'Rocky and Bullwinkle,' Made in Mexico
A look into the outsourced creation of Jay Ward's classic show.
Happy Thursday! In today’s issue of the Animation Obsessive newsletter, our topic is outsourcing. We’re looking at how The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle and Friends (1959–1964), one of the most influential TV cartoons ever, was animated in Mexico.
Historian Darrell Van Citters has called the segments that make up Rocky and Bullwinkle “the first animated TV productions to be outsourced to a foreign studio.” To put it mildly, the teams at Jay Ward Productions in Hollywood and Val-Mar Productions in Mexico City had no idea what they were doing.
What transpired was a comedy (and horror story) of errors. This venture was the shaky, uncertain beginning of an entirely new era of animation — the one we’ve lived in ever since.