Alexander Anderson Jr., the cartoon mastermind behind Rocky & Bullwinkle, has died. As a 1980’s baby who grew up on the hit cartoon, it’s truly a tragedy.
He passed away Friday at a nursing home in Carmel, Calif., at the age of 90 due to complications from Alzheimer’s disease.
Alexander got his first big break in the 1940s as an apprentice for his uncle, Paul Terry, the legendary cartoonist whose Terrytoons produced Mighty Mouse and Heckle and Jeckle.
Anderson then teamed up with old fraternity brother Jay Ward to form Television Arts Productions. What came next? right A slew of cartoon characters were formed right out of their garage, including Crusader Rabbit, Rags the Tiger and that righteous Mountie Dudley Do Right.
The characters were creative and unique, but the two that caught everyone’s attention was was a clever flying squirrel, Rocket J. Squirrel, and his dimwitted pal, Bullwinkle J. Moose, who lived together in the fictional town of Frostbite Falls, Minn.
In 1959, ABC broadcast Rocky and His Friends. Next came The Bullwinkle Show [my personal favorite], which ended up being a big hit.
A feature film, The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle, was released in 2000.
Rest in peace Alexander Anderson Jr., though you were fortunately blessed with a long life, it’s no contest or debate that your work will stand the test of time.