Happy 55th Birthday, Rocky & Bullwinkle

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55 years ago today: Rocky & His Friends premiered.

In a post-Simpsons/South Park/Family Guy age, it’s perhaps a little difficult to understand how revolutionary Rocky and Bullwinkle were in their time, but Jay Ward, Bill Scott, and team laid the foundation for much of the adult TV animation that has followed, both in tone and substance.

bullwinkle-thumbSee Also: The Art of Jay Ward Productions: A Visual Essay by Darrell van Citters

Below you can see how audiences were first introduced to Rocky, Bullwinkle, and the rest of the gang on Thursday, November 19, 1959. From the very start, the show took jabs at politicians, the media, world affairs, and the military-industrial complex, while at the same time proving that a limited budget doesn’t have to mean limited creative expression:

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[Thanks, Dann Pryce, via Cartoon Brew’s Facebook group]


  • Pedro Nakama

    I’d like to see Darrel Van Citters make new Rocky & Bullwinkle shorts in their traditional style. I know he can do it and he has done work for DreamWorks in the past.

  • http://voyagesextraordinaires.blogspot.com/ Cory Gross

    I missed the first couple seasons of The Simpsons because it was playing opposite Rocky and Bullwinkle. Who cares about some lame new cartoon when you could watch Rocky and Bullwinkle!?! :)

    • http://sobieniak.blogspot.com/ Chris Sobieniak

      You made the right choice, though I liked the first season of The Simpsons too.

  • AlVia

    I still remember watching this in ’62. I’d laugh at one set of jokes while my dad was laughing at another.

  • http://joecorrao.blogspot.com/ Joe Corrao

    Great adult animation

  • http://joecorrao.blogspot.com/ Joe Corrao

    model sheets be damned