Have Mr. Peabody fire up the “WABAC Machine” and travel back to November 19th, 1959 and you’ll discover it’s been 50 years since Jay Ward’s “Rocky and His Friends” made its television debut — still one of the best animated comedies ever produced.
The show’s excellent writing with rapid-fire gags and quips, combined with fun characters, a great voice cast, and the simplicity of the animation gave this show a timeless quality that makes it as funny and entertaining today as it was 50 years ago, and will likely continue to be for generations to come.
Various online news media have begun publishing articles to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the famous animated moose and squirrel. Most articles I’ve seen so far merely rehash the series’ history (and are probably just rewording the Wikipedia entry anyway), but of note is this interview in the Star-Telegram with Tiffany Ward (Jay Ward’s daughter) and cast member June Foray (voice of Rocky the Flying Squirrel and Natasha Fatale). Here’s an excerpt from June on being recognized by her voice:
“One time, I was buying a magazine in a store and I was chatting with the clerk, and he said, ‘I hope you’re not insulted, but you sound like Rocky the Flying Squirrel.’ I said, ‘I’m not insulted that you think so. I’m delighted.’”
UPDATE: 11.19.2009. 2:00 PM (EST)
- The Journal Star has a feature on “Rocky and Bullwinkle” which includes an archive interview with June Foray. And for additional interviews with Tiffany Ward, see my news post on toonzone.
Also for a limited time you can view the entire first season (20 episodes) of the show for free on Hulu.com.
And for more details on the show’s cast (including photos), visit the toonzone-hosted Hokey Smoke! Rocky and Bullwinkle fan site.
I also found a recent photo of June from Gettys Images, taken on the red carpet at the 2009 Governors Awards at the Grand Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland Center in Hollywood, California on November 14, 2009.
June’s autobiography, Did You Grow Up With Me Too?, was published in July 2009, and if you haven’t yet purchased it you can order an autographed copy through her official website, JuneForay.com.
And on a related note, I’ve taken this opportunity to add 40 links (articles, interviews, audio and video) to June’s category at The Open Directory Project (dmoz.org). And by the way, that’s not a typo either — I really do mean “40” as in forty links, and I assure you they’re all well-worth your time to browse (I don’t link ’em if they ain’t), and several of them are gems from the last few months that have largely gone unnoticed.
Related post: 8.07.2009 — June Foray DVD Documentary Update