“Rocky and Bullwinkle” was expression of Jay Ward’s humor
Jay Ward was around in television animation from the beginning: His “Crusader Rabbit,” co-created with Alex Anderson, was the first animated program created specifically for television. And his designs are still seen today; a version of the “Cap’n Crunch” character he created is still used to publicize the Quaker Oats cereal.
But the most perfect expression of the animation producer’s sense of humor lives on in “The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show.”
All five seasons of the show, which began airing in 1959, are now available on DVD. A boxed set of the five — the first two, originally released as “Rocky and His Friends” and the last three as “The Bullwinkle Show” — was released last
Rocky, aka Rocket J. Squirrel, and best friend Bullwinkle J. Moose, lived in Frostbite Falls, Minn., where they were often beset by Boris Badenov and Natasha Fatale, spy agents for the fictional nation of Pottsylvania.
“Rocky and Bullwinkle” was intended to work on two levels, says Tiffany Ward, daughter of Jay, who died in 1989. Tiffany Ward is now the president of Ward Productions.
“He said he wasn’t going to write down for children,” Ward said of her father. “He was writing humor for adults, and his belief would be that little kids would like the show because of the cute characters and the great voices of the moose and squirrel, and Boris and Natasha. And the middle-level kids he figured would really work harder to get the inside jokes because their parents would be laughing. And I believe he was right, and I believe that’s why, 51 years later, we’re still here and producing things that people still want to see.”
Ward said her father and Scott were among the first to really popularize irreverent humor in television animation.
Ward now oversees the use of the characters from the show, including “Mr. Peabody and Sherman,” who are set to come to theaters in 2014 in a DreamWorks animated film starring Robert Downey Jr.
Message Sent Successfully
Be Sure to Check Out Our Top Headlines
Back to share with a friend form.
Add More Recipients