THE ADVENTURES OF ROCKY AND BULLWINKLE
Moose and Squirrel Save Day
Genre: Animated/Live-Action Fantasy
Audience: All ages
Runtime: 90 minutes
Distributor: Universal Pictures
Director: Des McAnuff
Executive Producer: Tiffany Ward & David Nicksay
Producer: Jane Rosenthal & Robert DeNiro
Writer: Kenneth Lonergan
Address Comments To:Edgar Bronfman, Jr., President/CEO
The Seagram Co.
100 Universal City Plaza
Universal City, CA 91608-1085
Phone: (818) 777-1000
Web Page: www.universalstudios.com
There is no doubt that the original, conceived by Jay Ward, was incredibly witty. The movie, however, tries hard and almost succeeds, but doesn’t quite have the freshness and wit of the television series. Some of the humor of the TV series played off cold war fears. Boris and Natasha were clearly communist agents, bumbling fools from Pottsylvania who were foiled in their attempts to take over America by the naïve Rocky the flying squirrel and the dimwitted but glib Bullwinkle the Moose.
There are moments in the movie which recapture the original brilliance, but much of the movie is over the top. Little children may enjoy it, but adults may long for the original.
In the beginning, Rocky and Bullwinkle are summoned by a green light from Hollywood, out of their animated world and into the real world of human beings. FBI agent Karen Sympathy needs to bring Rocky and Bullwinkle to New York to foil the plan to take over America being executed by Fearless Leader, played by Robert DeNiro, and his henchmen, Boris and Natasha, played by Jason Alexander and Rene Russo. Fearless Leader’s evil plan involves setting up the Really Bad TV Network (RBTV), to beam horrible programming that will hypnotize the American people with the help of a special audience manipulating device.
Karen, Rocky and Bullwinkle have mere hours to get from Hollywood to New York to thwart this diabolical plan. Boris and Natasha try everything to stop them, including a degeneration machine.
Along the way, there are many gags and funny slapstick bits. Also, many stars appear to enliven the plot, including Whoopi Goldberg, John Goodman, Billy Crystal, and the wonderful Jonathan Winters. Of course, by the end, the dimwitted heroes save America.
In spite of all the witty sayings, this is not a hip movie; rather, it seems almost purposefully soft, aimed at younger children. The movie overtly tells viewers several times during the plot that lying, cheating and stealing are wrong.
There are moments, like the courtroom scene with Whoopi Goldberg, that are worth watching twice. Whoopi, playing the judge, makes the wonderful statement, “Celebrities are above the law.”
Regrettably, somebody saw fit to put a very strong obscenity in the movie, and some other exclamations that were totally unnecessary.
In spite of its witty moments, THE ADVENTURES OF ROCKY AND BULLWINKLE does not have the care and the craftsmanship of TOY STORY 2 and CHICKEN RUN. One reason may be that the cold war scenario is no longer real. The other is that the characters have no depth, and the human beings, who should be three dimensional, are just as flat as the animated characters when those characters hit the ground.
Everyone tries hard, however. THE ADVENTURES OF ROCKY AND BULLWINKLE is full of enough laughs to make it a worthwhile entertainment excursion.
In spite of its witty moments, THE ADVENTURES OF ROCKY AND BULLWINKLE does not have the care and the craftsmanship of TOY STORY 2 and CHICKEN RUN. Nor does it have quite the freshness and wit of the television series. Although the movie overtly tells viewers several times that lying, cheating and stealing are wrong, somebody saw fit to put a strong obscenity in the movie and some other unnecessary exclamations. Everyone tries hard, however, and THE ADVENTURES OF ROCKY AND BULLWINKLE is full of enough laughs to make it a worthwhile entertainment excursion