All 26 episodes comprising the first season of ROCKY & BULLWINKLE & FRIENDS, from 1961, arrives in a must-own four-disc set on Aug. 5, 2003 (Sony Music Video, $39.98). Certainly one of TV's wittiest animated series, producer Jay Ward, partner Bill Scott (the voice of Bullwinkle and others) and their wacky writing staff never pandered to children. Despite the dated Cold War material, painful puns and other cultural clichés, the cartoons hold up very well. That's because they are so well crafted and performed by Scott and June Foray (voice of Rocky, Natasha and so many other witches and fair maidens). No one is spared derision and the humor is as biting as ever.
The set contains the first two serial adventures, "Jet Fuel Formula," a mammoth 40-episode opus, in which Rocky and Bullwinkle fly to the moon and back on Grandma Bullwinkle's recipe for mooseberry fudge cake, and "Box Top Robbery," in which the fate of the world's economy rests with Bullwinkle's cereal box top collection. As always, the naïve but good-natured heroes battle Boris Badenov and Natasha, everybody's favorite no-goodniks. Linking the cliffhanging episodes are the marvelous FRACTURED FAIRY TALES, MR. PEABODY, the canine inventor that travels through time with his boy Sherman, and DUDLEY DO-RIGHT OF THE MOUNTIES.
Some of the extras include four "Dear Bullwinkle" show bumpers, a host of classic commercials and promos, the "Rocky & Bullwinkle Savings Stamp Club" special episode, the Many Faces of Boris Badenov, a sneak peek at the COMPLETE SEASON TWO DVD set and a 16-page booklet.