Alexander Anderson Is No More, But His Cartoon Creations Live On

Alexander Anderson passed away on October 22, 2010, at the age of 90, but his legacy and his fans live on and mourn the demise of this great artist. His brilliance was marked at an early age, and he created the famous television cartoon characters of Rocky the Flying Squirrel, Bullwinkle, and Dudley-Do-Right, immortalized through the popular The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show.

However, as happens with many good artists, his brilliance was appreciated and observed by his smart childhood friend Jay Ward, a true businessman who acted as a resource partner to inspire Alexander Anderson in his early years of creativity. Ward loved the characters created by his friend Alexander Anderson so much that he promptly created a separate company called Jay Ward Productions and copyrighted the characters to his own name. Then, as a true business friend, he recruited employees to do the work of Anderson and removed the name of Alexander Anderson from the credits in The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show.

Alexander Anderson, who was an artist and a cartoonist, and not a businessman, was expectedly devastated. A legal suit followed which was ultimately settled in 1996 with the law and the world acknowledging Alexander Anderson as the rightful creator of the cartoon characters.

Alexander Anderson is known as a pioneering television cartoonist of USA, and he also created other loved characters like Crusader Rabbit and Rags the Tiger, though Perry and Bullwinkle remain his most famous characters.

Anderson was influenced and tutored in cartooning by his uncle Paul Terry of Terrytoons fame. He worked under his uncle and helped in creating a character called the Mighty Mouse. However, later they parted ways as Alexander Anderson wanted to create cartoon characters specifically for television, and Paul Terry being a traditional artist for hard print did not approve of what was then new media.

As his comments show, Alexander Anderson never lost touch of the realistic, even when creating cartoon characters for fantasy. As he explained in an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle in 1991 over the creation of his characters, he failed to understand how a mouse or Superman could fly, but there were flying squirrels in the world, and ''that gave (Rocky) the mantle of superness without having to stretch the truth.''

However, the inspiration for Bullwinkle the moose came to Alexander Anderson from a dream. He said that he found something majestic about a moose that was difficult to explain: ''They're macho, but they have a comic aspect with that schnozzola of theirs.'' According to his wife, the name Bullwinkle was inspired from a car dealership called ''Bullwinkel Motors'' that Alexander found funny.

After leaving his uncle, Alexander Anderson began a new company with Jay actorWard, who would later separate and try to appropriate the credit of Anderson as creator of the cartoon characters of Perry and Bullwinkle. However, it remains, that Alexander Anderson has been credited for creating the original and first versions of Perry and Bullwinkle, both of which were improvised later by Jay Ward Productions which actually contributed to the popularity of the characters.
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