Rocky & Bullwinkle: Complete Season 1

Rocky & Bullwinkle: Complete Season 1

4.5 8
     
 

Sony's four-disc DVD release of Rocky & Bullwinkle & Friends: Complete Season 1 is a serious improvement over the early-'90s Rocky & Bullwinkle laserdisc issues -- the latter, in addition to being prohibitively expensive, came with altered music and re-edited content and credits, as well as some dubious film-to-video transfers. Indeed, the restoration of the…  See more details below

Overview

Sony's four-disc DVD release of Rocky & Bullwinkle & Friends: Complete Season 1 is a serious improvement over the early-'90s Rocky & Bullwinkle laserdisc issues -- the latter, in addition to being prohibitively expensive, came with altered music and re-edited content and credits, as well as some dubious film-to-video transfers. Indeed, the restoration of the original elements, formatting, and sequencing of the animated series' first season is the most "serious" element of this set, devoted to slavishly recreating the joys of the most cerebrally light-hearted and satiric animated series seen on television before the advent of The Simpsons. Rocky & Bullwinkle wasn't noted for its finely wrought drawings -- in fact, producer Jay Ward was criticized by many aficionados for successfully introducing limited animation to television and coming up with a way (via clever writing) of making it work for adults and critics. It was the distinctive voices, the bad, often terrible puns, the memorable characters, the satirical "play" on various pop culture and topical matters such as the Cold War, and the occasional breaking of the "fourth wall" onscreen that drew viewers from 6 to 60 into Rocky & Bullwinkle. It was successful enough at one point to make the jump from syndication to prime time on NBC. This four-platter set includes all 40 episodes of the series' first story, "Jet Fuel Formula" (better remembered by some as the search for the mooseberry bush), in which Rocky and Bullwinkle try to recreate Bullwinkle's grandmother's mooseberry fudge cake recipe, which is also a highly potent rocket fuel; and all 12 installments of "Box Top Robbery, in which the economy of the United States is threatened by the counterfeiting of cereal box tops (which, as we all know, are the real foundation of the stability of the world's monetary system). Included with each episode are the original accompanying features, "Peabody & Sherman," "Fractured Fairy Tales," "Duddley Do-Right," and "Aesop & Son." Each disc is chock-full of programming (we're talking 52 half-hours), accessible through a menu that opens automatically and which offers either sequential play-through or access to individual shows, and a choice of English or Spanish audio tracks. The fourth disc may be the most fun despite being the shortest, filled out as it is with the original on-air promotional spots for Rocky & His Friends, most of which feature resident villain Boris Badenov prominently, and The Bullwinkle Show (the NBC prime-time version, which differed from the syndicated presentation in that the cartoons were broadcast in color). The really special treat, however, is "Dear Bullwinkle," a never-aired featurette built around the never-used Bullwinkle puppet, the erudite moose offering advice to letter writers (their submissions often accompanied by silent film clips [including one of a young Bob Steele]), paralleling producer Jay Ward's series Fractured Flickers. There's also a pretty funny special episode in which the cartoon characters promote the purchase of U.S. Savings Bonds and savings stamps by grade-school kids. And there are two short, briskly paced montages of highlights from season two of the series, and an even funnier montage of all of the different disguises worn during the run of the show by resident villain Boris Badenov. It's all very easy to access and maneuver around, with a menu that's funny enough that most fans will enjoy going back to it, and infinitely more satisfying than the old laserdisc editions, with the original music and all of the color restored -- the image, shot for television, is full-frame (1.33:1). The audio is pitched at a reasonably high volume and is mastered very cleanly, even on the 43-year-old promotional spots. A 14-page booklet fills in all kinds of biographical information on the show's creators and characters.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Greg Fagan
Somewhere, most likely in a mountain of junkyard metal, you'll find a 1972 Volkswagen convertible sporting a "Statehood for Moosylvania" sticker on its vent window, a homage to a TV cartoon that never went out of style. And the arrival on DVD of Rocky & Bullwinkle & Friends Complete Season 1 makes one long just as keenly for the roughly two-by-four-inch oval window appliqué as for the snazzy German ragtop that it graced. In an age long before cable allowed demographers to pigeonhole the heck out of the viewing audience, Jay Ward's Rocky & Bullwinkle cast a uniquely wide net, appealing to kids eager for cartoon action and older viewers drawn to its inspired satire and clever wit. The DVD format, which spreads the first 26 episodes across four discs, serves the program especially well, and digital remastering has yielded images that are as sharp as one could hope for. Of course, the sharpness here is in the writing, the characters, and the voice performances, not the animating per se. As the voices of Rocky and Bullwinkle, June Foray and Bill Scott gave life to characters that were the Marge and Homer Simpson of their time. The duo's elaborate serialized adventures -- often with Cold War–infused story lines -- pit them against Boris Badenov (voice-over giant Paul Frees) and Natasha Fatale (also Foray) and chug along on a succession of gags and puns, sometimes intentionally wince-inducing ones. Rocky & Bullwinkle segments typically end in cliff-hangers that lead into the ...& Friends portions of the shows, which are equally inspired. To at least this writer, the show's "Fractured Fairy Tales" remain the root of all subversion, as, for instance, "Sleeping Beauty" becomes a fable on exploiting the misfortunes of others. Edward Everett Horton narrates these gems with his uniquely impeccable dignity. The show also offered history in the form of "Sherman and Peabody," an eager boy and know-it-all dog who venture in "The Wayback Machine" to various episodes in the past, where Peabody's ingenuity inevitably saves the day. Last (if not least) in R&B's cartoon coterie is "Dudley Do-Right," the intrepid Mountie with the protruding chin who fights a never-ending battle with Snidely Whiplash, often saving his lovely Nell from the mustachioed evildoer's clutches, with the help of his horse, Horse. This package, offering a mother lode of cartoon memories in a four-disc set -- including a few nice extras (promos, "Dear Bullwinkle" segments, etc.) and a 14-page booklet -- certainly ranks among the DVD highlights of 2003. It's truly wonderful to be able to revisit this world, with or without children in tow.

Product Details

Release Date:
08/05/2003
UPC:
0074645571690
Rating:
NR
Source:
Classic Media
Region Code:
1
Sound:
[Dolby Digital Mono]
Sales rank:
5,590

Special Features

The never-before-seen Bullwinkle puppet; Vintage Rocky & Bullwinkle TV spots; Sneak peek at "Complete Season 2"; Spanish language audio tracks

Scene Index

Side #1 -- Disc 1: Episodes 1-7
2. Jet Fuel Formula: Episode 1 [4:17]
3. Fractured Fairy Tales: Rapunzel [5:48]
4. Bullwinkle's Corner: The Swing [1:16]
5. Peabody's Improbable History: Ben Franklin [5:11]
6. Jet Fuel Formula: Episode 2 [4:57]
2. Jet Fuel Formula: Episode 3 [4:18]
3. Fractured Fairy Tales: Puss in Boots [5:35]
4. Bullwinkle's Corner: Little Miss Muffet [1:15]
5. Peabody's Improbable History: Napolean [5:13]
6. Jet Fuel Formula: Episode 4 [4:56]
2. Jet Fuel Formula: Episode 5 [4:19]
3. Fractured Fairy Tales: The Enchanted Fish [5:44]
4. Bullwinkle's Corner: The Horn [1:14]
5. Peabody's Improbable History: Lord Nelson [5:05]
6. Jet Fuel Formula: Episode 6 [4:56]
2. Jet Fuel Formula: Episode 7 [4:17]
3. Fractured Fairy Tales: Goldilocks [5:46]
4. Bullwinkle's Corner: Where Go the Boats [1:00]
5. Peabody's Improbable History: Wyatt Earp [5:16]
6. Jet Fuel Formula: Episode 8 [4:55]
2. Jet Fuel Formula: Episode 9 [4:19]
3. Fractured Fairy Tales: Jack & the Beanstalk [5:49]
4. Bullwinkle's Corner: My Shadow [1:16]
5. Peabody's Improbable History: King Arthur [4:59]
6. Jet Fuel Formula: Episode 10 [4:56]
2. Jet Fuel Formula: Episode 11 [4:19]
3. Fractured Fairy Tales: Beauty and the Beast [5:46]
4. Bullwinkle's Corner: I Love Little Pussy [1:17]
5. Peabody's Improbable History: Frank Schubert [5:02]
6. Jet Fuel Formula: Episode 12 [4:56]
2. Jet Fuel Formula: Episode 13 [4:20]
3. Fractured Fairy Tales: The Little Tailor [5:47]
4. Bullwinkle's Corner: Taffy [1:01]
5. Peabody's Improbable History: Lucretia Borgia [5:16]
6. Jet Fuel Formula: Episode 14 [4:56]
Side #2 -- Disc 2: Episodes 8-14
2. Jet Fuel Formula: Episode 15 [4:19]
3. Fractured Fairy Tales: Rumpelstiltskin [5:44]
4. Bullwinkle's Corner: Wee Willie Winkie [1:16]
5. Peabody's Improbable History: Sir Walter Raleigh [5:04]
6. Jet Fuel Formula: Episode 16 [4:55]
2. Jet Fuel Formula: Episode 17 [4:04]
3. Aesop and Son: The Lion and the Mouse [5:48]
4. Bullwinkle's Corner: Little Jack Horner [1:18]
5. Peabody's Improbable History: Robert Fulton [5:13]
6. Jet Fuel Formula: Episode 18 [4:56]
2. Jet Fuel Formula: Episode 19 [4:18]
3. Fractured Fairy Tales: The Princess and the Pea [5:41]
4. Bullwinkle's Corner: The Queen of Hearts [1:16]
5. Peabody's Improbable History: Annie Oakley [5:04]
6. Jet Fuel Formula: Episode 20 [4:57]
2. Jet Fuel Formula: Episode 21 [4:19]
3. Fractured Fairy Tales: Sweet Little Beet [5:46]
4. Bullwinkle's Corner: Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son [1:17]
5. Dudley Do-Right: The Disloyal Canadians [5:07]
6. Jet Fuel Formula: Episode 22 [4:55]
2. Jet Fuel Formula: Episode 23 [3:54]
3. Fractured Fairy Tales: The Fisherman and His Wife [5:37]
4. Mr. Know-It-All: How to Train Your Doggy for Fun and Profit [1:47]
5. Peabody's Improbable History: Jesse James [5:04]
6. Jet Fuel Formula: Episode 24 [4:55]
2. Jet Fuel Formula: Episode 25 [4:04]
3. Aesop and Son: The Mice in Council [5:47]
4. Bullwinkle's Corner: Barbara Frietchie [1:17]
5. Peabody's Improbable History: The Wright Brothers [5:13]
6. Jet Fuel Formula: Episode 26 [4:56]
2. Jet Fuel Formula: Episode 27 [4:19]
3. Fractured Fairy Tales: Dick Whittington [5:32]
4. Mr. Know-It-All: How to Tame Lions and Get a Little Scratch on the Side of Your Head [1:30]
5. Peabody's Improbable History: George Armstrong Custer [5:02]
6. Jet Fuel Formula: Episode 28 [4:55]
Side #3 -- Disc 3: Episodes 15-21
2. Jet Fuel Formula: Episode 29 [4:03]
3. Fractured Fairy Tales: Cinderella [5:37]
4. Mr. Know-It-All: How to Cook a Turkey's Goose [1:47]
5. Peabody's Improbable History: Alfred Nobel [5:03]
6. Jet Fuel Formula: Episode 30 [4:57]
2. Jet Fuel Formula: Episode 31 [4:04]
3. Fractured Fairy Tales: The Elves and the Shoemaker [5:43]
4. Mr. Know-It-All: Swimming Can Be Fun... and Wet [1:47]
5. Dudley Do-Right of the Mounties: Stokey the Bear [4:54]
6. Jet Fuel Formula: Episode 32 [4:56]
2. Jet Fuel Formula: Episode 33 [4:01]
3. Aesop and Son: The Fox and the Stork [5:46]
4. Mr. Know-It-All: How to Sell Vacuum Cleaners and Clean Up [1:31]
5. Peabody's Improbable History: Marco Polo [5:02]
6. Jet Fuel Formula: Episode 34 [4:55]
2. Jet Fuel Formula: Episode 35 [4:19]
3. Fractured Fairy Tales: Tom Thumb [5:46]
4. Mr. Know-It-All: How to Cure the Hiccups [1:30]
5. Dudley Do-Right of the Mounties: Mortgagin' the Mountie Post [4:55]
6. Jet Fuel Formula: Episode 36 [4:56]
2. Jet Fuel Formula: Episode 37 [4:03]
3. Aesop and Son: The Wolf in Sheep's Clothing [5:36]
4. Mr. Know-It-All: How to Open a Jar of Pickles [1:47]
5. Peabody's Improbable History: Richard the Lionhearted [5:03]
6. Jet Fuel Formula: Episode 38 [4:56]
2. Jet Fuel Formula: Episode 39 [4:04]
3. Fractured Fairy Tales: Sir Galahad [5:36]
4. Mr. Know-It-All: How to Get Into the Movies Without Buying a Ticket [1:30]
5. Peabody's Improbable History: Don Juan [5:03]
6. Jet Fuel Formula: Episode 40 [4:55]
2. Box Top Robbery: Episode 1 [4:04]
3. Aesop and Son: The Hare and the Tortoise [5:49]
4. Mr. Know-It-All: How to Catch a Bee and Make Your Honey Happy [1:46]
5. Dudley Do-Right of the Mounties: Trap Bait [4:54]
6. Box Top Robbery: Episode 2 [4:56]
Side #4 -- Disc 4: Episodes 22-26
2. Box Top Robbery: Episode 3 [4:04]
3. Fractured Fairy Tales: Snow White [5:47]
4. Mr. Know-It-All: How to Be a Cow Puncher Without Getting Hit Back [1:30]
5. Peabody's Improbable History: William Tecumseh Sherman [5:03]
6. Box Top Robbery: Episode 4 [4:55]
2. Box Top Robbery: Episode 5 [4:04]
3. Aesop and Son: The Hare and the Hound [5:36]
4. Mr. Know-It-All: How to Escape From Devils Island and Get Away From It All [1:46]
5. Peabody's Improbable History: The First Kentucky Derby [5:02]
6. Box Top Robbery: Episode 6 [4:56]
2. Box Top Robbery: Episode 7 [4:19]
3. Fractured Fairy Tales: Sleeping Beauty [5:46]
4. Mr. Know-It-All: How to Shoot Par [1:31]
5. Dudley Do-Right of the Mounties: The Masked Ginny Lynne [4:53]
6. Box Top Robbery: Episode 8 [4:55]
2. Box Top Robbery: Episode 9 [4:04]
3. Fractured Fairy Tales: Pinocchio [5:35]
4. Mr. Know-It-All: Magic Made Easy (The Hard Way) [1:46]
5. Peabody's Improbable History: P.T. Barnum [5:03]
6. Box Top Robbery: Episode 10 [4:56]
2. Box Top Robbery: Episode 11 [4:04]
3. Fractured Fairy Tales: Little Red Riding Hood [5:43]
4. Mr. Know-It-All: How to Turn a Beastly Failure Into a Monstrous Success [1:31]
5. Peabody's Improbable History: Stanley and Livingston [5:03]
6. Box Top Robbery: Episode 12 [4:56]

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Rocky & Bullwinkle: Complete Season 1 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It was great seeing these 'toons again--looking sharp and sounding good after all of these years. This set includes all the Season One shows--I'm looking forward to the release of subsequent seasons as the writing (and even the animation--never a strong point with Rocky & Bullwinkle)got better. What's keeping me from giving this set a higher rating is the music. This is Season One, and for the first two seasons, Frank Comstock did the scoring. However, the DVD set uses the later Fred Steiner scoring. My joy in seeing the Original 1960 Main and End Titles on the DVD for the first time in about 40 years was tempered by the fact that historically incorrect music was being used. Steiner's scores actually date from the ''Bullwinkle Show'' era circa 1962. I think the producers of these discs should have made the effort to obtain the rights to the Comstock music. By all means, go out and get this set--the extras alone are worth the price. But if you are a Rocky and Bullwinkle super purist--you will be disappointed by the music.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was so excited when I saw this title was available, I have fond memories of after school Friday, coming home to watch Bullwinkle pull a rabbit out of a hat. Then I remembered being disappointed many a time thinking that some TV show of my youth was great and finding out the past isn't always what you remember it to be..NOT THE CASE HERE ! The DVD is proof that the show was great and well ahead of it's time, hey when I was 6 years old, I sure didn't get ''the town of Daniels on the rocks''. Ward and Scott pulled out all the stops and if you got it, no one from Washington to Hollywood was safe. From Boris, Natasha, Peabody, to Dudley and Fractured Fairy Tales, this is a wonderful trip back. All Five Stars are earned !!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I thought it was realy cool. I like Bulwinkle best. Mr. Big was cool, too. The best part was when Giddney and Cloyde tried to become American citzens.
Guest More than 1 year ago
For sheer wit, delightfully skewed comic genius, peerless voice acting, good cheer, and matchless power to make you glad you're alive, there's just nothing better than "The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle"! Hokey smoke!
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you want a good laugh, watch the Rocky and Bullwinkle show!!! Hilarious voices, catchy lines, and silly story plots make this show perfect for all ages. If you're feeling down, or just need a good laugh, watch this show!!
Corkyc64 More than 1 year ago
I enjoy watching this 4 set of DVDs. I had no problems moving around in the menus. Very good quality video as well!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago