Once or twice during our years in art school, myself and fellow TNU member John, decided to ditch the last class of the day for one reason or another. I think everyone in college had those days when they’d had enough.
Skipping wasn’t the right thing to do, and it didn’t happen often, but when it did we usually grabbed lunch somewhere and a matinée at the then General Cinema (now AMC) theatres in Braintree MA.
On one fateful day in 2000, John and I decided to skip Mrs. Hawkins class, mainly because she was nuts, but that however is another story. Anyways, for reasons I have wiped from my memory, we decided to see “The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle” starring Rene Russo as Natasha; Jason Alexander as Boris; Piper Perabo as Karen Sympathy; Randy Quaid as Cappy Von Trapment; and Academy Award winner Robert De Niro as Fearless Leader.
The original “Rocky & Bullwinkle” TV show was smart for its time, but I was always more of a fan of Mr. Peabody and the Fractured Fairy Tales segments rather than the moose and squirrel. This makes my decision to see the movie even more perplexing.
The movie version of Rocky & Bullwinkle has the same mixture the show had of silly puns, corny gags and not very funny in-jokes. But unlike the show from the 1960’s, the movie combines the animated moose and squirrel with live action–and even yanks three of the main characters (Natasha, Boris and Fearless Leader) out of the animated world and into the real world where they’re played by Rene Russo, Jason Alexander and Robert De Niro respectively.
I guess even the filmmakers thought this was ridiculous because at one point the Narrator jokes: “Expensive animation characters are converted to even more expensive movie stars!” Two of these expensive movie stars however, deserved much better than this pile of crap movie. Jason Alexander can stay though, he belongs in this terrible movie. Maybe if Danny DeVito had played Boris, things would have worked out better.
Then again, the only time combining animation with live action really worked was way back in 1988 in “Who Framed Roger Rabbit.” All attempts since to combine animation and live action haven’t come close to matching Roger Rabbit. And adding a bunch of celebrity cameos doesn’t help “The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle” one bit.
The only decent thing in this movie is its human lead, a then very young newcomer named Piper Perabo, who plays an FBI agent. I guess you could say this role helped when it came to playing CIA Agent Annie Walker in the gone (but not forgotten) “Covert Affairs.”
I can’t remember if I saw “The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle” before I saw “Coyote Ugly,” both movies came out in 2000, and in both cases Piper Perabo was the best thing on the screen.
At the end of the day, and with sixteen years of maturity behind me, I can honestly say John and I should have stayed in Mrs. Hawkins’ class instead of seeing Rocky and Bullwinkle. Oh well, at least lunch at Joe’s American Bar and Grill was good.