakestar" for Boris. They are no longer produced with these paint jobs, and are hard to find, as of December 2012.[citation needed]

Advertising[edit]

  • In the 1960s or 70s Rocky and Bullwinkle appeared in some mail stamps with their friends. A commercial in the 1980s or 90s Rocky and Bullwinkle were in an ad for Hershey's Kisses snack pack. In the 1990s Rocky and Bullwinkle appeared in some ads for Taco Bell where they ate real tacos by stopping Boris and Natasha from selling burgers.[53] DreamWorks Animation CGI versions of Rocky and Bullwinkle appeared in a 2014 advertisement for GEICO, appearing with the GEICO Gecko in the Rocky Mountains.[54]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Christon, Lawrence (November 13, 1988). "Tales of Jay Ward and the Bullwinkle Gang". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-11-07. 
  2. ^ Folkart, Burt A. (October 13, 1989). "Artist created TV's Rocky and Bullwinkle". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-11-06. 
  3. ^ McLellan, Dennis (October 26, 2010). "Artist created TV's Rocky and Bullwinkle". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-11-07. 
  4. ^ "Unsung Creator of Rocky and Bullwinkle Dies". Time. Retrieved 2010-11-07. 
  5. ^ "Of Moose And Men". Sun Sentinel. Retrieved 2010-11-07. 
  6. ^ "TV writer C. Hayward, of cartoon Bullwinkle". Sun Sentinel. Retrieved 2010-11-07. 
  7. ^ "Rocky & Bullwinkle & Friends - The Complete First Season". DVD Talk. Retrieved 2010-11-07. 
  8. ^ a b "Jay Ward: Masterful Humorist". The Los Angeles Times. October 15, 1989. Retrieved 2010-11-07. 
  9. ^ Hogan's Interview | Business partner Alex Anderson interview
  10. ^ Marsh, Jeff; Dan Abrams (1997). "The Rocko's Modern Life FAQ - Contributors". It was always our intent to create shows that would be entertaining on many levels. Rocky and Bullwinkle are still funny to me now, but on a new level. There were jokes that I didn't get as a child that I now understand the references to. They were able to create shows that were funny to both groups without sacrificing anything. That is a hard job to do and we always strove to emulate that quality. Retrieved November 9, 2011. 
  11. ^ "The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle -- Rotten Tomatoes". Flixster. Retrieved November 10, 2011. 
  12. ^ "Dudley Do-Right". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 18 March 2014. 
  13. ^ Hulett, Steve (August 14, 2014). "Animation Work In And Around Los Angeles". The Animation Guild. Retrieved August 15, 2014. 
  14. ^ TV Guide Magazine's 60 Greatest Cartoons of All Time
  15. ^ Farber, Jim (February 8, 1991). "Rock Lives". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2010-11-07. 
  16. ^ Alex Anderson, creator of Rocky and Bullwinkle, dies at 90 – washingtonpost.com
  17. ^ Fox, Margalit (December 19, 2006). "Chris Hayward, 81, TV Writer And a Creator of 'Munsters'". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-11-07. 
  18. ^ Bullwinkle Speaks! An Interview With Bill Scott, Hogan's Alley #17, 2010
  19. ^ a b c d "Rocky & Bullwinkle". Cataroo.com. Retrieved 2012-09-28. 
  20. ^ Keith Scott (2000). The Moose that Roared: The Story of Jay Ward, Bill Scott, a Flying Squirrel, and a Talking Moose. St. Martin's Press. ISBN 0-312-19922-8
  21. ^ Pergament, Alan (May 31, 2013). Eyewitness News staff to grow, Buffalo scores in NHL ratings. The Buffalo News. Retrieved May 31, 2013.
  22. ^ "The Program Exchange". Retrieved 23 June 2014. 
  23. ^ a b "The Program Exchange". Retrieved 23 June 2014. 
  24. ^ "Northern Exposure," University of Chicago Magazine, April 1997
  25. ^ Shales, Tom (March 7, 1991). "PBS Special on Cartoon Says a Mooseful". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-11-07. 
  26. ^ Marc Robinson (2002) Brought to You In Living Color: 75 Years of Great Moments in Television & Radio From NBC. John Wiley and Sons. p. 83 ISBN 0-471-46921-1
  27. ^ "Dear Bullwinkle Shorts". Retrieved 23 June 2014. 
  28. ^ "Opening to The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle La Grande Moose (1991) VHS". Retrieved 23 June 2014. 
  29. ^ "Rocky and Bullwinkle intermission". Retrieved 24 June 2014. 
  30. ^ Green, Heather (February 28, 2002). "A Library as Big as the World". BusinessWeek. Retrieved 2007-07-29. 
  31. ^ "The Moosylvania Page". Flyingmoose.org. Retrieved 2012-09-28. 
  32. ^ "The History of TSR". Wizards of the Coast. Archived from the original on October 4, 2008. Retrieved 2005-08-20. 
  33. ^ Internet Pinball Machine Database: Data East 'Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle and Friends'
  34. ^ TV Guide Names Top 50 Shows. Associated Press/CBS News: April 26, 2002
  35. ^ IGN – 11. The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show
  36. ^ "The Bullwinkle Show DVD news: Announcement for The Bullwinkle Show - Season 4". TVShowsOnDVD.com. Retrieved 2012-09-28. 
  37. ^ "Rocky & Bullwinkle & Friends™ Complete Series Now Available on DVD - FROSTBITE FALLS, Minn., Jan. 4, 2011 /PRNewswire/". Minnesota: Prnewswire.com. Retrieved 2012-09-28. 
  38. ^ a b "The Bullwinkle Show DVD news: Release Date for Rocky & Bullwinkle & Friends — Complete Season 5". TVShowsOnDVD.com. May 25, 2007. Retrieved 2012-09-28. 
  39. ^ a b tvdvdreviews.com – Rocky & Bullwinkle & Friends: Complete Season 1 DVD Review
  40. ^ "The Bullwinkle Show - Complete Season 1 DVD Information". TVShowsOnDVD.com. December 8, 2003. Retrieved 2012-09-28. 
  41. ^ "The Bullwinkle Show - Complete Season 2 DVD Information". TVShowsOnDVD.com. August 31, 2004. Retrieved 2012-09-28. 
  42. ^ "The Bullwinkle Show - Complete Season 3 DVD Information". TVShowsOnDVD.com. June 9, 2005. Retrieved 2012-09-28. 
  43. ^ "The Bullwinkle Show - Complete Season 4 DVD Information". TVShowsOnDVD.com. August 17, 2010. Retrieved 2012-09-28. 
  44. ^ Hulett, Steve (October 26, 2012). "The Gary Trousdale Interview -- Part III". The Animation Guild. Retrieved October 26, 2012. 
  45. ^ Wolfe, Jennifer (December 6, 2012). "DreamWorks Animation Previews 2013 Slate". Animation World Network. Retrieved October 20, 2013. 
  46. ^ VanDerWerff, Todd (October 14, 2013). "SpongeBob’s Tom Kenny talks his favorite voiceover artists". A.V. Club. Retrieved October 20, 2013. 
  47. ^ Truitt, Brian (June 19, 2014). "Go WABAC this fall with 'Mr. Peabody' on Blu-ray". USA Today. Retrieved June 25, 2014. "In addition, those who snag the 3-D Blu-ray version will enjoy a new animated adventure with Rocky and Bullwinkle." 
  48. ^ "1962 Timeline: July 23. A Bullwinkle newspaper strip by Al Kilgore, based on the animated series, makes its debut." American Comic Book Chronicles: 1960-64 by John Wells. TwoMorrows Publishing, 2012, Page 77.
  49. ^ Guerrero, Tony (April 28, 2013). "C2E2 13: Rocky & Bullwinkle, Mr. Peabody & Sherman and More Return to Comics". Comic Vine. Retrieved May 7, 2013. 
  50. ^ Billboard, page 78, September 18, 1961.
  51. ^ "But That Trick Never Works: The Bullwinkle Show Coming This Holiday Season". XBLArcade.com. November 16, 2007. Retrieved 2007-11-16. 
  52. ^ url = http://www.ipdb.org/machine.cgi?id=23
  53. ^ Michaud, Anne (March 26, 1993). "Taco Bell Signs Up Rocky and Bullwinkle for Commercials". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 25, 2014. 
  54. ^ Amidi, Amid (June 6, 2014). "Rocky & Bullwinkle Meet the GEICO Gecko". Cartoon Brew. Retrieved June 30, 2014. 

References[edit]

External links[edit]