Friday, October 29, 2010

Ten Things You May Not Know About Rocky and Bullwinkle

Alexander Anderson Jr., cartoonist and creator of many beloved characters such as Rocky the flying squirrel, Bullwinkle the moose and Dudley Do-Right died on October 22, 2010 at the age of 90.  In tribute, here are ten things which you may not know about the Rocky and Bullwinkle Show and its creators and characters:

1.  Inspiration for Bullwinkle came from a dream Anderson had, in which he was seated next to a card-toting  moose at a poker game with friends.

 2.  A Berkeley, CA, Ford car dealership (Bullwinkel Motors) owner named Bullwinkel furnished the inspiration for Bullwinkle's name.  Anderson thought the name was interesting and changed some letters in order to come up with Bullwinkle's name.

3.  Bullwinkle's favorite line was:  "Watch me pull a rabbit out of my hat."

4.  Anderson and his frat brother (Jay Ward) -- working out of a garage -- created "Crusader Rabbit", which was one of the first animated series produced for TV.  It aired on NBC in the 1950's.

5.  Rocky and Bullwinkle lived in the fictional town of Frostbite Falls, Minnesota.  It was named after an actual town in northern Minnesota named International Falls.  A reporter had called that place the "icebox of America", hence the 'Frostbite' pun.

6.  Anderson thought Rocky's ability to fly was more believable than some superheroes, for some squirrels actually do have the ability to fly (or at least glide).

7.  Rocky's tagline was "Hokey Smoke!"

8.  Name four evildoers who were opposed by Rocky and Bullwinkle.  (Answers are at end of list.)

9.  In 2000, a feature film "The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle" was released.

10. The middle name of Rocky begins with a 'J'.  Some believe the squirrel's actual name is Rocket Jet Squirrel.  As a tribute, "The Simpsons" creator, Matt Groening,  gave Homer, Bart and Grandpa Abe the same middle initial.  Bullwinkle also had "J" as his middle initial.  The squirrel and moose may have been given this initial to honor Jay Ward (co-creator) and Bill J. Scott (producer and writer).


(Answer to #8:  Boris Badenov, Natasha Fatale, Mister Big, and Fearless Leader.  Also, Boris and Natasha were modeled after the Addam's Family couple, Gomez and Morticia.  Boris and Natasha were a parody of the Cold War, which was already many years underway before the series aired.)

Note:  Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoons can be viewed (free) online at

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