Ty Burr
October 25, 1996 AT 04:00 AM EDT

The Rocky and Bullwinkle Book

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Louis Chunovic
publisher
Bantam
genre
Comic Novels, Pop Culture

We gave it a C

Hokey smokes. You’d think the weighty tome, The Rocky and Bullwinkle Book by Louis Chunovic, about the two most famous denizens of Frostbite Falls, Minn., would be a can’t-miss slab o’ coffee-table heaven, wouldn’t you? Certainly Jay Ward’s animated Rocky and His Friends was the only cartoon before The Simpsons to meld kiddie slapstick and grown-up satire successfully. But this book works too hard at being ”wacky,” from the chockablock art design to the overwritten, rib-nudging text by former Hollywood Reporter editor Chunovic. The episode-by-episode guide will be indispensable for fanatics, and the rarely seen publicity mailers Ward and his staff concocted are hilarious, but historical perspective (photos of the people behind the voices, biographical background, little things like that) is ignored in favor of strained nostalgia. The famously eccentric Ward deserves a real book, not this shallow ”appreciation.” C

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