Off the wall and onto videos come the first six volumes of "Classic Stuff -- The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle." Following, in close order, behind the two leaders are the rest of Jay Ward's irreverent creations: Boris, Natasha, Snidely, Nell, Dudley, Aesop, Peabody, Sherman, et al.
The video debut of Bullwinkle and cohorts is being released on Friday by Disney-owned Buena Vista Home Video at $12.99 each. Each offers 40 to 45 minutes of classic Jay Ward humor. There will be more to follow. Disney purchased 156 hours of Bullwinkle programs from Ward, who helped restore and package some of the material before his death.
This series is expected to be a major seller and more volumes will be added regularly. In a recent Disney "character awareness" survey, Bullwinkle came in second to Mickey Mouse, 95 to 93 percent. Roger Rabbit was third at 73, and "The Far Side" next at 60. The results were surprising, considering that Bullwinkle has never before been available on home video.
But his fans, through the years, were young and old. Movie maker Steven Spielberg said: "It was the first time that I can recall my parents watching a cartoon show over my shoulder and laughing in places I couldn't comprehend."
Each cassette embraces all the funful flavor of Ward's television presentations. The initial marketing package includes a T-shirt offer, free if you buy three volumes, $4.50 with two, and $8 with one cassette. The six titles are:
"MONA MOOSE" featuring "Treasure of Monte Zoom," "Little Red Riding Hood" and "Robinson Crusoe."
"BIRTH OF BULLWINKLE" featuring "The Ruby Yacht of Omar Khayyam," "Sleeping Beauty" and "Robin Hood."
"VINCENT VAN MOOSE" featuring "Goof Gas Attack," and "Rapunzel."
"BLUE MOOSE" featuring "Rue Brittania," "Cleopatra" and "The Ugly Duckling."
"LA GRANDE MOOSE" featuring Boris and Natasha pulling off the famous "Box Top Robbery"; Dudley and Nell's wedding, and in "Fractured Fairy Tales," a frog turns into a prince.
"CANADIAN GOTHIC," a volume devoted to the blundering escapades of the most bumbling Mountie of them all, Dudley Do-Right.