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Main continuing story involved Rocky and Bullwinkle in conflict with spies Boris and Natasha. Other segments included "Fractured Fairy Tales", "Peabody's Improbable History" (smart dog Peabody and his boy Sherman get in the way-back machine), the "Adventures of Dudley Doright" (Canadian Mountie vs. evil Snidley) and "Aesop and Son" (odd telling of the famous fables).Written by
Ed Stephan <email@example.com>
Great Animated Satire Series Ever To Grace Television
"The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle" was the most unconventional cartoon show ever devised for television during the late-1950's and throughout the entire 1960's. Arguably for its time,was the pun-laden,satirical "The Bullwinkle Show". Bullwinkle was a dim-witted moose from Frostbite Falls,Minnesota whose diminutive pal Rocky was a flying squirrel with an aviator's cap. The unlikely duo faced another twosome of Cold War combatants,trench-coat clad Boris and husky-voiced Natasha,whose sole mission was to "kill moose and squirrel." They never succeeded,with thanks due in varying proportions to Boris' stupidity,Rocky's quick thinking,and interactions with other odd types,including aliens from outer space,robots,demented bureaucrats,and much more. Topping it off was a narrator whose comments brought occasional responses in support or opposition from the participants,ending it all by telling viewers to "tune in to our next episode",or "be with us next time for",or "don't miss our next episode of",and giving two jokey titles for the next serialized adventure(which lasted no more than about eight minutes in length giving within a half-hour show). The result was a concoction that appealed to both adults and children.
One supporting segment later had its own spin-off consisting of various characters like Sherman and Peabody and of course Dudley Doright. Another was "Fractured Fairy Tales",the title segment of which featured a hapless fairy opening the first pages of a volume of classic fairy tales,then getting snapped up by the suddenly closing book.(If you're wondering where the producers got their ideas for the movie "Shrek",they got the insight from this segment of the Bullwinkle Show) Narrated by Edward Everett-Horton,the segment of "Fractured Fairy Tales" was an off-the-wall rendition of Cinderella,Sleeping Beauty,Rapunzel,and other well-known classics,plus along with the narrator who,as in the main show talked with the characters. "Peabody's Improbable History" had a bespectacled pooch(with a Ph.D and highly intelligent)take his pet boy Sherman back in time via his Waybac machine and make dry comments about circumstances that did not square with what history said had happened. The "Mr. Know-It-All" segment featured Bullwinkle's helpful but bumbling attempts to answer viewers' questions. And "Aesop and Son" featured a young looking curly-haired kid named Aesop telling his tunic-wearing offspring so-called parables with such characters as a lion who caught a cold every time he roared because he wanted to sing. The moral of of that one was "Psychiarists are very good,but they're never cured the common cold." And this within a segment of other stories that ran within an eight to nine minute time frame within a half-hour show. Another Bullwinkle segment was "The Poetry Corner",where Bullwinkle takes a stab of classic poetry with hilarious results.
The cartoon was the only original series in ABC's late-afternoon lineup when it premiered on November 19,1959(which was by the way filmed in color but telecast in black and white),airing under the title of Rocky and Friends. However,it continued successfully well at ABC-TV until September 3,1961. On September 23,1962 the series moved from ABC over to NBC-TV,and this time around was in color with new episodes and under a new title "The Bullwinkle Show". Series creator and also executive producer Jay Ward offscreen antics were the keys to some of the great writing that they had on this animated classic(along with co-writers Allan Burns and Chris Hayward the writing team behind a lot of classic TV shows including "Mister Ed","Get Smart",and so forth). The series remained with the peacock network until September 5,1964. At the start of the 1964-65 season,the "Bullwinkle" show return to ABC in repeated episodes from September 20,1964 until September 2,1973 and was mostly shown on Saturday and Sunday Mornings for the remainder of its run on the ABC network. From 1963 through 1973(ten years)the show not only aired on weekends in repeated episodes,but also had a loyal cult following in the syndicated markets too from 1973 until 1981. There was a final network run of the series for NBC during the 1981-82 season. Did you know that William Conrad was the narrator for this series and later on Bill Scott? Voice regulars included June Foray(who basically did the voices for all of the female characters on the show and also the voice of Rocky and other young boys),Bill Scott(was one of the co-producers and was one of the writers for the show and was not only the voice of Bullwinkle,but did the voices for the characters of Mr.Peabody,Dudley Doright,and Aesop),Charles Ruggles,Paul Frees(who was the voice of Boris and other characters),and Walter Tetley.
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