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Rocky & Bullwinkle by Mark Mothersbaugh

Composed by Mark Mothersbaugh
Orchestrated by Bruce Fowler, Suzzette Moriarty, Ladd McIntosh, Carlos Rodriguez, Walter Fowler, Elizabeth Finch, Chris Guardino, Tom Heil, Larry Dominello, Kevin Kliesch, Benoit Grey
Produced by Mark Mothersbaugh and Ford A. Thaxton
Promo Release by Supertracks March 2000


I tend to cringe a little when I see cartoon characters that I grew up with brought back with a more contemporary look and style. Such tragedy seems to plague television commercial cartoon characters more than any where else. Tony the Tiger, Trixx the Rabbit, Lucky (the leprechaun), Count Chocula, even Captain Crunch has been revamped for the new millennium...and it breaks the heart. 

The question that looms in the case of The Adventures of Rocky & Bullwinkle is "Just how true to the original will they be this time?" Bringing these, somewhat antiquated, characters to a new generation is not easy a proposition. 

The composer selected to write the score for this film faced the challenge of paying homage to the original characters and themes, while making the music approachable to a brand new audience who come with a different palette of entertainment-expectations. This became the challenge for veteran TV and comedy feature film, composer, Mark Mothersbaugh.


The Bottom Line

Mark Mothersbaugh underscores the film with a lively bit of music that spans a musical range of big band to full orchestral underscore. Mothersbaugh, in general, respectfully utilizes the original Bullwinkle Show theme.  The score carries an Elfman-like feel with expansive synths and chorals mixed with the sort of animated-insanity a Tim Burton project would call for.

The score is a solid effort for an animated film with an expected amount of cartoon-peculiarities.  Among them the upbeat, guitar rendition of Rocky:  The Flying Squirrel (3) and the Russian influenced vocal tune, Hail, Hail, Pottsylvania (15).

Overall, Mothersbaugh does an exceptional job of providing music appropriate for the subject matter.  Outside of that context, one would have to be in a slapstick-mood to appreciate the score.  



Rating: 7/10



 Composition 6/10

 CD Length