Emerging in 1959, the episodicÂ Rocky and His Friends (later called The Bullwinkle Show), found an even large fan base than creator Jay Ward could have ever predicted. Featuring RocketÂ the FlyingÂ Squirrel and his pal Bullwinkle J.Â Moose, along with a quirky cast of characters ranging from Dudley Do-Right to the random guests onÂ Fractured Fairy Tales, NBC had a hit on its hands. Over four decades later, ClassicMedia and Genius Entertainment are releasing the best episodes on DVD for fans of all ages.
The second volume of The Best of Rocky and Bullwinkle features three full episodes: Wossamotta U, Treasure of Monte Zoom, and Goof Gas Attack. Each episodeÂ finds Boris, Natasha, and Fearless Leader, the haplessÂ evil villains from Pottsylvania, doing their best to defeat “squirrel and moose” by whatever means possible. Though originally aired in a fragmented style with cliffhanger endings, this volume presents complete story-arcs straight through for the viewer’s convenience. Ranging from eight to 12 episodes a story, these tales are just as enjoyable as when they were originally aired.
Rocky and His Friends and The Bullwinkle Show, though tame by today’s standards, plays out like something of a precursor toÂ Ren and Stimpy andÂ the more recentÂ Adult Swim. The episodes on thisÂ DVD setÂ feature shining examples of the subversive humor that made Rocky and Bullwinkle soÂ endearingly and lastingly popular.Â Watch as Boris and Natasha, about to spray the U.S. Congress with the brain impairingÂ Goof Gas, listen to their debates and decide that someone beat them to it; andÂ when the heads ofÂ Wossamotta University decide to improve its image,Â instead of hiring new professors, theyÂ let five go in order to hire five new football scouts.
The drawing’s may be extremely basic andÂ the jokes more punny than hilarious, but the educated style and fast-paced storylines maintain a certain draw that is unexplainable. There’s just something about this moose and squirrel that are hard to pass up. A bonus special features live show introductions by a Bullwinkle hand-puppet giving instructions to children on such questionable topics as how to get their own television sets. It’s the kind of stuff televisionÂ history is made of.
Zach’s Rating: A-
Bullwinkle’s rating: Wossamotta U
Boris Badenov’s rating: D+
To purchase The Best of Rocky and Bullwinkle Volume 2, visit Amazon