Monday, November 16, 2009
Rocket J. Squirrel and Bullwinkle J. Moose have been chosen for the Tooniverse entries into the TV Crossover Hall of Fame for November, the month in which we traditionally have a political theme. And if any cartoon characters in the Tooniverse showed "subversive" political leanings, it was these two citizens of Frostbite Falls.
This spilled over into the Real World as well. As a publicity stunt, Jay Ward and Bill Scott campaigned for statehood for "Moosylvania", Bullwinkle's fictional home state. They drove a van to about 50 cities collecting petition signatures. Arriving in Washington DC, they pulled up to the White House gate to see President Kennedy, and were brusquely turned away. They learned that the evening they had arrived was during the height of the Cuban Missile Crisis.
They've also been invoked in political cartoons and slanted jabs at opposing candidates, utilized by both sides of any political stance: That's not enough to qualify for induction, of course. They needed three separate appearances in Toobworld, and Moose und Squirrel fill the bill: The first two seasons appeared on ABC as 'Rocky And His Friends'; the last three seasons aired on NBC as 'The Bullwinkle Show'; and then there are the blipverts they made in support of their sponsor, General Mills cereals.
It's a good thing they have those commercials in their roster, because I'd hate to think that they're qualifications for induction depended on two theatrically released movies in which they were featured. At least in "The Adventures of Rocky And Bullwinkle", they were seen in their traditional forms. In "Boris And Natasha", they had been transformed into humans!
They've also appeared outside the TV Universe in book form:
At least Bullwinkle (not sure about Rocky) made it into the live action Toobworld, thanks to his portrayal in puppet form in an early incarnation of the character: