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The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle

The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle

The popularity of Rocky and Bullwinkle on television in the early sixties, was based on the clever misuse of words and situations.  Its strength was not with kids but with an audience that held on to every word for a twist or wisecrack.  In this big screen version, the strength remains, but the film weakens when live actors attempt to play the cartoon characters.

The heroes, Rocket J. (Rocky) Squirrel and Bullwinkle J. Moose, hale from Frosbite Falls, Minnesota.  According to the credits Rocky majored in snare drums at Juillard before completing studies at Cal Tech (Calvin's School of Supermarket Technology).  Bullwinkle is credited with attending M.I.T. (The Moose Institute of Toe-dancing) before he graduated with a degree in antlerthropology from the famous Wossamotta U.

Talent and clever lines are abundant and Rene Russo is a flawless Natasha Fatale as she teams with a static Jason Alexander's Boris Badenov.  Russo has all the moves, motions and accent as she floats from the cartoon world to become a real bad girl spy for Pottsylvania.  Randy Quaid's Cappy von Trappment, an aid to U.S. President Signoff, almost convinces us of a serious crisis with the Pottsylvania spies in a tongue-in-cheek White House protector role.  But Robert De Niro's Fearless Leader wears thin quickly.  Karen Sympathy (Piper Perabo) is the pivotal role between the leaders of the country and the Rocky and Bullwinkle team whom everyone knows can foil Badenov and Natasha.

In the beginning Rocky and Bullwinkle are living out their lives in Frosbite Falls where Bullwinkle walks in the forest which has been completely cut down.  His mission is to meet with President Signoff to save the disappearing forest.  When FBI agent Karen Sympathy is sent to seek help with the Pottsylvania gang from the squirrel and moose, the two missions fold together.  After surviving Bullwinkle's driving, bombs from Natasha and Boris, and Fearless Leader's attempt to steal the presidential election, the dynamic duo save the day.

When the astute writers allow us to meet characters like General Consternation, General Foods and General Store who advise the president on military matters, or listen to the national anthem "Hail, Hail Pottsylvania," it is easy to understand the popularity which this sophisticated animated broadcast enjoyed.

When real people get out of the way, the lead characters voiced by June Foray and Keith Scott, entertain with bright clever eccentric ideas, and our trip to Frosbite Falls is both nostalgic and pleasing.

The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle

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