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The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle
Adventuresofrockyandbullwinklemovieposter.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Des McAnuff
Produced by Robert De Niro
Jane Rosenthal
Written by Kenneth Lonergan
Starring
Music by Mark Mothersbaugh
Cinematography Thomas E. Ackerman
Editing by Dennis Virkler
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release date(s) June 30, 2000 (2000-06-30)
Running time 92 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $76 million
Money made $35.1 million

The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle is a 2000 American live-action/animated adventure comedy film directed by Des McAnuff and produced by Universal Pictures, based on the television cartoon of the same name by Jay Ward. Animated characters Rocky and Bullwinkle share the screen with live actors portraying Fearless Leader (Robert De Niro, who also co-produced the film), Boris Badenov (Jason Alexander) and Natasha Fatale (Rene Russo) along with Randy Quaid, Piper Perabo, Kenan Thompson and Kel Mitchell. June Foray reprised her role as Rocky, while Keith Scott (no relation to original voice actor Bill Scott) voiced Bullwinkle and the film's narrator. It also features cameo appearances by performers including James Rebhorn, Paget Brewster, Janeane Garofalo, John Goodman, David Alan Grier, Don Novello, Jon Polito, Carl Reiner, Whoopi Goldberg, Max Grodenchik, Jonathan Winters and Billy Crystal.

Released on June 30, 2000, the film was a box office bomb, grossing $35.1 million worldwide against its $76 million budget and received mixed reviews with criticisms toward its writing, plot, and humor while praising the performances, visual effects, and faithfulness to its source material.

Plot

Rocky the Squirrel and Bullwinkle J. Moose live a melancholic life thirty-five years after their television series was cancelled. Their animated home, Frostbite Falls, is deforested, Rocky can no longer fly, and their show’s unseen Narrator lives with his mother.

Meanwhile, their archenemies, Fearless Leader, Boris Badenov, and Natasha Fatale, have all lost power in Pottsylvania following the end of the Cold War. They escape by tunneling to a Hollywood film studio, convincing executive Minnie Mogul to sign a rights contract to their series and greenlighting a potential movie. Dragging the villains out of the animated world transforms them into live action characters.

Six months later, Fearless Leader and his cohorts have founded RBTV (“Really Bad Television”), a cable television network that programmed to control population by brainwashing American viewers into voting Fearless Leader in as the next President of the United States. FBI Director, Cappy von Trapment, deploys agent Karen Sympathy to recruit Rocky and Bullwinkle to stop RBTV’s intended broadcast. Karen travels to a movie-generating lighthouse in Los Angeles, summoning Rocky, Bullwinkle, and the Narrator into the real world.

Upon learning of Rocky and Bullwinkle’s return, Fearless Leader deploys Boris and Natasha to destroy them. They are given the CDI (“Computer-Degenerating Imagery”), a laptop-like weapon that can trap cartoon characters within the internet. The villains’ truck is stolen by Karen, who is swiftly arrested by Oklahoma State Police troopers when Natasha poses as her. Boris and Natasha later steal a helicopter to continue their pursuit. Karen is sent to prison, but manipulates a love-struck Swedish guard named Ole to help her escape.

Rocky and Bullwinkle are picked up by students Martin and Lewis, who attend Bullwinkle’s alma mater Wossamotta U. Boris and Natasha launch an elaborate plan to assassinate Bullwinkle, donating a cheque to the university in his name, inspiring the academic board to award Bullwinkle with an honourary “Mooster’s Degree”. As Bullwinkle addresses the students, Rocky regains his ability to fly, stopping Boris from killing Bullwinkle with the CDI.

Boris and Natasha chase Rocky and Bullwinkle through Chicago, but disintegrate their own helicopter. Karen reunites with Rocky and Bullwinkle, but the trio are arrested again by numerous state troopers. They are trialled for numerous misdemeanours, but the presiding Judge Cameo (Whoopi Goldberg) throws the case out upon recognising Rocky and Bullwinkle, informing the district attorney that celebrities are above the law.

The trio buy a rickety biplane and escape Boris and Natasha once again. The two villains consider retiring from villainy, lying to Fearless Leader that they defeated Rocky and Bullwinkle, confident that they have already won. Fearless Leader initiates his plan, broadcasts programs to brainwashing population most of the country. Meanwhile, the heroes’ plane begins to lose altitude due to the combined weight. Rocky flies Karen to New York City to stop the broadcast, but they are captured by Boris and Natasha.

Bullwinkle crashes the plane outside the White House, finding President Signoff has been brainwashed. Cappy scans Bullwinkle into the White House’s computer system, e-mailing him to RBTV just as Fearless Leader addresses the nation, disrupting the broadcast. A chaotic fight breaks out, leading to the capture of the villains, Karen, Rocky, and Bullwinkle asking the American public to replant Frostbite Falls. Bullwinkle accidentally activates the CDI, transforming the villains back to their animated forms, banishing them to the internet once and for all.

In the aftermath, Rocky and Bullwinkle’s careers are renewed in RBTV (renamed to “Rocky and Bullwinkle Television”.) Karen goes on a date with Ole, as Rocky, Bullwinkle, and the Narrator return home to a rejuvenated Frostbite Falls.

Cast

Music

  • "Dreamer" - Supertramp
  • "Be Ya Self" - Tarsha Vega
  • "Hooray for Hollywood"
  • "The Blue Danube" - Johann Strauss II
  • "Secret Agent Man" - Johnny Rivers
  • "The Child in You"
  • "Through the Eyes of a Child" - Lisa McClowry
  • "Cryptik Souls Crew" - Len
  • "Hail Pottsylvania"

There was also a soundtrack for the film released by DreamWorks Records.

Accolades

Award Category Subject Result
Stinkers Bad Movie Awards Worst Resurrection of a TV Show Universal Pictures Nominated
Worst Supporting Actress Rene Russo Nominated
Golden Raspberry Award Worst Supporting Actress Nominated
Saturn Award Best Supporting Actress Nominated
Best Supporting Actor Jason Alexander Nominated

Home media

The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle was released on VHS and DVD on February 13, 2001, and on Blu-ray on May 15, 2018.

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