Recently, I purchased the long-awaited season 4 release of “Rocky and Bullwinkle” on DVD.
A two-disc set, this edition collects several storylines from the latter run of the classic Jay Ward produced series:
- Painting Theft: Boris and Natasha, after stealing valuable paintings, hide them at Bullwinkle’s house. They then try to get them back while posing as art critics.
- The Guns of Abalone: A very loose parody of the then-recent 1961 movie “The Guns of Navarone.” Boris reactivates a set of World War II-era giant world-bombing cannons on an island. It’s all an attempt to lure “moose and squirrel” into a trap.
- The Treasure of Monte Zoom: Boris and Natasha go looking for a treasure buried in a Frostbite Falls lake.
- Goof Gas Attack: Pottsylvania declares war on America by sapping it of its brain power. This is done by Boris spraying “goof gas” on its smartest citizens, which reduces anyone sprayed by it to a moronic state.
- Banana Formula: Boris tries to steal a secret formula (for a silent explosive) written on a banana from Bullwinkle, who’s eaten it. Fortunately, the moose can remember everything he ever ate.
The “Goof Gas Attack” storyline is my favorite. Draining off the US’ brain power as a means of attack is funny.
Like the previous sets, this one for rights-related reasons features a re-dubbed version of the theme song (not the familiar one fans grew up with). The title’s also changed from “The Bullwinkle Show” (its actual name in its fourth season) to “Rocky and Bullwinkle and Friends.” In addition, there’s a new narrator over part of the opening. It’s apparently Keith Scott, the voice of Bullwinkle and the narrator in the 2000 live-action/CGI Bullwinkle movie. I understand why it had to be done. However, it’s still a shame we can’t have the original openings. I recall the 90s VHS releases getting similar changes.
The picture quality and audio are good. Especially for a 50-year-old television program that wasn’t well-animated in the first place.
There’s no extras on this DVD set, unlike the previous releases. Some of the backup segments are recycled from previous releases. This reflects the original run of the show, however—they made new R&B segments but fewer of the others in the latter seasons.