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“Beauty and the Beast” Director Gary Trousdale Directs DreamWorks’ “Rocky and Bullwinkle” Short

DreamWorks announced today their Rocky and Bullwinkle short. The film will be directed by veteran Disney director Gary Trousdale, who co-directed Beauty and the Beast and The Hunchback of Notre Dame. In recent years, he has directed DreamWorks specials like Shrek the Halls and Scared Shrekless.

Also notable, 95-year-old June Foray will voice Rocket J. Squirrel, a role that she originated 54 years ago. Tom Kenny, the voice of SpongeBob, will handle the role of Bullwinkle Moose. The press release (below) cites a 2014 release date but does not explicitly state that the film will play in front of Mr. Peabody and Sherman.

Glendale, CA and Frostbite Falls, MN – November 4, 2013
The moose is loose. DreamWorks Animation is giving audiences a dose of nostalgia in 2014 with an all new short film Rocky & Bullwinkle, featuring the legendary June Foray as the voice of Rocket “Rocky” J. Squirrel. This original and updated short will bring everyone’s favorite moose and squirrel back to the hearts of fans around the world while introducing the duo to a new generation.Also in 2014, the studio will release Mr. Peabody and Sherman on March 7, reintroducing characters who initially appeared on the original Rocky & Bullwinkle Show.

“For an incredible 83 years, June Foray has left a tremendous imprint on the entire entertainment industry,” said Executive Producer Tiffany Ward. “Her amazingly indelible performances have enchanted generations and earned her a permanent place in the annals of popular culture.”

The original Rocky & Bullwinkle Show (originally titled Rocky and His Friends) began airing on November 19, 1959 with supporting segments which included “Peabody’s Improbable History” – upon which DreamWorks Animation’s upcoming film Mr. Peabody and Sherman is based. Rocky, Bullwinkle, Natasha, Boris and a few other familiar faces get the show started with the all-new madcap adventure.

Rocky & Bullwinkle is being directed by Gary Trousdale (Beauty and the Beast), produced by Denise Nolan Cascino (Megamind) and written by Thomas Lennon & Robert Ben Garant (Night at the Museum). It stars June Foray (Rocky and His Friends) as the voice of Rocket J. Squirrel and Tom Kenny (SpongeBob SquarePants) as the voice of Bullwinkle Moose. The short will be released in 2014.

  • SaburoDaimando

    Aww nuts. I was hoping they would go with Bill Farmer. :(

  • boyraisin2

    And this will be CG? Or do I even have to ask?

    • Debergerack

      I was asking the same thing… But it might not be as with shorts they like to experiment (although knowing DreamWorks it highly unlikely) -_-

    • On the bright side, it can’t possibly be worse than that godawful 2000 film “The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle.” Anybody remember that cell shaded / live action monstrosity?

      • Roberto

        It wasnt really a good movie but I think it was an entertaining one and it captured some of the classic tone and humor, not to mention it Kept Rocky and Bullwinkle designs almost intact. The real life villains had some silly acting and dumb jokes but Piper Perabo was ok as the friend of the main characters , much better than Jenna Elfman in Back in Action. It was more faithful to the originals than Mr. Peabody and Sherman appears to be, not necessarily a better movie, I still have to see the Peabody one, but at least one that tried to reflect the plot and jokes from the old cartoon. Yeah, I think Its underrated, especially considering how famous mediocrities like Space Jam or CGI Alvin and the Chipmunks arte.

      • Kris Kail

        Jason Alexander was perfect. And the animated opening was also perfect. Kenan and Kel predicting their own future was also perfect. Guess what I’m saying is that this was the perfect movie and will likely never be topped.

  • Joe March

    Maybe it’s just me, but Gerard Baldwin is still alive. He was there with Rocky & his Friends. Would have been nice to see him direct it. Just sayin’.

    • Chris Sobieniak

      Lord knows he’d know what to do.

  • With Gary Trousdale Directing can we hope it is in the hand-drawn animation medium? Perhaps we can reintroduce the new generation of movie goers what that is as well.

  • Ronnie

    What, was Keith Scott too expensive? :/

  • Funkybat

    I hope the short is more in keeping with the wit and timing of Jay Ward than the Peabody movie appears to be. I’m actually glad to hear they are doing a short, both because June will voice her iconic character, but because it makes it less likely they will try to stretch Rocky and Bullwinkle out to a feature-length film.

    In my opinion, none of the Jay Ward characters or their scenarios are suited to feature-length. There are many older cartoons that would make fine movies, given the right handling. Making a feature out of characters like Peabody and Sherman, Underdog, Yogi Bear or Mister Magoo just seems like a bad idea to me. Other shows, such as Alvin & The Chipmunks, Archie, and Josie & The Pussycats could work as a feature, but the executions put forth so far have been lacking. Personally, I’d like to see them go with Johnny Quest or Space Ghost if Hollywood *must* rummage around in the 60s animation archives for their feature ideas. Please, spare us any Woody Woodpecker, Heckle & Jeckle or Huckleberry Hound movies.

    • Roberto González

      I disagree. I think most characters could work for a feature movie if they are fun and charismatic enough. I’d love to see a Woody Woodpecker movie if it were traditionally animated like the old cartoons or even in a cartoony CGI like Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs. If story is the problem I just don’t get why a fun character can’t entertain audiences during a feature lenght movie.

      It’s the insistence on using the same cliches, formulas and pathos what changes the tone in the transition from shorts to feature, but those things are not an obligation like most studios seem to think, you could very well write an animated non stop laugh out loud fest like the Monty Python movies or Marx Brothers’ Duck Soup. Three Caballeros demonstrates that you don’t even need a very definitive plot, just fun characters and visuals, to make a pleasing and entertaining movie. Even with a plot characters like Huckleberry Hound or Bugs Bunny could very well substain a story like any Pixar character. They are more charismatic than some of them.

      • Funkybat

        Eh, I feel like some characters and scenarios work better in the short format, and others in a longer one. For instance, I really never felt ANY of the feature-length iterations of the Looney Tunes or Tom & Jerry worked nearly as well as the shorts. Some of those movies were better than others, but if you really want to get a feel for what made those characters hilarious and endearing, you need to focus on the shorts.

        22 minute series, especially ones with some kind of internal history/continuity tend to adapt to feature better. A Flintstones or Jetsons or Simpsons feature make more sense to me than Yogi Bear or Underdog. Their universe is wider, and often the characters are more three-dimensional. Even feature adaptations I didn’t care for, such as Scooby-Doo or Alvin & The Chipmunks still made more sense to me that they were attempted because the stories they told were more like “stories” and less like a sequence of gags. DuckTales the Movie? Makes sense. Animaniacs the Movie? Wouldn’t really work, no matter how much I loved the show. (A Pinky & The Brain Movie could work, only because many of their exploits seemed almost rushed in a 7-minute format. There’s more action/adventure potential there than the Warners or Slappy Squirrel.)

        Anyway, I’m running off at the mouth. My point is just that characters created for shorts live in a more constrained world than characters originally in longer-form cartoon series. If I had my way, few to no adaptations would be taking place, and new ideas would be given more of a shot, but as long as we’re going to go the adaptation/reboot route, let’s try to use the most appropriate source material.

    • Kris Kail

      Space Ghost movie in the style of The Dark Knight, or a Space Ghost movie in the style of Seth Rogen’s The Green Hornet. Either would capture my interest for a few minutes.

  • Sevenfeet

    What’s the record for the length of time any voice actor has reprised a popular character in an actual production? I think June Foray is clearly the record holder for oldest voice talent to continue to voice a popular character. Mel Blanc did Porky Pig from 1936 until 1988 in “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?” but he probably did the voice work earlier in production. Mae Questel also did Betty Boop beginning in 1931 and last reprising it in Roger Rabbit in 1988 (57 years). Anyone else close?

  • top_cat_james

    “Don’t fail to miss our next exciting short-‘The Glassy-Eyed Menagerie’ or ‘How Green Was My Uncanny Valley’ !”

  • If anyone cares, here are the CG models of the dynamic duo. Rocky actually came out decently, but HOKEY SMOKE what happened to poor Bullwinkle??? I’m hoping it’s just the lighting of this picture but his texture looks so weird. Not to mention his eyes are eerily small.

    Hopefully the final product in motion will look much better than what we see here.

    • Awful.

      Its Dreamworks. I wouldn’t count on it.

      • Strong Enough


    • Ryoku75

      My biggest complain is the psuedo-realistic fur on them, it was creepy on Yogi Bear, Scooby-Doo, and the Chipmunks and its creepy here too.

      The primitive models in the Rocky and Bullwinkle film from about a decade ago look much better than this, mainly because they avoid this creepy psuedo-realism that nobody demands

    • VG

      My initial reaction to the models in that picture…


  • SarahJesness

    I’m quite impressed that June Foray is still up for the voice at 95 years old.

    • Funkybat

      Alan Young is about to turn 94, and he did a good amount of voice work for Scrooge for that DuckTales reboot videogame. Some folks are just healthy throughout their long lives!

  • Martin Cohen

    Hope he can pull a rabbit out of his hat.

  • Dave the Man

    MUCH much better than the Peabody translation. I’ve seen it and it’s genius!

  • George Comerci

    Will this be showing before Peabody and Sherman in the theaters? Like, will it accompany Peabody?

    • NV

      Yes, that’s the plan.

    • Jordan Olling

      Guess not.

  • Tim Hodge

    Even with inflation, I would hazard a guess that the budget on this short will be more than an entire season’s worth of the original show.

    (My comment isn’t meant as snark. I am looking forward to seeing this!)

  • “And Now here’s Something…

    ….We hope you’ll really like”

    Dreamworks has bought some real clunker properties and is now trying to profit off of them. I think many of us have a warm spot in our heart for 50+ year old Bullwinkle shorts….But honestly, does Dreamworks think they can repackage this into something modern viewers are going to pay money to see?
    I can’t wait to see how they translate Gertie the Dinosaur to 3D. Those glossy dead eyes. The lifeless expressions. It will be magical.

    • Kris Kail

      Gertie the Dinosaur in 3D with hologram Winsor McCay.

  • Leo Catelli

    Seems like the animation industry is really keen on revisiting old cartoon franchises the past few years. I guess it’s easier and safer than developing a new, fresh idea?

  • Roberto Severino

    At least they got the right people to do the voices. As for the short, I don’t really care.

  • Ryoku75

    You would think that going back to the super-budget tight hand-drawn animation of the originals would be cheaper for a quick short, and of course better visually.