Rocky & Bullwinkle

Common Sense Media says

Slapstick and satire has aged well but may bore kids.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The show follows the exploits of a couple of well-meaning good guys, but sometimes it's violent and displays many stereotypes, from Boris and Natasha's cliche Russians to a series of nagging overweight housewives. It's also worrisome that many of the larger characters on the show are painted as not so smart, and talk in "dumb" voices that sound like the owners have a speech problem. 

Positive role models

Rocky and Bullwinkle are bumbling but generally well meaning and supportive of each other. They do frequently insult each other, however: "Stupid!" And they're not above cartoonish violence like pushing each other off cliffs.

Violence & scariness

Plenty of cartoonish violence: guns are drawn, characters get into car crashes and try to blow each other up. There are no consequences for the violence and everyone comes back just as they were. There are also references to suicide, i.e. characters putting a gun to their head in moments of despair.

Sexy stuff

Boris and Natasha sometimes leer at each other, and there are references to romance and kissing in many of the Fractured Fairy Tales.

Language

No cursing, but some words will make parents wince. The characters don't shy away from calling each other "stupid," or from insulting each other in general.

Consumerism

Rocky, Bullwinkle, Boris, Natasha and other characters do appear on merchandise from T-shirts to keychains.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

There are sometimes references to drinking that will probably pass over kid's heads, as when Boris pours something into a punchbowl that the narration says is a "Mickey Finn" but looks like booze.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Rocky & Bullwinkle is a relatively slow-moving retro cartoon about a talking squirrel and moose that's filled with satire that may go over kids' heads. Adults still find Rocky & Bullwinkle delightful, however, and may want to give this one a try for whole-family watching to see if it's a fit. Keep an eye out for stereotypes and slapstick violence. Boris and Natasha are constantly after Rocky and Bullwinkle, threatening to blow them up, drown them, etc. It's all played for laughs but it's still intense hearing characters in a children's show threaten to kill each other. In general though, the dry absurdity of Rocky & Bullwinkle has aged well, and parents who watched the show as children may be eager to try it out on their own kids.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

In midcentury cartoon classic ROCKY & BULLWINKLE, Rocky is a swift, sarcastic gray squirrel and Bullwinkle is a big bumbling moose. They live in Frostbite Falls, Minnesota, a town beset by odd happenings like the visitation of moon men from outer space, and are the targets of tireless spies Boris and Natasha, who are always trying to foil whatever plans Rocky and Bullwinkle have going. In each half-hour episode, Rocky and Bullwinkle's episodic adventures are continued from the last outing, and interspersed with short adventures from other characters, like talking dog/historian Mr. Peabody and his master, Sherman.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

When collaborators Jay Ward and Alex Anderson made Rocky & Bullwinkle in the late '50s and early '60s, they were way ahead of their time. Maybe that's why this mix of silly and deadpan satire still seems pretty modern. It's not laugh-out-loud funny, but it's smirk-worthy, and that's a rare quality in television you can watch with your children. Speaking of those children, they might find Rocky & Bullwinkle boring. Sometimes the moose and squirrel do cartoonishly interesting things like going out in space in a flying saucer; other times they sit and talk for minutes at a time. The references alone will confuse the heck out of most children: Mom, what's a telegram?

Fractured Fairy Tales are the likeliest segments to appeal to kids, taking on classic fairy tales with a satirical bent as they do. For instance, in FFT's version, passive Sleeping Beauty becomes obnoxious Leaping Beauty. Even very young kids can get that joke. The rest of the show may drag too much for them, but older kids may catch on faster. This is great whole-family viewing, as mom and dad will like Rocky & Bullwinkle as much as (maybe even more than) kids.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about whether Rocky & Bullwinkle is more violent than today's kid's shows. Do characters shoot each other in the cartoons made today? Why or why not? What's different about today than the times that Rocky & Bullwinkle was made?

  • Do you think Russian people or people from Eastern Europe would be offended by Boris and Natasha? Why or why not?

  • Who is smarter, Bullwinkle or Rocky? What about their characters make you come to this conclusion?

TV details

This review of Rocky & Bullwinkle was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.

See more about how we rate and review.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Teen, 17 years old Written byDominicboo1 July 20, 2013
AGE
5
QUALITY
 

One of the greatest classic cartoons.

The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show is a great cartoon for the whole family. It's witty and filled with puns that the adults should like, but unfortunately most kids may want more action in the cartoons like in Tom and Jerry and other cartoons. The segments are very funny, characters memorable, and it's a cartoon that doesn't insult the intelligence of the viewers. It should be enjoyable for the whole family,.

What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Kid, 9 years old November 29, 2013
AGE
2
QUALITY
 

MrLevi Reviews for parents: Rocky and bullwinkle

Ah,Rocky and bullwinkle...What a great show,full of slapstick and fun gags
It's kinda low budget but what do you expect from a show from the 1950's?
They don't air it that much anymore...But it might bore some kids
But I love the cheep puns and slapstick.

Kid, 9 years old February 5, 2014
AGE
2
QUALITY
 

Really Good

Great role models! Very Positive messages! But some smoking. I really like this show!

What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Top Kids' Movies: An Essential Guide for Families