U.S. Cartoonist and Animator Created RCMP Parody
Alex Anderson, the creator of Rocky and Bullwinkle and Dudley Do-Right, died Oct. 22 in Carmel, California, according to reports.
Born in Berkeley, Anderson studied art and apprenticed in the animation business at Terrytoons before enlisting childhood friend Bill Ward to help launch the Crusader Rabbit tv show, which ran from 1949-52. Anderson later created Rocky the Flying Squirrel and Bullwinkle Moose for a new series produced by Ward beginning in 1959 and running until 1964. One of the characters created by Anderson and spotlighted on the Rocky and Bullwinkle show was Dudley Do-Right, an assinine Canadian Mountie, first test-marketed in 1948, who starred in his own serial-style segments that functioned as parodies of silent film serials, with requisite villain (Snidely Whiplash), imperiled heroine (Nell Fenwick), and loyal animal companion (the horse named Horse). The cartoon was set in Canada and its humour dealt in Canadian stereotypes, puns, quick editing and rapid-fire dialogue, and pop culture satire, along the way becoming one of the most prominent and iconic representations of the RCMP and Canadian culture for an entire generation of viewers. In addition to a self-titled 1969 tv series, the character was widely licensed, featured in Rocky and Bullwinkle comics published by Dell and Gold Key, and in his own 7-issue Charlton series in 1970-71. He was also made into a live-action film in 1999.
Although Anderson’s involvement in the series essentially stopped with the act of creation, he was credited as creative consultant and successfully sued in 1996 for recognition as sole creator, against claims by Ward and voice actor Bill Scott.