The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show
The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show
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)
Format Animated series Created by Jay Ward
Voices of Bill Scott
Edward Everett Horton
Narrated by William Conrad Theme music composer Frank Comstock (1959–61)
Fred Steiner (1961–64)
Country of origin United States Language(s) English No. of seasons 5 No. of episodes 163 (326 Rocky & Bullwinkle segments) Production Executive producer(s) Ponsonby Britt, O.B.E Producer(s) Peter M. Piech Running time 22 minutes Production company(s) Jay Ward Productions
Producers Associates of Television, Inc. [P.A.T.]
Distributor Dancer Fitzgerald Sample (1959-1979)
The Program Exchange (1979-present)
ABC Films (1964-1973)
Broadcast Original channel ABC (1959–61)
Picture format Color Audio format Monaural Original run November 19, 1959 – June 28, 1964
The Rocky & Bullwinkle Show (known as Rocky & His Friends during its first two seasons and as The Bullwinkle Show for the remainder of its run) is an American animated television series that originally aired from November 19, 1959 to June 28, 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 & Sherman (a dog and his pet boy traveling through time), and Fractured Fairy Tales (classic fairy tales retold in comic fashion), among others.
Rocky & Bullwinkle were conceived in the late 1940s by Jay Ward and his partner Alex Anderson, creators of Crusader Rabbit, the first animated program made specifically for television. An unused show idea called The Frostbite Falls Revue featured early versions of the moose and squirrel. Ward took this idea with him when he moved to Los Angeles from Berkeley and hired former UPA animator Bill Scott to help write the show (and voice characters as it turned out). Production on the show began in late 1958 when cereal company General Mills signed on as the primary sponsor, and it premiered November 19 the following year in a late afternoon timeslot.
Rocky & Bullwinkle is well known for the quality of its writing and humor. Mixing equal parts puns, cultural and topical satire, and self-referential humor, it was designed to appeal to children and adults, but it was also one of the first cartoons to outsource its animation (storyboards were shipped to Mexican studio Gamma Productions, the same studio employed by Total Television). As a result, the art has a choppy, unpolished look and the animation is extremely limited (even by television animation standards). However, the series has been held in high esteem by those who have seen it; some critics have described the series as a well-written radio program with pictures.
The show was never a ratings hit and was shuffled around the day (airing in afternoon, prime time, and Saturday morning) but has garnered a minor yet influential cult following over the decades, influencing shows from The Simpsons to Rocko's Modern Life. A feature film based on the series was produced by Universal Studios and released on June 30, 2000 to lukewarm reviews.
The idea for the series was created by Jay Ward and Alex Anderson, who previously collaborated on Crusader Rabbit, and was based upon the original property The Frostbite Falls Revue. This original show never got past the proposal stage. It was about 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 Jay Ward's partner Alex Anderson. 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.
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, who became the head writer and co-producer at Jay Ward Productions, and who wrote all of the Rocky and Bullwinkle features. Ward was joined by writers Chris Hayward. and Allan Burns, who later became head writer for MTM Enterprises.
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, under the condition that the show be run in a late-afternoon time slot, where it could be targeted toward children. Subsequently, Ward hired most of the rest of the production staff, including writers and designers. However, no animators were hired, since Ward was able to convince some friends at Dancer, Fitzgerald, & Sample — an advertising agency that had General Mills as a client — to buy 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 numerous 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.
Network television: 1959–1973
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, preceding American Bandstand at 5:30 p.m. ET, where it was the highest rated daytime network program. 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 being aired opposite perennial favorite Lassie. A potential move to CBS caused NBC to reschedule the show to late Sunday afternoons (5:30 p.m. ET) 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. The series ran on cable in the late 1980s/early 1990s on Nickelodeon, and later from the 1990s into the early 2000s on Cartoon Network. As of March 2011, the show is rerunning on the Boomerang channel Saturday and Sunday at 6:30 a.m. ET.
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 Bullwinkle Studios, a joint venture of copyright holder Ward Productions and Classic Media. Two packages, each containing different episodes, are available. The syndicated version of The Bullwinkle Show contains 98 half-hour shows (#801–898). 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 of the 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. Another package, promoted under the Rocky And His Friends name but utilizing The Rocky Show titles, features other story lines not included in the syndicated Bullwinkle Show series.
The current syndicated Rocky And His Friends package still retains the 15-minute format, consisting of 156 individual episodes, but like The Bullwinkle Show, its content differs from the versions syndicated in the 1960s. 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 all of 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.
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. 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.
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 the next show 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. He did a segment called "Dear Bullwinkle," where letters specially made for the show were read and answered humorously. 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. 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 had conversations 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 just 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 very 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.
- 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 it. 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 on a large billboard, posting a sign. 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 it, 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.
The "Rocky & Bullwinkle" shorts serve as "bookends" for several other 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 talking dog genius named Mister Peabody who has a pet boy named Sherman. Peabody and Sherman use Peabody's "WABAC machine" (pronounced "way-back", 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 actually transpire as history has recorded. They are famous for including a terrible 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 gets 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 storylines altered 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 "& Son." Aesop was voiced (uncredited) by actor Charlie Ruggles and his son, Junior, was voiced by Daws Butler.
- Bullwinkle's Corner features the dimwitted moose attempting to inject culture into the proceedings by reciting 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 invariably ensues.
- Rocky and Bullwinkle Fan Club, a series of abortive attempts by Rocky and Bullwinkle to conduct the club's business. The fan club consists only of Rocky, Bullwinkle, Boris, Natasha, and Captain Peter Peachfuzz. These shorts show these 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 actually produced for Total Television, rather than Ward Productions. These segments were part of 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.
- The WABAC or Wayback Machine is a time machine used by Mr. Peabody and Sherman to witness, participate in, and more often than not alter famous events in history. The term "Wayback Machine" is a colloquial term 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.
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 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
- Rocky and Friends has aired in 100 countries.
- 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.
- 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.
- A pinball machine dedicated to Rocky and Bullwinkle was released in 1993 by Data East.
- When this show aired on Nickelodeon, it was entitled "Bullwinkle's Moose-a-rama" with the same end credits as "The Bullwinkle Show."
- Cartoon Network aired the show under the new "The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show" title, featuring their own version of the characters among a purple and green checkerboard background while retaining the original end credits.
- In January 2009, IGN named Rocky and Bullwinkle as the 11th best animated television series.
- In 2002, Rocky and His Friends ranked #47 on TV Guide's 50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time.
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.)
CED Videodisc Releases
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
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 than 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 something that appeared on the show (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 one of the video magazines publishing a letter criticizing the editing.) The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle Season 1 is available in Cracker Barrel for VHS.
Volume # VHS Name Ep Additional Segments 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. "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. "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. "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. "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. 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. Whistler's Moose "Moosylvania" and "Moosylvania Saved" Aesop and Son: The Mice in Council, Mr. Know-it-All: How to Direct a Tempermental 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. 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. "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. "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. "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. "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 24-Karat Goose
In 2002, Jay Ward Productions established a partnership with Classic Media called Bullwinkle Studios. 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. The complete series was then released on January 4, 2011, marking the debut of season 5 on DVD. A standalone release of season 5 was released on March 29, 2011. 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.
The DVD releases of the shows differ somewhat from the originals. The renaming of the show led to the sometimes clumsy superimposition of the new title onto preexisting opening credits and interior bumpers. A Bill Conrad sound-alike was used on to announce the new title, which some viewers found jarring. 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 also moved from their placement 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.
In 2005, Bullwinkle Studios 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.
DVD Name Ep # Release Date (Region 1) Discs Extras Complete First Season 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 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 33 September 6, 2005 4 Bullwinkle puppet openings; "The Best of Bullwinkle Follies" (a minstrel show themed montage of clips); the first segment of Season Four's "Painting Theft" Complete Fourth Season 19 August 17, 2010 2 None Complete Fifth Season 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
- Boris and Natasha, a live-action feature film starring the two spies, was produced in 1992. Neither Rocky nor Bullwinkle appear in this film; however the characters of Toots and Harve are identified as "Moose" and "Squirrel" at one point in the film. The film was originally intended to be released in theaters, but ended up premiering on Showtime.
- The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle, a theatrical film starring Rocky and Bullwinkle, was released in 2000. It was mostly live-action with Rocky and Bullwinkle appearing as computer-generated characters. For the film, June Foray returned to voice Rocky, while Bullwinkle was voiced by Keith Scott. Jason Alexander and Renee Russo played the live-action versions of Boris and Natasha. Although the movie retained the spirit and feel of the original cartoons, most critics did not think the film was as humorous as the original.
- Dudley Do-Right, a theatrical live-action film, was released in 1999 and starred Brendan Fraser, Sarah Jessica Parker and Alfred Molina.
- A live-action Peabody's Improbable History: Robin Hood was planned for release in 2001, but the film was canceled due to Universal Pictures' Dudley Do-Right and The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle underperforming at the box-office. More recently[when?], the film's production was revived by DreamWorks Animation to now be a computer-animated film.
- A syndicated daily newspaper comic strip titled Bullwinkle began in 1962 with original stories drawn by Al Kilgore.
- Rocky and Bullwinkle comic books were released by Gold Key Comics and, in the 1980s, by Star Comics (an imprint of Marvel Comics). Both 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 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 says 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 folied, the narrator comments the games will go on as planned in real time in Seoul, South Korea.
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!"
There was also a 78rpm single (Golden 659) 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 was 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."
- THQ released The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle and Friends for the Nintendo Entertainment System, Game Boy, and Super NES in 1992. Absolute Entertainment also released a version for the Sega Mega Drive, in 1994.
- Zen Studios released an Xbox Live Arcade video game titled Rocky and Bullwinkle for download on April 16, 2008.
- List of Rocky and Bullwinkle episodes (including links to articles on the various story arcs)
- Bullwinkle's Restaurant
- Dudley Do-Right Emporium
- ^ "Tales of Jay Ward and the Bullwinkle Gang". The Los Angeles Times. http://articles.latimes.com/1988-11-13/entertainment/ca-447_1_jay-ward. Retrieved 2010-11-07.
- ^ "Artist created TV's Rocky and Bullwinkle". The Los Angeles Times. http://articles.latimes.com/1989-10-13/news/mn-477_1_jay-ward. Retrieved 2010-11-06.
- ^ "Artist created TV's Rocky and Bullwinkle". The Los Angeles Times. http://articles.latimes.com/2010/oct/26/local/la-me-alexander-anderson-20101026. Retrieved 2010-11-07.
- ^ "Unsung Creator of Rocky and Bullwinkle Dies". Time. http://www.time.com/time/arts/article/0,8599,2027264,00.html. Retrieved 2010-11-07.
- ^ "Of Moose And Men". Sun Sentinel. http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/1997-01-02/lifestyle/9612310366_1_bullwinkle-j-moose-peabody-s-improbable-history-bullwinkle-show. Retrieved 2010-11-07.
- ^ "TV writer C. Hayward, of cartoon Bullwinkle". Sun Sentinel. http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/2006-12-18/news/0612170108_1_mr-hayward-bullwinkle-dudley-do-right. Retrieved 2010-11-07.
- ^ "Rocky & Bullwinkle & Friends - The Complete First Season". DVD Talk. http://www.dvdtalk.com/reviews/print.php?ID=7232. Retrieved 2010-11-07.
- ^ "Jay Ward: Masterful Humorist". The Los Angeles Times. http://articles.latimes.com/1989-10-15/opinion/op-128_1_jay-ward. Retrieved 2010-11-07.
- ^ Hogan's Interview | Business partner Alex Anderson interview
- ^ 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. http://www.title14.com/rocko/contributors/interview.html. Retrieved 9 November 2011.
- ^ "The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle -- Rotten Tomatoes". Flixster. http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/adventures_of_rocky_and_bullwinkle/. Retrieved 10 November 2011.
- ^ "Rock Lives". Entertainment Weekly. http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,313261,00.html. Retrieved 2010-11-07.
- ^ Alex Anderson, creator of Rocky and Bullwinkle, dies at 90 – washingtonpost.com
- ^ "Chris Hayward, 81, TV Writer And a Creator of 'Munsters'". The New York Times. http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=FB0C11F838550C7A8DDDAB0994DE404482. Retrieved 2010-11-07.
- ^ a b c d 
- ^ 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
- ^ "Northern Exposure," University of Chicago Magazine, April 1997
- ^ "PBS Special on Cartoon Says a Mooseful". The Los Angeles Times. http://articles.latimes.com/1991-03-07/entertainment/ca-3515_1_pbs-special. Retrieved 2010-11-07.
- ^ 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
- ^ Green, Heather (February 28, 2002). "A Library as Big as the World". BusinessWeek. http://www.businessweek.com/technology/content/feb2002/tc20020228_1080.htm. Retrieved 2007-07-29.
- ^ The Moosylvania Page
- ^ "The History of TSR". Wizards of the Coast. Archived from the original on 2008-10-04. http://www.webcitation.org/query?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wizards.com%2Fdnd%2FDnDArchives_History.asp&date=2008-10-04. Retrieved 2005-08-20.
- ^ Internet Pinball Machine Database: Data East 'Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle and Friends'
- ^ IGN – 11. The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show
- ^ TV Guide Names Top 50 Shows. Associated Press/CBS News: April 26, 2002
- ^ http://www.tvshowsondvd.com/news/Bullwinkle-Season-4/13733
- ^ http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/rocky--bullwinkle--friends-complete-series-now-available-on-dvd-112892769.html
- ^ a b http://www.tvshowsondvd.com/news/Bullwinkle-Season-5/14898
- ^ a b tvdvdreviews.com – Rocky & Bullwinkle & Friends: Complete Season 1 DVD Review
- ^ http://www.tvshowsondvd.com/releases/Bullwinkle-Complete-Season-1/2682
- ^ http://www.tvshowsondvd.com/releases/Bullwinkle-Complete-Season-2/3603
- ^ http://www.tvshowsondvd.com/releases/Bullwinkle-Complete-Season-3/5030
- ^ http://www.tvshowsondvd.com/releases/Bullwinkle-Complete-Season-4/10174
- ^ ROTTEN TOMATOES: Movies – Top Movies, Trailers, Tickets & Showtimes
- ^ Billboard, page 78, September 18, 1961.
- ^ "But That Trick Never Works: The Bullwinkle Show Coming This Holiday Season". XBLArcade.com. 2007-11-16. http://www.xblarcade.com/node/1424. Retrieved 2007-11-16.
- The Simpsons: The Complete 9th Season, Fox Home Video
- Rocky and His Friends at the Internet Movie Database
- The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show at TV.com
- The Bullwinkle Show at the Internet Movie Database
- Rocky and His Friends on TVGuide.com
- The Bullwinkle Show on TVGuide.com
- Full episodes of Rocky and Bullwinkle Show available for purchase at AOL Video
- Toonopedia's The Bullwinkle Show page
- Toon Tracker's The Bullwinkle Show page
- Bob Claster's interview of June Foray and Bill Scott
- Hear the entire record of Jay Ward's "Jazz from the Swamp" A tribute to Moosylvania
The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show Characters Locations Story ArcsSeason 1Season 2Season 3Season 4Season 5 Voice talent Supporting features Films Other Children's programming on NBC in the 1960s First-run animated series First-run live-action series Rebroadcasts Schedules1960-61 • 1961-62 • 1962-63 • 1963-64 • 1964-65 • 1965-66 • 1966-67 • 1967-68 • 1968-69 • 1969-70 Related programming and topics Prime time animated television series in the United States ABCThe Bugs Bunny Show (1960–1962) • Capitol Critters (1992) • Clerks: The Animated Series (2000) • The Critic (1994) • The Flintstones (1960–1966) • The Goode Family (2009) • The Jetsons (1962–1963) • Jonny Quest (1964–1965) • Matty's Funday Funnies (1959-1961) • Matty's Funnies with Beany and Cecil (1962) • Peanuts television specials (1965-present) • Top Cat (1961–1962) CBSThe Alvin Show (1961-1962) • CBS Cartoon Theater (1956) • Creature Comforts (2007) • Family Dog (1993) • Fish Police (1992) • Garfield television specials (1982-1991) • The Gerald McBoing-Boing Show (1956-1957) • This Is America, Charlie Brown (1988–1990) • Wacky Races (1967-1970) • Where's Huddles? (1970) FoxAllen Gregory (2011-present) • American Dad! (2005–present) • Batman: The Animated Series (1992-1993) • Bob's Burgers (2011-present) • The Cleveland Show (2009–present) • The Critic (1995) • Family Guy (1999–2002; 2005–present) • Futurama (1999-2003) • King of the Hill (1997–2009) • Napoleon Dynamite (2012-) • The PJs (1999–2000) • The Simpsons (1989–present) • Sit Down, Shut Up (2009) • X-Men_(TV_series) (1994-1995) NBC UPN WB First-run syndication
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