Untitled

Untitled

Untitled

'Batman: Last Rites' Framed Giclée on archival paper Fine Art Print

Untitled

Entertainment Earth

Untitled

"Hey, Rocky, watch me pull a rabbit outta my hat."

- W.J. Flywheel, Webporium Curator

ROCKY & BULLWINKLE

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 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 & 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 is known for the quality of its writing and humor. Mixing puns, cultural and topical satire, and self-referential humor, it was designed to appeal to adults as well as children. It was also one of the first cartoons whose animation was outsourced; storyboards were shipped to Gamma Productions, the same Mexican studio employed by Total Television. Thus the art has a choppy, unpolished look and the animation is extremely limited even by television animation standards. Yet 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 and spawned a number of feature films.

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."

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., 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., 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 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 until 1973, at which time the series went into syndication.

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. Rocky & Bullwinkle have been syndicated under various titles and packages over the years including segments repackaged from the original run of the series.

 

Untitled

General- Middle-Earth Banners

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.

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. 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 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 inevitably 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.

Boris and Natasha: The Movie

Boris and Natasha is a 1992 comedy film that was loosely based on the animated television series The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show. It was shot in New York City. The actors did not attempt to copy the accents of their animated counterparts, and although Rocky and Bullwinkle do not appear in this film, they are referred to by the names "Agent Moose" and "Agent Squirrel". This was due to the production company's inability to secure the rights to the animated characters' likenesses for this film. Originally intended for a theatrical release, this film was produced by Management Company Entertainment Group for Showtime Networks, and aired on Showtime on April 17, 1992.

Boris Badenov (Dave Thomas of SCTV fame) and Natasha Fatale (Sally Kellerman) are spies for the mean little country of Pottsylvania, where, sandwiched between the nations Wrestlemania and Yoursovania, the Cold War is still frigid. Their Fearless Leader hatches a plan to capture a time-reverse micro-chip, using the two spies as high-profile patsies. They clumsily defect to America and try to unravel Fearless Leader's master plan. But can these dim-witted fools survive a secret assassin, exploding potatoes and the temptations of capitalism? And what of their old foes, "Moosk unt Squoirrel"?

The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle

The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle is a 2000 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 played by Robert De Niro (yes, that Robert De Niro. De Niro was also one of the producers), Seinfeld's Jason Alexander was Boris Badenov, Rene Russo was Natasha Fatale, and Piper Perabo who played a new character, FBI agent Karen Sympathy (Perabo would later go on to work for the CIA in Showcase's Covert Affairs).

This film is also notable for its ensemble cast featuring guest appearances by Billy Crystal, Janeane Garofalo, Whoopi Goldberg, John Goodman, David Allen Grier, Kenan Thompson, Kel Mitchell, Don Novello, Jon Polito, Carl Reiner, and Jonathan Winters, along with many fourth wall breakages.

Set 35 years after The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show's cancellation, our two heros have been living off the meager finances of their TV reruns. To make matters worse, Rocky has lost his ability to fly, and the trees in Frostbite Falls have all been cut down. Meanwhile, over in Pottsylvania, home of Rocky and Bullwinkle's arch enemies Fearless Leader, Boris, and Natasha, the Iron Curtain has fallen, leading the villains to leave Pottsylvania, and dig through a tunnel all the way to the TV of a Hollywood Producer, Minnie Mogul. She signs a contract, giving her the rights to produce the Rocky and Bullwinkle Movie, and accidentally pulls the 3 villains out of the TV, turning them into humans! Now, Fearless Leader has an evil plan to hypnotize America, using RBTV (Really Bad TeleVision), making everyone's mind mush, so he can get everyone to vote for him for President. However, new FBI Agent Karen Sympathy has an assignment, get the only ones who could ever defeat these villains, Rocky and Bullwinkle. Using a green light lighthouse, Rocky and Bullwinkle (and their Narrator) are sucked out of the TV world, and to real life as 3D computer-generated characters! With all of America being hypnotized, and Fearless Leader's evil speech in 48 hours, and Boris and Natasha are sent out to destroy moose and squirrel before they can save the day.

Dudley Do-Right

Dudley Do-Right is a 1999 romantic comedy film produced by Davis Entertainment for Universal Studios. The film based on Jay Ward's Dudley Do-Right that was a regular feature of the Rocky & Bullwinkle Show. Starring Brendan Fraser as the cartoon's title character and Sarah Jessica Parker as Nell, it was shot in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Dudley Do-Right was Fraser's second film based on a Jay Ward cartoon, George of the Jungle having been his first, in 1997.

Brendan Fraser (George of the Jungle, The Mummy) brings his considerable charm to this live-action version of the classic cartoon Dudley Do-Right. The story begins with three children and a horse. These are young versions of Dudley Do-Right, Nell Fenwick, Snidely Whiplash, and Horse. The three talk of their aspirations; Dudley believes he is destined to be a royal Canadian Mountie while Nell wishes to see the world. Snidely, however, wishes to be the "bad guy".

Several years later, all three have fulfilled their supposed destinies. Dudley is now a Mountie (but always sticks to the rules and is frequently oblivious to even the most obvious of things), and Snidely (Alfred Molina) has become an infamous bank robber. Nell returns from her world tour and reunites with Dudley just as Snidely's hatches to take control of the town, renaming it "Whiplash City".

 

Untitled
Share

HOME - SEARCH - ABOUT US - TERMS - SITE MAP - NEWS - LINKS - CONTESTS - HALL OF FAME - AV CLUB - TRIVIAOGRAPHY - THE BIG STORE
Original material © Copyright 2017myneatstuff.ca - All other material © Copyright their respective owners.

When wasting time on the interweb why not visit our Kasey and Company Cartoon site?