Where's the love for Rocky and Bullwinkle?

The Mush

Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2011
Messages
20
Reaction score
1
I often wonder why there were two syndication packages (The Rocky Show and The Bullwinkle Show). It seems The Bullwinkle Show syndication package is the most commonly-broadcast syndication package, and ironically, that syndication package only includes the last season of the actual Bullwinkle Show, along with every cliffhanger from Rocky and His Friends. Though I've read that Nickelodeon had both syndication packages in the 1990s (and I do recall seeing a number of cliffhangers that I haven't seen broadcast elsewhere in syndication).

The Rocky Show is the package from the show on ABC. The Bullwinnkle Show was thr package made when Ward and Scott switched from ABC to NBC.
 

minor muppetz

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 19, 2005
Messages
15,949
Reaction score
2,623
I don't think they could have or would have. After all, they cut the episodes up something fierce and replaced segments left and right. I remember seeing U.K. segments that shouldn't have been in episodes. Must've been a rights thing. I definitely saw To Morrow in the wrong episode.
I'm pretty sure that Nickelodeon's broadcasts of The Muppet Show usually only included stuff from the episodes shown, only editing about two minutes (usually an entire segment, but sometimes a number of scenes were shortened or several short scenes were cut). Aside from editing (and replacing the first season opening and Zoot endings) the only alterations Nick made that I know of were moving Rita Moreno's closing number to the openign number (which was cut) and replacing the Muppet Labs sketch from the Pearl Bailey episode with a Statler and Waldorf scene from the Roy Rogers and Dale Evans episode (where Waldorf suggests putting the show out of it's misery).

I definately saw To Morrow in Nickelodeon's broadcast of the Rita Moreno episode.
 

minor muppetz

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 19, 2005
Messages
15,949
Reaction score
2,623
About a year ago I asked on the Toonzone forums why one of the syndication packages was called The Rocky Show as opposed to Rocky and His Friends, and was told that it was because the syndication package started when the show was still in production, and at the time most shows were retitled if reruns were syndicated while new episodes were being produced. I wonder when the show first entered syndication, though. I would have expected it to enter syndication after the show became The Bullwinkle Show, and if the show already changed it's title then the syndication package should have remained Rocky and His Friends.

I wonder if episodes and segments ever switched in syndication pachages over the years (the various Looney Tunes TV packages swaped cartoons every few years until the merge between Time Warner and Ted Turner). I know that supporting segments from Tenessee Tuxedo and Underdog were included in the Bullwinkle Show syndication package until 1990, and I wasn't exposed to the series until 1991. My first exposure to the series was the VHS tapes from Buena Vista, but I quickly found the syndicated reruns. I remember then they seemed to repeat the episodes in order, and noticed certain episodes from the VHS tapes not being included, though there are others from the Bullwinkle Show syndication package I don't remember seeing back then. In fact, at that time I don't remember the last season episodes airing, but I know they were shown in the syndication package on Cartoon Network, which showed seasons 1, 2, and most of season 5.
 

D'Snowth

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 8, 2003
Messages
40,651
Reaction score
12,806
I believe "The Rocky Show" syndication package is apparently mostly used internationally, whereas "The Bullwinkle Show" package is used mostly in the U.S.

Idon't know much about "The Rocky Show" syndication package (I understand it's supposed to be only 15 minutes long as opposed to half an hour), but I do know "The Bullwinkle Show" package: it was half an hour, and the first two "seasons" (the first two seasons of the entire series) were formatted as one Rocky and Bullwinkle segment, Fractured Fairy Tails (occasionally Aesop and Son), Mr. Know-it-All, Peabody's Improbable History (occasionally Dudley Do-Right), a second Rocky and Bullwinkle segment, and Bullwinkle's Corner; while the third "season" of the package (the last season of the entire series) was reformatted with one Rocky and Bullwinkle segment, Mr. Know-it-All, Fractured Fairy Tales, another Rocky and Bullwinkle segment, Bullwinkle's Corner, and a third Rocky and Bullwinkle segment (which the except of that first episode of that "season", which actually had four Rocky and Bullwinkle segments, with two Mr. Know-it-Alls and a Bullwinkle's Corner). I should also point out that the first two "seasons" only utilized the sunflowers intermezzos, whereas the last "season" utilized those, plus all the "Watch me pull a rabbit outta my hat" ones (except for the only one with the red curtain, and where Bullwinkle pulls Rocky out instead).

But then again, just about all of those classic cartoons were treated weird in syndication: for instance, most cartoons have the end titles redone for every episode of the series, where it basically lists every single writer, every single director, every single voice artist, etc, and so forth. Also, Drtooth explained this once that for a cartoon to be syndicated, FCC only requires a minimum of 65 episodes, so often, these distributors will only purchase that many episodes, which is why in the case of Rocky and Bullwinkle, "The Bullwinkle Show" we never see Seasons Three or Four in syndication, or like in the case of The Chipmunks, their first 65 episodes was five and a half seasons, so there's two and a half seasons that were never shown in reruns.

Oh, and you also mentioned the show on Cartoon Network: they used the same "Bullwinkle Show" package, but they modified it with their own main titles (basically the various different characters chromakeyed in front of a green and purple checkerboard design, with a new title called "The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show", which is odd, because they retained "The Bullwinkle Show" closing credits).
 

minor muppetz

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 19, 2005
Messages
15,949
Reaction score
2,623
I was watching the Maybe Dick storyline recently, and notice at one point, two fish versions of Chauncy and Edward do their "That's something you don't see everyday..." routine, regarding the characters going into some sort of cave, and one of them says, "I don't know. This is the Rocky Show". That episode was from the second season, when it was still titled Rocky and His Friends. But now that I think of it, I wonder if reruns were in syndication by then (or at least a syndication deal was going on), and they prepared such a line for rerun purposes.

But then again, another season two episode has Boris directly mentioning Rocky and His Friends by title. In Rue Britania, Boris says "No more moose, no more squirrell, no more Rocky and His Friends". And I was a little confused when I first heard that line, having been unfamiliar with the Rocky and His Friends title.

I sort of find it ironic that while the season 3-5 "Bullwinkle Show" opening and closing are the only one in syndication, it's the only opening and closing not on the DVDs (I wonder if it would have been too difficult to alter that title to "The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle and Friends"). The Buena Vista VHS releases don't include any of the openings (they just start with the openings for the "Rocky and Bullwinkle" segments, which don't introduce any of the other chapters on the videos), but they do include the closing (though it seems the first few credits are also cut from the video).
 

D'Snowth

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 8, 2003
Messages
40,651
Reaction score
12,806
The Buena Vista VHS releases don't include any of the openings (they just start with the openings for the "Rocky and Bullwinkle" segments, which don't introduce any of the other chapters on the videos), but they do include the closing (though it seems the first few credits are also cut from the video).
The Buena Vista VHSs omit the very beginning of the credits that mention "The Bullwinkle Show Produced by Jay Ward & Bill Scott", BUT, they take the following "Animation by Gamma Productions" credits, and tag them to the very end after "Executive Producer Ponsonby Britt".
 

minor muppetz

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 19, 2005
Messages
15,949
Reaction score
2,623
It seems the Buena Vista tapes didn't really have any structure, aside from editing the storylines into four or five chapters (usually just combining the end of one chapter with the recap at the beginning of the next, though "La Grande Moose" cut an entire chapter or two from Box Top Robbery). "Whistler's Moose" was the only one to contain two storylines, both of which were edited into three chapters (and both storylines were broadcast as four), while "Canadian Gothic" didn't have any "Rocky and Bullwinkle" storylines, instead containing four Dudley Do-Right segments and including one from all the supporting segments (except for the "Fan Club" segments, which only appeared on two Buena Vista tapes).

Most of the storylines on those videos are from seasons four and five, I guess because those seasons had shorter storylines than the first three. In fact, most of season four was released on VHS by Buena Vista, while none of season three was. While most of the storylines in season five lasted only six chapters, the longest storyline of the season (the 12-chapter Wossomatta U) was included on one of the videos.

Several years ago I sort of wished Buena Vista released more videos like "anadian Gothic", themed around different supporting segments (and yet I never bought any of the "Best of" DVDs), and I also wished there were special video releases of the three longest chapters (Jet Fuel Formula, Upsedasium, and Missouri Mish Mash), without the supporting segments so they could fit onto the videos. But now every episode is on DVD, so it doesn't matter much anymore.

While the DVDs are better (every episode and segment is included, even if they are altered), I do have fond memories of the VHS tapes. The VHS tapes had better artwork (most of the DVDs reuse the same stock art constantly). As I mentioned before, the Buena Vista tapes do include (most of) the season 3-5 credits, which isn't on the DVDs, and all the segments are included with their original opening music. But there is something I noticed: On the VHS, the openings say "The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle", but in syndication, it says "The Adventures of Bullwinkle and Rocky".
 

D'Snowth

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 8, 2003
Messages
40,651
Reaction score
12,806
I imagine it would be very confusing to people who aren't as big a fans as people like us are with all the different titles, BUT, I THINK I've got it all figured out...

"Rocky and His Friends" is the original title for the entire series (refered to as "The Rocky Show" for short).
"The Bullwinkle Show" was the new title when it was moved from ABC to NBC (and is also a main syndicated title)
"The Adventures of Bullwinkle and Rocky" was the title for the R&B segments on the show, though for some reason, was reversed to "The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle" on the Buena Vista VHSs.
"Moose-O-Rama" is the new title that Nickelodeon gave it for some reason.
"The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show" similar to Nick, is the new title that Cartoon Network gave it.
"The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle and Friends" is the new title for the entire series that Bullwinkle Studios has given not only the entire series and the R&B segments on the show, but the entire franchise as well.
 

minor muppetz

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 19, 2005
Messages
15,949
Reaction score
2,623
I imagine it would be very confusing to people who aren't as big a fans as people like us are with all the different titles, BUT, I THINK I've got it all figured out...

"Rocky and His Friends" is the original title for the entire series (refered to as "The Rocky Show" for short).
"The Bullwinkle Show" was the new title when it was moved from ABC to NBC (and is also a main syndicated title)
"The Adventures of Bullwinkle and Rocky" was the title for the R&B segments on the show, though for some reason, was reversed to "The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle" on the Buena Vista VHSs.
"Moose-O-Rama" is the new title that Nickelodeon gave it for some reason.
"The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show" similar to Nick, is the new title that Cartoon Network gave it.
"The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle and Friends" is the new title for the entire series that Bullwinkle Studios has given not only the entire series and the R&B segments on the show, but the entire franchise as well.
Most fans refer to the series as Rocky and Bullwinkle, and of course the main segments are titled "The Adventures of Bullwinkle and Rocky", so I find it odd that both titles for the series itself only listed one characters name. Seems Rocky and Bullwinkle were equal as a duo from the start, the two were in every storyline, and Rocky never really had any segments as a solo character. Bullwinkle hosted Bullwinkle's Corner and Mr. Know-It-All, with Rocky usually introducing him (though I know there are some Mr. Know-It-All segments without Rocky; There's also one Fan Club segment without Rocky as well).

According to the book The Moose That Roard, Jay Ward wanted the series to just be titled Rocky the Flying Squirrell. And some people (I think it was either the network or sponsors, not sure) wanted it to be called "The Adventures of Bullwinkle the Moose". Having only Rocky's name in the title would have been more appropriate if Bullwinkle wasn't in every storyline, or if Rocky had multiple close friends who were featured as much as Bullwinkle.
 

minor muppetz

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 19, 2005
Messages
15,949
Reaction score
2,623
Today I bought a used copy of the VHS Norman Moosewell (which features "Wossomatta U"). For years I've known the contents, but had forgotten them all (except for the main storyline and the Fan Club segment). Two things that I didn't really notice until now, after I've watched the video for the first time:
  • Aesop and Son appear on the side of the box, but the video itself does not include an Aesop and Son segment.
  • I used to think that this video also contained either a Mr. Know-It-All or Bullwinkle's Corner segment, in addition to the Fan Club segment. Seems I've been wrong all these years.

Additionally, I noticed that the cover includes a few small photos of Rocky, Boris, and Natasha. The images of Boris and Natasha are reused from the side of the Mona Moose VHS, but I don't recognize the image of Rocky used.

The video also adds a "Mr. Know-It-All" title card to the Fan Club segment. I wonder why that was done. The video box only refers to it as "Bullwinkle's Fan Club". The DVD menus (on the season sets) refer to them as "Bullwinkle's Corner" segments, while The Moose That Roars list all the Fan Club and Mr. Know-It-All segments alongside the Bullwinkle's Corner segments, but I've always considered them different segments.

Just the other day I was watching the Mr. Know-It-All segment "How to Teach a Mean Bully a Lesson at the Beach", and I've noticed there that Boris seems to be seperate from Natasha. It seems weird to see Boris throw sand at Natasha. Yeah, the characters were most likely "acting" for the segment, but still, it's not often that you see Boris physically abuse Natasha (he verbally abuses her quite a bit, telling her to "shuddup your mouth!", but it's rare for him to cause her any harm, though Natasha harmed him twice in the Fan Club picnic segment).

And have the occasionally-seen characters Chauncy and Edgar ever had a consistient look? They seem to look different to me in every appearance, thoguh they have the same voices, the same names, and do the same basic joke ("There's something you don't see every day..."). In Whalling Whale the two even appear as fish.
 
Top