Rocky the Flying Squirrel
|Rocky the Flying Squirrel|
|The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show character|
Rocky the Flying Squirrel
|Created by||Alex Anderson,
|Voiced by||June Foray|
Rocket J. Squirrel, usually called by the nickname "Rocky", is the name of the flying squirrel protagonist of the 1959-1964 animated television series Rocky and His Friends and The Bullwinkle Show (both shows often referred to collectively as The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show), produced by Jay Ward. Rocky's sidekick is the cartoon moose, Bullwinkle. Both Rocky and Bullwinkle were given the middle initial "J" as a reference to Ward.
Jay Ward and partner Alex Anderson originally created Rocky as part of The Frostbite Falls Review, a proposed pilot that wasn't developed. The character was later used as the star of the series Rocky and His Friends.
Rocky shared a house with Bullwinkle, in the fictional small town of Frostbite Falls, Minnesota, a parody of the real-life American town of International Falls, Minnesota. Rocky and Bullwinkle would often have various adventures that usually saw them thwart the various schemes of the series' villains, Boris Badenov and Natasha Fatale (and also occasionally Boris and Natasha's superior, Fearless Leader).
Rocky's most frequently used catch phrase was "hokey smoke!"
Rocky's personality was meant to be that of an upstanding, if slightly naive, all-American youth. As the brains of the "moose and squirrel" duo, Rocky often was shown as coming up with creative solutions to the various situations the duo found themselves in on their adventures. However, he is no less gullible toward Boris Badenov's and Natasha Fatale's disguises than Bullwinkle. The best he can do is to occasionally remark, "Those two look familiar!" or "That voice, where have I heard that voice?"
Powers and abilities
Rocky often made extensive use of his ability to fly, which was presented with, appropriate to his full name, a jet engine sound effect. The original opening title of Rocky and His Friends introduces Rocky as "that Jet Age aerial ace", complete with Rocky performing a solo air show for a crowd of spectators. His airborne abilities have been depicted inconsistently; some episodes, such as the first season's "Jet Fuel Formula" storyline, presented this ability as limited to gliding (similar to the abilities of a real flying squirrel). Other episodes presented Rocky's flight abilities as similar to those of Superman (hovering in mid-air, ascending in altitude, carrying objects, etc.); one example is Rocky flying from Minnesota to Washington DC under his own power in the second season's "Greenpernt Oogle" storyline.
Occasionally, Rocky would rely on Bullwinkle's strength (via an acrobatic maneuver) to provide him with an extra boost in flight speed, as shown in his attempt to reach the hovering Mount Flatten in the second season's "Upsidaisium" storyline.
According to the series, Rocky learned his aerial skills at the Cedar Yorpantz Flying School (a play on the idiomatic expression "seat of your pants").
Voice artist June Foray was the voice of Rocky, as well as the voice of Natasha Fatale and other characters. Foray continues to voice the character in current media depictions of Rocky and Bullwinkle, including in the 2000 live-action/animated movie The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle.
The Rocky character made an appearance in Gary Larson's "The Far Side" comic strip, causing Larson to comment "I've discovered an interesting phenomenon. Once you've drawn Rocky the Flying Squirrel, you can never draw him again. In the final version, I must have drawn and erased that miserable little rodent fifty times, and he ultimately ended up looking like Rocky the Flying Hamster."
- Rocky and his Friends (1960) (Dell)
- Bullwinkle (1962) (Gold Key)
- Rocky and His Fiendish Friends(1962) (Gold Key)
- Bullwinkle Mother Moose Nursey Pomes (1962) (Dell)
- Bullwinkle and Rocky (1970) (Charlton)
- Bullwinkle and Rocky (1987) (Star Comics)
- Bullwinkle and Rocky Marvel Moosterworks (1992) (Marvel)
- The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle and Friends (1992)
- Rocky and Bullwinkle (video game) (2008)
- King, Susan (2003-08-19). "Bullwinkle is back". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-11-07.
- Gary Larson, PreHistory of The Far Side: A 10th Anniversary Exhibit, ISBN 978-0836218510
- Rocket 'Rocky' J. Squirrel at the Internet Movie Database
- Hokey Smoke! Rocky and Bullwinkle
- TV Acres.com entry on Rocky
- International Superheroes entry on Rocky