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Cartoon Culture

More on the Bullwinkle restoration


Ric Scozzari, the sculptor who supervised the resoration of the beloved Rocky and Bullwinkle statue on Sunset Blvd. sent in these photos (below) and recollections:

I worked exclusively for Tiffany Ward (his daughter) and Ramona Ward (Jay’s wife). I was the carpenter, sculptor, coordinator, engineer, plasterer, painter, draftsman/artist for both the statue and the final restoration of the store (before it closed, and was renovated, yet again, by a new tenant). I have a before (above) and after (below) of Jay Ward’s, “Animation Dream Machine” mural that I totally redid myself (after 50 years of oxidation,..that might be interesting for your readers to see also).

I was the “total package” for Tiffany regarding the construction and consultation and she loved having a “one stop shop” guy look out for her and her families precious 2-dimensional jewels.

The Bullwinkle and Rocky statue was originally done in steel and fiberglass (back in the late 1950’s),..then years later, someone thought to cover it in “paper mache” (wrong!… on so many levels) I stripped that off, wrapped Bullwinkle and Rocky in surgical plaster bandages and then put a slurry of outdoor industrial plaster for a final coat,..just like the old days in Coney Island figures on the boardwalk. Then I primed and painted with industrial paint with a high UV content (’cause of all that California weather, non fading). Now they are ready for their close-up after getting really, really plastered! Hoky Smoke!

Anyone know who designed the original Animation Dream Machine mural (above)? Bill Hurtz? Click on images below for a closer look.

  • Jeff Nichols

    Thanx for the pix, Jerry. I would LOVE to see more of these pics, including what Ric is doing to the mural. BTW, whose idea was it to replace the original fiberglass with paper mache in the first place? Not really all that great an idea.

  • There used to be a Grauman’s Chinese sort of spoof on the sidewalk around the statue. Famous animators put their elbow prints in the cement. Walt Disney was one of them, we always wondered if it was really him. Are they still there?

  • Pedro Nakama

    Jay Ward and Hanna and Barbera, not only were they cartoon makers but they also knew where to get the prime real estate that would go up in value in the Los Angeles area!

  • John A

    I’m so glad you took so much care in restoring these Hollywood treasures. The next step should be establishing monument status (like the Hollywood sign) before Rocky and Bullwinkle are lost sometime in the future due to neglect or the wrecking ball.

    I used to live practically around the corner from this statue (on Harper) about 20 years ago. A trip to the Dudley Do Right Emporium to rummage through all the old storyboards was a regular weekly ritual.

  • Mike Kazaleh

    The drawing of Jay Ward’s dream machine is almost certainly the work of Chris Jenkins. That guy who repainted it said it had “50 years of oxidation” but this is not quite accurate, as Jay had it repainted at least once that I know of.

  • Jim Engel

    Well, better revised than falling apart I GUESS…but it’s based on the current crappy models…and am I the only one who bristles every time he sees Rocky with that stupid black dog nose?

  • Earl B

    Not sure if this is the right place to ask, but: Does anyone know if the documentary OF MOOSE AND MEN is available on video? It aired on PBS many years ago, then seems to have fallen off the face of the earth.

  • Keith Scott

    Mike Kazaleh guessed right – the original mural was the work of Chris Jenkyns. He told me so when I was researching “The Moose That Roared.”

    And Tiffany Ward once told me that Rocky’s black nose and Bullwinkle’s colored antlers were Universal’s so-called hip marketing decision to update the characters, and “bring them into the 1990s” (remember that vapid catchcry). This is what passes for creativity now…sigh

  • Earl K

    Hey Jim Engel,

    I was going to write that very thing until I saw your post. It also annoys me when Bullwinkle’s nostrils are filled in.

    Unless Universal paid for this restoration, then why did they have to use those “hip” models instead of the originals?

  • Brent Swanson

    To answer Steve Moore, yes, the elbow prints and signatures are still there in the plaza. They’re a bit difficult to see thru the fence. I was able to find most of them with the telephoto lens, but the light was too far gone to photograph them. I think the Disney spoof was to the left of the statue.

  • Keith Scott

    Ooops I just checked my book, and I forgot to credit artist Sam Clayberger, who also worked on the mural with Jenkyns.

  • Chris Sobieniak

    Shame still we’ll have to put up with those 90’s revision-ed design/color choices though. Oh well, I’m not complaining too much over it.

    Reading maxeythecat’s comment, didn’t they turn the Emporium into a pet grooming shop, or am I thinking of something else? Shame I never got to buy anything from them when they were open (could at least existed as an online shop of sorts, of course I wouldn’t mind having it relocate to my hometown if need be)!

    I remember “Of Moose & Men” (for a minute there, I thought my PBS station lost it for suddenly playing something good for once). I remember taping it as well, but probably erased it later on. That special was usually seen during pledge drives on these stations, though when that one came out, they hadn’t started that nationwide deal where all the pledge breaks would be produced to go along with the specials, or else they could’ve had June Foray and others show up to pledge their support for public television! No, instead if was the usual volunteer announcers at my local PBS station doing the same thing, the added bonus items you received if you pledge a certain high amount was probably the Buena Vista VHS releases or some mug with the R&B on it.

  • The orange antlers on Bullwinkle go all the way back to the late 1970s. ASIFA-Hollywood had cels that Bill and June used to autograph at the annual Cel Sale at the Sherman Oaks Galleria. They always had orange antlers, and I never knew why.

  • Gaz Halford

    Actually Dreamworks redid the Rocky & Bullwinkle statue & it’s in their possession now because of the fact that they’ve bought the rights to Classic Media & the cartoons that they’ve released on DVD so our heroes have gone a bumpy road when it came to alot of companies owning the rights to the characters.