standing from left to right: Rocky, Bullwinkle, and Captain Peter "Wrongway" Peachfuzz

Who Was the Famous Cartoon Character Named After a Car Dealer?

It’s nearly impossible growing old without a single favorite cartoon character from your childhood. Perhaps, you enjoy reminiscing your good old days just spending the day in front of the television, munching chips, and drinking soda while you indulge yourself with your most loved cartoon character.

Let’s have a quick check if you still recall some most famous cartoon characters and all-time favorite until these days. Which cartoon dog solved mysteries with his human friends? A stone-age cartoon character? Someone who loves spinach? There are many mouse characters, but who is the one mouse who typically wears red shorts, large yellow shoes, and white gloves? Who is this character who has a famous line, “What’s up, Doc?” and how about this cartoon character in his classic exclamation of frustration, “D’oh!”? If you have correctly answered and remembered all of them, you are a true cartoon fanatic.

From which channel do you mostly watch cartoons? Cartoon Network, Disney Channel, Nickelodeon, or Boomerang? Some siblings might have had arguments and fights for which of these channels is to be watched, especially if you just have one TV set in your home.

From simple animations, visual and sound effects to more complex elements, cartoons had always entertained us when we were still kids, maybe some people haven’t outgrown watching them until today.

The cartoon was originally not a motion picture but typically in a non-realistic or semi-realistic style of an illustration through a painting, fresco, tapestry, or stained-glass window.

During the 19th century, beginning in 1843 with Punch magazine, cartoon referred to ironic, satire illustrations in magazines and newspapers. Until the early 20th century, it referred to animated films that resembled print cartoons.

Most cartoon characters are named either based on their characteristics or what animal they represent, but some have even more unique and peculiar names. And have you heard about Rocky and Bullwinkle?

What’s Rocky and Bullwinkle?

This old fictional cartoon premiered in the 1959–1964 ABC network animated television series Rocky and His Friends and The Bullwinkle Show. Your granddad or grandmom perhaps was familiar with this cartoon.

This cartoon was produced by Jay Ward Productions under Jay Ward and Bill Scott. From 1959 to 1961, the series was titled Rocky and His Friends. It was changed from 1961 to 1964 to The Bullwinkle Show and The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show in syndication. The cartoon series was moved to NBC; however, it was again returned to ABC for nine more years of repeats.

Structured as a variety show, the series notable as the serialized adventures of the two title characters, the anthropomorphic flying squirrel Rocket J. (“Rocky”) Squirrel and moose Bullwinkle J. Moose. There are two Russian-like spies Boris Badenov and Natasha Fatale, that play main antagonists in Rocky and Bullwinkle’s adventures. The adversaries both work for Nazi-like dictator Fearless Leader.

Both children and adults enjoyed Rocky and Bullwinkle because of its wry humor. It was a good mixture of puns, cultural and topical satire, and self-referential humor. This cartoon was one of the first with outsourced animations. Its storyboards were shipped to Gamma Productions, a Mexican studio also employed by Total Television. Despite its unpolished, choppy look, and minimal animations during the period, the series still held high esteem by those who have seen it. According to some critics, it was a well-written radio program with pictures.

Who is Bullwinkle?

Jay Ward, and Alex Anderson, who previously collaborated on Crusader Rabbit, had the idea for this cartoon series, based upon the original property The Frostbite Falls Revue. The show featured forest animals running a TV station. In the group were Rocket J. Squirrel (Rocky), Oski Bear, Canadian Moose (Bullwinkle), Sylvester Fox, Blackstone Crow, and Floral Fauna.

The producers gave the name Bullwinkle Jay Moose, from a car dealer in Berkeley, California named Clarence Bullwinkel of the Bullwinkel Motors. They thought it was a funny name, and they just added the middle name “Jay” in reference to Ward.

Bullwinkle’s gloves were blue, but it was changed to white in the later second story arc and the rest of the series. Originally, Bullwinkle’s antlers were brown, but it was changed to yellowish-orange for contemporary promotion art, contrasting with his body.

In 1996, Bullwinkle ranked #32 on TV Guide’s 50 Greatest TV Stars of All Time.