The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle
|The Adventures of
Rocky and Bullwinkle
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Des McAnuff|
|Produced by||Robert De Niro
|Written by||Kenneth Lonergan|
|Based on||The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show
by Jay Ward
Robert De Niro
|Narrated by||Keith Scott|
|Music by||Mark Mothersbaugh|
|Cinematography||Thomas E. Ackerman|
|Edited by||Dennis Virkler|
|Distributed by||Universal Pictures|
|Running time||92 minutes|
The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle is a 2000 American live-action adventure comedy film produced by Universal Pictures, based on the television cartoon The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show by Jay Ward. The animated characters Rocky and Bullwinkle shared the screen with live actors portraying Fearless Leader (Robert De Niro), Boris Badenov (Jason Alexander), Natasha Fatale (Rene Russo). The film also featured supporting roles done by Piper Perabo, Randy Quaid, Kel Mitchell and Kenan Thompson. June Foray reprised her role as Rocky, whilst Keith Scott voices Bullwinkle and the film's narrator.
This film is also notable for its ensemble cast featuring guest appearances by performers including Paget Brewster, Janeane Garofalo, John Goodman, David Allen Grier, Don Novello, Jon Polito, Carl Reiner, Whoopi Goldberg, and Jonathan Winters.
Released in 2000, The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle was the third film in four years to have been a Jay Ward cartoon adaptation (George of the Jungle (1997) and Dudley Do-Right (1999) having preceded it).
1964 saw the cancellation of The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show and life became rather miserable and melancholy for Rocket "Rocky" J. Squirrel and Bullwinkle J. Moose. Their home, Frostbite Falls, has been destroyed in deforestation, Rocky has lost his ability to fly, and the show's unseen Narrator lives with his mother, spending his time narrating everything that she does. Bullwinkle and Rocky head out to address the President of the United States regarding their situation, but are stopped for six months by red tape. Meanwhile, their enemies Fearless Leader, Boris Badenov, and Natasha Fatale lose power over Pottsylvania and dig to a Hollywood film studio where they convince an executive Minnie Mogul (Janeane Garofalo) to sign a contract giving her rights to the show, and the villains are transformed from their two-dimensional cel animation origins, and become live-action characters (portrayed by Robert De Niro, Jason Alexander, and Rene Russo). The klutzy FBI agent Karen Sympathy (Piper Perabo) and her boss Cappy von Trapment (Randy Quaid) inform President Signoff (James Rebhorn) that Fearless Leader intends to make himself the President by brainwashing the American public with his cable television network "RBTV" (short for "Really Bad Television"), with virtually nothing but mediocre spy film-based programming on the air. Karen is sent to a special lighthouse to bring Rocky and Bullwinkle to the real world. She succeeds, the Narrator being brought along as well but never being physically seen.
Fearless Leader is informed of Rocky and Bullwinkle's return and sends Boris and Natasha to destroy them. The two take a laptop with them called the CDI (standing for Computer Degenerating Imagery) which can specifically destroy CGI-animated cartoon characters, and send them to the Internet. Karen manages to steal their truck after they drive her car off a cliff, but she is then arrested by an Oklahoma state trooper (John Goodman) when Natasha claims to be Karen. Natasha and Boris steal a helicopter to pursue Rocky and Bullwinkle. Rocky and Bullwinkle are given a ride by "Martin and Lewis" (Kel Mitchell and Kenan Thompson)) two students at Bullwinkle's old university, Wossamotta U. Boris and Natasha get there first, and make a large donation to the university in Bullwinkle's name. In return, the head of the university gives Bullwinkle an honorary "Mooster's Degree", and Bullwinkle addresses the student body, whilst Boris attempts to kill him with the CDI upon the water tower which they built in the park. Rocky recovers his lost ability to fly and saves the oblivious Bullwinkle. Martin and Lewis lend the two their car, but Bullwinkle goes on a wild ride through Chicago. Boris and Natasha once again attempt to kill the two but instead destroy their helicopter. Karen escapes prison with help from a love-struck Swedish guard named Ole.
Karen, Rocky, and Bullwinkle are reunited but then arrested and put on trial, where Bullwinkle's dimwittedness takes over him and he becomes extremely rude to Karen. However, the presiding Judge Cameo (Whoopi Goldberg) dismisses their case upon recognizing Rocky and Bullwinkle, stating to the District Attorney (Jeffrey Ross) that celebrities are above the law.
The three then obtain an old biplane from a man named Old Jeb (Jonathan Winters), and escape Boris and Natasha again. The evil duo consider quitting their evil occupations and getting married, but then Fearless Leader calls on the phone. Afraid to admit they failed, they lie to Fearless Leader that they killed Rocky and Bullwinkle. Meanwhile, the plane the heroes fly in is unable to fly with all three aboard. Rocky flies Karen to New York City to stop Fearless Leader, while Bullwinkle flies the plane to Washington, D.C. and lands at the White House. The villains capture Karen and Rocky, whilst Cappy e-mails Bullwinkle to RBTV's headquarters to free them. A battle follows, with the heroes winning and convincing the American public to vote for whoever they want but to replant Frostbite Falls' trees. Bullwinkle fiddles with the CDI and inadvertently zaps the villains back to their two-dimensional cartoon forms, and ultimately to the internet.
At the film's end, RBTV becomes "Rocky and Bullwinkle Television" and Karen dates Ole to see the Rocky and Bullwinkle movie. Returning to Frostbite Falls, the narrator reunites with his mother, the trees are replanted, and Rocky ends the movie by flying through the air and spells the words The End. Then Rocky and Bullwinkle say good bye to the people.
- Piper Perabo as Karen Sympathy
- Robert De Niro as Fearless Leader
- Rene Russo as Natasha Fatale
- Jason Alexander as Boris Badenov
- Randy Quaid as Cappy von Trapment
- Paget Brewster as Jenny Spy
- Janeane Garofalo as Minnie Mogul
- Carl Reiner as P.G. Biggershot
- Jonathan Winters as Whoppa Chopper Pilot, Ohio Cop with Bullhorn, Old Jeb
- John Goodman as Oklahoma State Trooper
- Kenan Thompson as Lewis
- Kel Mitchell as Martin
- James Rebhorn as President Signoff
- David Alan Grier as Measures
- Lily Nicksay as Sydney
- Jon Polito as Schoentell
- Don Novello as Fruit Vendor Twins
- Phil Proctor as RBTV floor director
- Jeffrey Ross as District Attorney
- Wesley Mann as Clerk
- Johnny Luckett (uncredited) as Television Repairman
- Billy Crystal (uncredited) as Mattress Salesman
- Whoopi Goldberg (uncredited) as Judge Cameo
- June Foray as Rocky, animated Natasha Fatale, Voice of Narrator's Mother
- Keith Scott as Bullwinkle, animated Fearless Leader, animated Boris Badenov, Voice of the Narrator
In the film, there are several songs, including:
- "Dreamer" - Supertramp
- "Be Ya Self" - Tarsha Vega
- "Hooray for Hollywood"
- "The Blue Danube" - Johann Strauss II
- "Secret Agent Man" - Johnny Rivers
- "The Child in You"
- "Through the Eyes of a Child" - Lisa McClowry
Rocky and Bullwinkle received mixed reviews from critics. Roger Ebert gave the film three stars out of four, saying, "It was a funny movie for kids and it was a funny movie for adults, too, and it has an attitude towards itself and it's in on the joke, and I really was surprised how much I liked it!" However, on $76 million budget the film grossed $35 million worldwide. The critical consensus on Rotten Tomatoes stated [that] "Though the film stays true to the nature of the original cartoon, the script is disappointing and not funny." The film has a rating of 43% from Rotten Tomatoes.
Alexander issued a public apology for the film and his appearance in it, despite getting more critical acclaim for his performance than Russo; the apology was replayed a number of times on The Howard Stern Show.
Awards and nominations
|Golden Raspberry Award||Worst Supporting Actress||Rene Russo||Nominated|
|Saturn Award||Best Supporting Actress||Nominated|
|Best Supporting Actor||Jason Alexander||Nominated|
- Roos, John (1999-04-12). "Keeping Her Father's Legacy Alive". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-11-07.
- The name is an apparent play on the 1950s comedy duo of Martin and Lewis; Mitchell and Thompson were also a famous comedy duo in their own right.
- "The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle (2000) - Box Office Mojo". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2010-06-04.
- Goldstein, Patrick (2000-07-11). "The Misadventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle and Other Tales From Remake Hell". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2010-12-07.
- Official website
- The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle at the Internet Movie Database
- The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle at the TCM Movie Database
- The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle at Box Office Mojo
- The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle at Rotten Tomatoes