Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Fan Mail From Some Flounder?

-Bullwinkle J. Moose

I have been reading The Moose That Roared: The Story of Jay Ward, Bill Scott, a Flying Squirrel, and a Talking Moose by Keith (no relation to Bill) Scott. The book tells the history of the Jay Ward animation studios where cult icons Rocky and Bullwinkle were born.

The story of Rocky and Bullwinkle's birth is interesting but what I found just as interesting is the fact if it wasn't for Jay Ward and Bill Scott we would not have Yogi Bear, Jonny Quest, Scooby-Do, South Park or any of the other TV cartoon characters we've grown up with. Back in 1949 Jay Ward Studios produced the first cartoon made especially for the new medium of television in a style now know as limited animation. Limited animation was a cheaper way to produce cartoons since it required less drawings. Limited animation is Disney's animation style stripped down to the basics.

The cartoon that Jay Ward produced was called Crusader Rabbit and the little rabbit who could became a hit. I have seen episodes of the first Crusader Rabbit show and although the program is very primitive, and sometimes way too cutesy, you can see flashes of the Rocky and Bullwinkle Show that would be made ten years down the road. Fun read.

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