: Happy Birthday Moose and Squirrel!

Happy Birthday Moose and Squirrel!

You know when your favorite cartoon characters turn 50, you're getting up there.  Last week two of my favorites, Rocky and Bullwinkle celebrated the big 5-0!

Actually when you talk about Rocky and Bullwinkle, you're talking about many more memorable characters.  You have the evil Boris and Natasha, Mr. Peabody (the smart dog) and Sherman (his pet boy) and the WABAC Machine (pronounced Way-Back) and who can forget Dudley Do-right and the lovely Nell! 

Most of these cartoons within the Rocky and Bullwinkle Show came from the imaginings of Jay Ward and Bill Scott, pioneers of TV animation.

The prime time cartoon premiered in November, 1959 6:30 p.m. on ABC. The series, Rocky and His Friends, was an instant hit among children and adults. Kids loved the witty characters, while adults enjoyed the social commentaries and satire. I remember watching this with my Dad!

So in honor of this milestone, I thought I'd share some Moose and Squirrel factoids!

Frostbite Falls:  Rocky & Bullwinkle's hometown, is actually based on a real place, International Falls, Minnesota. Jay Ward, the creator, nicknamed it Frostbite Falls after one reporter called the area the "icebox of America". On a map, it's located on the northern border of Minnesota, right next to Canada, thus the "international" in the name. Today, it's known for its recreational activities and beautiful national parks.

The Middle Initials:  The full names of the characters are Bullwinkle J. Moose and Rocket J. Squirrel. The two J's come from Jay Troplong Ward (voice talent and creator) and/or Bill J. Scott (co-producer and head writer).  It's believed the letters really don't stand for anything.  It's been rumored that Rocky's middle initial is Jet, Rocket Jet Squirrel, but there's been no documentation.

Boris Badenov:  Boris's name was really a pun from Mussorgsky's opera titled "Boris Godenov". The Russian last name sounds like "Bad Enough," yet another pun that the series embraced.

Moosylvania:  Moosylvania was a small island, on the show, that Bullwinkle was in president of. No country wanted to claim Moosylvania as belonging to them, so it remained on its own. Well, Jay Ward bought a private island and dubbed it 'Moosylvania'. He even petitioned to get turned into the 51st state on a cross-country campaign, collecting thousands of signatures. Needless the say, the attempt failed. It's reported that Jay Ward lead a small rally of supporters to the White House to present the petition, but they were stopped by the armed Secret Service agents. No one was authorized to get close to the President...It was the first day of the Cuban missile crisis.

The Cold War:  Boris and Natasha were in the series as a parody of the Cold War. There was a great fear back then that Russian spies were invading America to steal secrets.

So, Happy Birthday Moose and Squirrel!



Comment balloon 15 commentsLaura Giannotta • November 23 2009 05:59AM


I have to send this blog to my brother and sister...so it will be moving coast to coast as they are both in Californnia...they have forever decided they ARE Rocky an Bullwinkle and every  holiday give each other squirrel and moose things...sooo you think it's strange to remember....try shopping for moose presents all  year !  Thank you from the whole family !

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Real Estate Agents - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) over 10 years ago

So who gets to be Boris and Natasha?? LOL

Posted by Laura Giannotta, Your Realtor Down the Shore! (Keller Williams Realty - Atlantic Shore ) over 10 years ago

Oh my goodness .... even Rocky and Bullwinkle get old(er).  I used to watch them when I was very young (I guess they were very young too LOL). :)  Now we're both half a century YOUNG. :)

Happy birthday. :)


Posted by Sylvie Conde, Broker, Toronto Real Estate (Sutton Group-Associates Realty Inc., Brokerage) over 10 years ago
Just what I needed this morning, a reminder that I'm older than Rocky and BullWinkle. Got to go find something that makes me feel young again. Grrrrrrrr! -
Posted by Erby Crofutt, The Central Kentucky Home Inspector, Lexington KY (B4 U Close Home Inspections&Radon Testing (www.b4uclose.com)) over 10 years ago


Hi Laura:

50...YIKES!  OK, I'm feeling old!

I use to love watching them!

Posted by Toula Rosebrock, Broker/Sales Associate, Realtor, Lacey Township, (Diane Turton, Realtors, Forked River, NJ) over 10 years ago

Laura, one of my favorite cartoon shows when I was a kid. Thanks for the memories.

Posted by Michael Setunsky, Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA over 10 years ago
I loved Mr. Peabody and Sherman! I have not thought of them in eons! I guess we are all getting up there... BTW- Your photo did not load & I tried it twice. Betina
Posted by Betina Foreman, Realtor, C.N.E., with WJK REALTY (WJK Realty) over 10 years ago

Which photo...all mine loaded??

Posted by Laura Giannotta, Your Realtor Down the Shore! (Keller Williams Realty - Atlantic Shore ) over 10 years ago

They had a lot of satire on the cartoon show which maybe if watch today we would laugh even harder.

Posted by Mary Strang over 10 years ago
This was a classic for the era. many people didn't understand the Political satire of it..but, that didn't get past my Dad!
Posted by William Feela, Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No. (WHISPERING PINES REALTY) over 10 years ago

Laura , I loved these cartoons, the Canadian Mountie Dudley Doright's arch nemesis was Snidely Whiplash, and seems to have taken on the money grubbing persona of some Black-&-White Evil landlord. I'm sure there is more to that story as well.

Posted by Steve Loynd, 800-926-5653, White Mountains NH ( Alpine Lakes Real Estate Inc., ) over 10 years ago

You brought back a lot of memories.  Also, there was Fractured Fairy Tales.    Who can forget some of the places they visited such as "Nothing Atoll", and "Ifanyonecan Yukon"  

Posted by Paul Warkow (Paul Warkow-D.G. Weber Law Associates) over 10 years ago

My brother still cannot flip past these guys if he sees them on television while skimming through the channels.

Posted by JL Boney, III, Columbia, SC Real Estate (Coldwell Banker) over 10 years ago


Those were some interesting facts.  I didn't know some of them even though I watched them as a kid.


Posted by Brigita McKelvie, Associate Broker, The Broker with horse sense and no horsing around (Cindy Stys Equestrian and Country Properties, Ltd.) over 10 years ago

One of my all-time favorite cartoon series!  Brilliant writing and lots of fun.

"Every dog needs a boy..."  Mr. Peabody as he decides to adopt Sherman.

"Hey Rocky, watch me pull a rabbit out of my hat!"

Wunnerful, wunnerful!!!


Now, what about Yogi Bear and Boo-Boo? Or Sugar Bear and Granny? Or Felix the Cat - whenever he gets in a fix, he reaches into his Bag of Tricks? Or Foghorn Leghorn and Yakky-Doodle?  Or Mighty Mouse - or Underdog!

Oh, to be a kid in the 50s again!!!


Posted by Robert Bass, When a Broker Needs a Friend... (Robert N. Bass, Ltd.) over 10 years ago