(CARMEL, Calif.) -- Alexander Anderson, the man credited with creating the cartoon characters Rocky the Flying Squirrel, Bullwinkle the Moose and the Canadian mountie Dudley Do-Right, died Friday at his home in Carmel, California. Anderson was 90.
Anderson's wife, Patricia tells the Monterey County Herald her husband began working in animation in the late 1930s and reunited with childhood friend Jay Ward after World War II to create the cartoon series Crusader Rabbit. The two then developed the 1959 animated TV series Rocky and His Friends and its 1961 spin-off, The Bullwinkle Show.
The newspaper says Ward ran the business side of the company, while Anderson handled the artistic side -- a division of labor that eventually landed the two in court when Anderson discovered Ward had made himself the sole holder of the cartoon copyrights. Anderson sued and in 1996, reached an out-of-court settlement with Jay Ward Productions over the rights to Rocky, Bullwinkle and Dudley Do-Right. The terms of the settlement recognized Anderson as the creator of the cartoon characters. Patricia Anderson says her husband came up with Bullwinkle after he dreamt about playing poker with a moose.
Time magazine reports Ted Key, the cartoonist behind the characters Mr. Peabody and “his boy Sherman,” also successfully sued Jay Ward Productions to be recognized as the creator of those characters. Other writers created the Russian spies Boris Badenov and Natasha Fatale. Jay Ward is credited as the producer of the two Rocky and Bullwinkle series.
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