Rocket J. Squirrel, usually called by the nickname "Rocky", is the name of the flying squirrel protagonist of the 1959-1964 animated television series Rocky and His Friends and The Bullwinkle Show (both shows often referred to collectively as The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show), produced by Jay Ward. Rocky's sidekick is the cartoon moose, Bullwinkle. Both Rocky and Bullwinkle were given the middle initial "J" as a reference to Ward.
Jay Ward and partner Alex Anderson originally created Rocky as part of The Frostbite Falls Review, a proposed pilot that wasn't developed. The character was later used as the star of the series Rocky and His Friends.
Rocky shared a house with Bullwinkle, in the fictional small town of Frostbite Falls, Minnesota, a parody of the real-life American town of International Falls, Minnesota. Rocky and Bullwinkle would often have various adventures that usually saw them thwart the various schemes of the series' villains, Boris Badenov and Natasha Fatale (and also occasionally Boris and Natasha's superior, Fearless Leader).
Rocky's most frequently used catch phrase was "hokey smoke!"
Powers and abilities
Rocky often made extensive use of his ability to fly, which was presented with, appropriate to his full name, a jet engine sound effect. The original opening title of Rocky and His Friends introduces Rocky as "that Jet Age aerial ace", complete with Rocky performing a solo air show for a crowd of spectators. His airborne abilities have been depicted inconsistently; some episodes, such as the first season's "Jet Fuel Formula" storyline, presented this ability as limited to gliding (similar to the abilities of a real flying squirrel). Other episodes presented Rocky's flight abilities as similar to those of Superman (hovering in mid-air, ascending in altitude, carrying objects, etc.); one example is Rocky flying from Minnesota to Washington DC under his own power in the second season's "Greenpernt Oogle" storyline. Occasionally, Rocky would rely on Bullwinkle's strength (via an acrobatic maneuver) to provide him with an extra boost in flight speed, as shown in his attempt to reach the hovering Mount Flatten in the second season's "Upsidaisium" storyline. According to the series, Rocky learned his aerial skills at the Cedar Yorpantz Flying School (a play on the idiomatic expression "seat of your pants").
Voice artist June Foray was the voice of Rocky, as well as the voice of Natasha Fatale and other characters. Foray continues to voice the character in current media depictions of Rocky and Bullwinkle, including in the 2000 live-action/animated movie The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle.
- Rocky and his Friends (1960) (Dell)
- Bullwinkle (1962) (Gold Key)
- Rocky and His Fiendish Friends(1962) (Gold Key)
- Bullwinkle Mother Moose Nursey Pomes (1962) (Dell)
- Bullwinkle and Rocky (1970) (Charlton)
- Bullwinkle and Rocky (1987) (Star Comics)
- Bullwinkle and Rocky Marvel Moosterworks (1992) (Marvel)
- The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle and Friends (1992)
- Rocky and Bullwinkle (video game) (2008)]