Cover image for The moose that roared : the story of Jay Ward, Bill Scott, a flying squirrel, and a talking moose
The moose that roared : the story of Jay Ward, Bill Scott, a flying squirrel, and a talking moose
Scott, Keith.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : St. Martin's Press, 2000.
Physical Description:
xxi, 442 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
General Note:
"Thomas Dunne books."
Personal Subject:

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PN1992.77.B86 S375 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



For those of us who love The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show, these names conjure up memories of some of the wittiest, most inspired, and relentlessly hilarious half-hours of animation ever produced. There was a kind of gleeful magic to the shows, a cumulative joy that transcended the crude animation and occasionally muddy sound, and it's this quality that was the essence of the legendary Jay Ward and Bill Scott.

Jay Ward was the magnificent visionary, the outrageous showman who lobbied Washington for statehood for Moosylvania, and invited the press to a picnic on the floor of the Plaza Hotel's august Grand Ballroom. Bill Scott was the genial, brilliant head writer, coproducer, and all-purpose creative whirlwind, often described as the "soul" of the shows. In fact, Scott even provided the voices for most of the star characters, giving life to Bullwinkle J. Moose, Mr. Peabody, Dudley Do-Right, and George of the Jungle. From their tiny, oddball animation studio, Jay Ward Productions, they created some of the most memorable animation of all time, and gave birth to a family of characters whose undying popularity has cast them forever into the pop culture firmament. With their distinctively unorthodox, artist-friendly philosophy, Ward and Scott attracted some of the most talented writers and voice actors in the industry, and for a time, Jay Ward Productions was a kind of Camelot of cartoons. Now, through exclusive interviews with Bill Scott, Tiffany Ward, June Foray, and dozens of others intimately involved with the Ward epoch, as well as access to original scripts, artwork, story notes, letters, and memos, Keith Scott has created the definitive history of Jay Ward Productions, including episode guides and voice credits for all the Jay Ward cartoons.

From the first "Hey Rocky, watch me pull a rabbit out of a hat!" to the last "Watch out for that tree!" this is not only the record of a legendary chapter in animation history, but also the story of a rare and magical relationship between two artists who were wildly, exuberantly ahead of their time, and the fascinating story of the struggle to bring their vision of bad puns and talking animals to unforgettable life.

Author Notes

Keith Scott is a veteran voice artist and animation historian who, beginning in his late teens, became friends with his childhood idols Jay Ward and Bill Scott. He has worked extensively in animation and radio as an expert voice mimic. He recently narrated Disney's live action movie based on the Jay Ward creation George of the Jungle, and is now starring as the voice of Bullwinkle J. Moose for Universal Pictures' Summer 2000 motion picture.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Jay Ward was a budding realtor when a runaway truck changed his plans. Crashing into his office, the lory injured him severely and spurred him toward a different career path. To the delight of cartoon fans, he set out in animation, of all things, and created Crusader Rabbit ("TV's first original cartoon star"), Dudley Do-Right, Rocket J. Squirrel and Bullwinkle J. Moose, Hoppity Hooper, and other hip cartoon stalwarts. He didn't do it all by himself, though. "Without Bill Scott there might never have been a Rocky and Bullwinkle." Scott was the "head writer, coproducer, and undisputed creative force" at Jay Ward Productions. This is his story, too, and also that of June Foray--then and now the voice of Rocky--and the rest of Ward's merry band. Overall, it is the crazy story of how cartoons that appealed to adults as well as children came to be on TV, and even, for a while, in prime time, decades before The Simpsons. This is essential animation history. --Mike Tribby

Publisher's Weekly Review

Cross-marketing efforts are seldom worthwhile, but this cartoonish history of Rocky and Bullwinkle is a fabulous exception. Scott, a lifelong "cartoon junkie" and the voice of Bullwinkle in the upcoming film from Universal Pictures, delves deep into animation lore to reveal the magic and mayhem that went into the most irreverent and grown-up cartoon until The Simpsons. Rocky and Bullwinkle were invented in 1957 by two perpetually goofy guys named Jay Ward and Bill Scott (no relation to the author). When the two men persuaded a distribution company to fund a series based on their characters, a legend was born. The Rocky and Bullwinkle adventures were unlike any cartoon on TV: topical (the Cold War was a favorite subtext), self-referential ("Have you forgotten, BullwinkleÄwe're TV heroes!" cries Rocky in one episode) and unapologetically sophisticated (references to Dostoyevski and Aesop were not atypical). But above all, Scott insists, the Rocky and Bullwinkle show was often outrageously, sometimes painfully, funny. The mismatched duo (a squirrel and a moose) entertained adults and children alike for six years and 326 episodes. Although Jay Ward and Bill Scott created a gaggle of other popular cartoon charactersÄincluding Dudley Do-Right, George of the Jungle and Cap'n CrunchÄRocky and Bullwinkle were always their favorites. Scott's enthusiasm for his subject is infectiousÄwhen he veers into giddiness, it's forgivable, perhaps even appropriate to this delightful salute to the most famous flying squirrel and dimwitted moose in history. (July) FYI: The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle, starring Robert De Niro, Rene Russo, George Alexander and the author, will be released June 30. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Rocky the Flying Squirrel and Bullwinkle J. Moose, Frostbite Falls, MN!s most popular residents, are returning to active duty this summer in a feature-length film combining live action with animation. This book is not just the inside story of their animated adventures but the whirlwind tale of the creative successes and frustrations of Jay Ward and Bill Scott, the duo who introduced them. Behind-the-scenes information about Jay Ward Productions (both before and after Rocky and Bullwinkle) makes this book valuable to both animation historians and ordinary cartoon buffs. A superlative reference section serves up convenient and detailed episode information not only on each Rocky and Bullwinkle feature but on all of Jay Ward!s creations from the 1940s through the 1980s, including Dudley Do-Right and George of the Jungle. Actor and cartoon historian Scott will supply the voice of Bullwinkle in the movie. A logical purchase for most public libraries."David M. Lisa, Mercyhurst Coll. Lib., Erie, PA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.