I just read a not-very-good book on the show’s history (“The Moose That Roared”) and have been watching reruns on the Cartoon Network. Loved the show when I was a kid, and note some things now as a grownup:
• The R & B segments are as great as ever, but the animation SUCKS, even by the low standards of the early '60s. Some of the jokes a kid couldn’t have possibly gotten: references to “The Snake Pit,” Veronica Lake, Guy Lombardo. Hilarious!
• I’m sorry, but the Aesop and Peabody segments were TERRIBLE.
• “Dudley do Right”—brilliant. Haven’t seen “George of the Jungle” or “Superchicken” in ages, so I don’t remember if time has gilded them with an undeserved luster.
Any other Rocky fans out there, or has everyone forsaken them for The Powerpuff Girls?
Powerpuff Girls suck, but I watch Rocky and Bullwinkle every chance I get. I agree that the animation was pretty bad, but if you get the humor, it’s a great show. One word of warning, though. If they’re ever having a R&B marathon, don’t watch it. A lot of things they do get old when you see how much it was done, especially Bullwinkle’s stupid puns. Anyway, no Eve, you’re not alone.
Another Rocky and Bullwinkle fan checking in! I love the fact that the humor is geared more to an adult audience, while still having the gags that appeal to the kids (and the kids at heart). I don’t care that the animation sucked.
The Fractured Fairy Tales are my favorite of the side-segments. And, of course, I loved the Narrator. In-jokes, topical references, puns–all in all, a cartoon more clever than it had to be. Oh, sure, they could have gotten by by focusing on pleasing the kids and leaving it at that. Thank goodness Jay Ward et al. decided to reach a little higher.
I loved the show, too! Whatever happened to schtick in television writing? I know they were corny, but Jay Ward cartoons, Sherwood Schwartz comedies, Mel Brooks-created shows (like Get Smart) were silly but sly. Even Captain Crunch commercials ruled.
Semi-hijack: I also ADORED Fractured Flickers, another Jay Ward creation, sort of a pre-MST3K kind of show, and can find no one who remembers it. Eve, do you? End semi-hijack.
I absolutely love Rocky and Bullwinkle, even though I have no idea when it originally aired. I never saw much of it until I started watching Cartoon Network this summer. Dudley Do-Right is great too. I think the animation adds to the shows, even if it isn’t as high quality as some other cartoons. Maybe its the nostalgic “this is what cartoons were like before they became half hour commercials” feeling.
I don’t have cable, so I haven’t seen this show in years. But my favorite bits were the old guy(s) telling the young kid about their impossible adventures - those were hiliarious when I was a kid. Can someone please tell the name of those bits?
sigh Those were the days weren’t they? When a flying squirrel and an intellectually-challenged moose would keep us entertained?
Loved the show. Looking forward to the movie which for some reason has been delayed to December down under.
Another R&B fan here!
Eve, I gotta disagree with you - Peabody’s Improbable History was good to excellent. Aesop & Son was only fair to good.
GOTJ and Superchicken weren’t as good as R&B. But who could forget “Fred, if you’re afraid you’ll have to overlook it/Besides you knew the job was dangerous when you took it.”
I also remember Fractured Flickers. A&E tried a version of them a few years ago, called “Mad Movies” IIRC. Not as good, of course. Didn’t have the great voice actors FF did.
I liked the cartoon but the Movie was the worst movie ever. Piper whats-her-name is a hottie, though.
The World of Commander McBragg. I hate to call someting “classic” that I watched on its first run, but…
If you like old cartoons, check out this site. (Sorry, but I never learned how to make it a neat link)
I love Rocky and Bullwinkle. So what if the animation sucks. I mean, South Park is construction paper cut outs and people still love it. And the humor is sometimes so bad that it’s good. And sometimes it’s just good. I like all the segments, but I think Mr. Know it All is one of the most amusing. And as far as the movie. I saw it and I didn’t think it was that bad. Of course it won’t satand up to the original cartoon, but what did you expect?
Count me in. I don’t have cable, so the only time I get to watch on Cartoon Network is when I’m visiting family or in a hotel room that offers the full cable package instead of just the broadcast stations, CNN, and HBO. So when I saw a group of “Best of Rocky & Bullwinkle” tapes in the remainders section of a local Barnes & Noble for less than $5 each, I grabbed them. Can’t make my wife see why I enjoy them so much, but then we’ve never had any tastes in common.
On a tangential note (and at the other end of the animation quality spectrum), I was very pleased to see while visiting the in-laws this weekend that Cartoon Network has started devoting half-hour shows to Bob Clampett and Tex Avery. It’s way past time that Clampett got the attention he deserves (Avery and Chuck Jones are much more likely to be known by the average Joe on the street). One of my all-time favorite evenings at the movies was the second of two Friday night programs several years ago at Atlanta’s Woodruff Arts Center of Bob Clampett cartoons, with new 35mm prints provided by Turner (all of the versions we grew up watching were video transfers of faded, scratched old prints, particularly where the oldest stuff was concerned). Gorgeous on the big screen, and tons of fun (especially, for instance, an old black & white Porky Pig that I’d never seen before). I only regret that I was out of town for the other program the week before.
Well, I thought the movie was sock-retching awful. My husband liked it, and I think it was the Piper Perabo (or whatever her name is) factor.
Side rant of puzzlement: why have I only chosen sucky movies to go to lately?
I haven’t read the thread yet because I’m being kicked off the computer, but I have to chime in as a huge R&B fan.
IMHO, I don’t think the quality of the animation was very important, much in the way that it’s not important for Southpark.
I’ll be back soon for:
More commentary on witty toons
The cat gave Moe back moe’s tongue, and Moe has mo to say.
My favorite cartoon shows:
Rocky and Bullwinkle[sub]TIE[/sub]
George of the Jungle
I watched an entire R & B marathon on Cartoon Network recently, and on Saturday nights at 11PM PST there is usually an hour of R&B and Dudley-D. I tape it every week.
I have probably seen each episode at least 50 times over the years, and I never get tired of Jay Ward’s dry wit, inside jokes and adult humor.
Has it already been mentioned that Jay Ward Productions was involved in GOJ also? I’m not sure how involved Jay was at that point, but alot of the reasons I enjoyed the earlier JW cartoons are the same reasons I like George.
Cartoon’s are kind of a guilty pleasure for me, and it is always great to find other adults who share my passion.
BTW, I have R&B wallpaper and sound effects on my computer-When I log off, William Conrad says “And now we come to the end of another fun-filled episode” and Bullwinkle says “Ya’ know, Rocky, he sure has a strange idea of fun!”
I LOVE IT!
I loved Rocky and Bullwinkle as a kid, and I still do. When I lived in Salt Lake City one of the public TV stations ran R&B (without commercials!) – an unusually enlightened bunch. I have to resectfully disagree with Eve about Mr. Peabody, too. Wonderfully off-the-wall bits, with atrocious puns. (As someone recently pointed out, Mr. Peabody literally was a “shaggy dog”.) But R&B had their share of wonderfully bad puns, too. My favorite was the ruby-encrusted model of an Arabian Dhow with “Omar Khayyam” written on it. (“Well, I’m not going to say it.” “Oh, all right, I will. That must be the RUBY YACHT OF OMAR KHAYYAM.”) It was YEARS before I got that one.
Eve, I’ve seen that book, too, but I haven’t looked through it. Have you read Louis Chunovic’s “The Rocky and Bullwinkle Book” (Bantam, 1996, but it’s HUGE and overpriced.)?
If memory serves, Commander McBragg was NOT done by Jay Ward, even if it is the same style. Ward DID do the early Crusader Rabbit cartoons (but not the later ones, apparently).
If you’re a Jay Ward fan, keep an eye out for video copies of his first cartoon series, Crusader Rabbit. Unfortunately, being illegal, they’re almost impossible to find. (As a side note, Ward’s entire run of Cap’n Crunch ads is also available on video.)
Rocky and Bullwinkle were clearly inspired by Crusader Rabbit and Rags the Tiger. Both had a small smart guy and a big dumb guy who went on adventures which where spread out over several episodes and had “grown-up” humor.
But if you think the animation on Rocky & Bullwinkle is bad, you ain’t see nothing yet. From a technical standpoint, Crusader Rabbit is to Rocky & Bullwinkle what Rocky & Bullwinkle is to The Lion King.
Moose and Squirrel air on YTV, one episode per week, up here. Great stuff…
Though, like some, I prefer the R and B segments and Dudley Do-Right. Peabody is okay…
I liked the recent Rocky and Bullwinkle movie (say a 7 out of 10)…but I saw it at a $2 second-run theatre, so I was prepared to be indulgent.
Hardcore R&B fan, here. When the videos were first re-released, a bunch of us at work would order in food and watch R&B over breaks.
When I left that job they gave me a coffee mug emblazoned, Fearless Leader. Of course Fearless Leader is the grotesque, evil boss of Boris and Nataysha. (sentimental sniff)
I loved R&B as a kid, but most of the humor sailed right over my head. The clunky animation is just part of the charm, IMO. The quality is in the writing.
The Aesop bits are so-so, but Peabody and Fractured Fairytales are priceless. And Dudley, Horse, Nell and Snidely Whiplash; pure, silly bliss. (I always loved that Horse had a 100 point IQ jump on Dudley.)
Great stuff, and damned clever.