Peabodyverse Encyclopedia
Jet Fuel Formula
Season 1, Episode 1-40
Vital statistics
Air date 1959-1960
Written by Unknown
Directed by Unknown
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 Jet Fuel Formula is the longest story arc of The Rocky & Bullwinkle Show. It is also noteworthy in that it established most of the characters, themes, running gags, and other elements that would be employed in later stories and that would become so closely identified with the Rocky and Bullwinkle programs in the years since. The first few episodes contained a laugh track, which was removed when the episodes were released as part of Rocky & Bullwinkle & Friends Complete Season 1


Rocky and Bullwinkle attempt to bake a Mooseberry fudge cake using Grandma Bullwinkle's recipe, unaware that the raw cake batter is actually a revolutionary rocket fuel. While attempting to light the old-fashioned oven Bullwinkle ignites the first layer, launching the oven to the Moon. In order to retrieve the appliance they build their own rocket ship and use the remaining cake layers to propel them to the moon and then back to Earth. Upon their return, the U.S. government places Bullwinkle in charge of "moosile" research and he sets about to recreate the cake recipe, half of which was destroyed in the initial explosion. Two Moon Men, Gidney and Cloyd, arrive to prevent Bullwinkle from recreating the formula, as they fear an invasion of tourists from Earth. Hypnotized by Boris, Bullwinkle is able to remember the recipe. However, by the time he does so Boris has fallen asleep, and when Bullwinkle reveals the formula he is "scrootched" (frozen) by the Moon Men. Boris then steals the frozen Bullwinkle. When he revives Boris puts him to work in a new lab, transmitting the moose's research to his superiors. He also attempts to immobilize the Moon Men with sleeping pills. Rocky rescues Bullwinkle and the Moon Men. Gidney and Cloyd become media celebrities but soon tire of their fame. They insist that Rocky and Bullwinkle return to the Moon with them, but their ship's fuel has been stolen by Boris. Rocky and Bullwinkle agree to help make more fuel, and they head to Frostbite Falls to procure the secret ingredient: mooseberries. Boris sends the Moon Men's stolen fuel to Pottsylvania, but it explodes upon arrival, leveling the seaport. Boris kidnaps Rocky and Bullwinkle en route to Minnesota by posing as a pilot offering to fly them home. They crash land near Frostbite Falls, only to find that a blight has decimated the mooseberry crop. Bullwinkle manages to obtain the only remaining bush, which is promptly stolen by Boris.

Rocky and Bullwinkle telephone the Moon Men, who have become popular entertainers, and ask for their help in obtaining another mooseberry bush. They book passage on an ocean liner to Pottsylvania, the only remaining source of mooseberries. Boris and Natasha have stolen tickets for the same trip in order to return to their homeland with the stolen bush. The incompetent Peter Peachfuzz, captain of the liner S.S. Andalusia, steers the ship to Holland, Antarctica, and Perth Amboy. When their mooseberry bush appears to be ailing Boris and Natasha harvest the berries. As food supplies aboard ship have dwindled during the erratic voyage a famished Bullwinkle eats the berries which, once picked, have become extremely volatile. He survives the resulting explosion. The ship runs aground on a tropical island. While Rocky, Bullwinkle, and Peachfuzz go ashore Boris steals the Andalusia, but is ordered to return for Bullwinkle. When they arrive in Pottsylvania Boris meets with Fearless Leader and reveals his plan to use the rocket fuel to establish a television transmitter on the moon and to jam American broadcasts with Pottsylvanian commercials. Rocky and Bullwinkle begin an expedition to find a mooseberry bush, which grow on Pottsylvania's highest mountain, Wynchataka Peak. They engage a disguised Boris and Natasha as guides and retrieve a lone mooseberry bush from the mountainside. The group encounters an Abominable Snowman, which soon proves to be Gidney and Cloyd in disguise. The Moon Men hope to use the bush to make fuel for a return trip to the Moon, while Rocky plans to turn it over to the U.S. government. They escape Pottsylvania and sail for the United States. Rocky hatches a plan to send the Moon Men home while also providing the government with rocket fuel, and he proposes to have Gidney and Cloyd naturalized as American citizens who could then become the first Americans on the Moon, with the help of the mooseberry rocket fuel. Senator Fussmussen, a pompous xenophobe who feels that the recent admission of Alaska and Hawaii has created too many new Americans, purposely turns the citizenship exam into an interrogation, which (coupled with Rocky and Bullwinkle's useless studying aids) result in Gidney and Cloyd failing. The two are deported—to the Moon. Bullwinkle makes a batch of fuel and the Moon Men return home, with Senator Fussmussen (too dignified to remove his coat after it gets caught in the door) in tow as the new ambassador to the moon


  • Jet Fuel Formula makes numerous allusions to the Cold War, a theme that would become a recurring element of the Rocky and Bullwinkle stories. The fictional nation of Pottsylvania stands in for East Germany, with its character influenced by the Cold War-era Soviet Union and Nazi Germany (for instance, many Pottsylvanian accents are more Germanic than Russian). Pottsylvania is a closed, repressive nation ruled by the Führer-esque Fearless Leader and the mysterious Mr. Big. The United States, on the other hand, is directly satired as an absurd bureaucracy with pompous politicians (such as Senator Fussmussen) and incompetent bureaucrats (typified by Peter Peachfuzz). The themes of the arms race, the space race, international technological competition, and espionage are found throughout the story.
  • Jet Fuel Formula lampoons the medium of television and, particularly, television commercials, which are depicted as being so odious as to be used as weapons by warring nations. The conventions of television are a source for parody, as well as its quality. The characters frequently break the fourth wall to address the audience. This is particularly evident in some of the short supporting features, such as Mr. Know-It-All and Bullwinkle's Corner, in which the audience sees backstage areas, light rigs, etc., and in which Rocky, Bullwinkle and particularly Boris portray characters distinct from their roles in the actual Rocky and Bullwinkle segments. Rocky and Bullwinkle may be viewed as an early, animated example of metafiction, insofar as the characters make frequent reference to the fact that they are, in fact, characters engaged in the presentation of a work of fiction. In one brief scene Capt. Peachfuzz is seen reading a Mr. Peabody comic book. Natasha and Bullwinkle each reckon the passage of time in terms of episodes. Rocky and Bullwinkle respond to comments made by the narrator, and Boris chides him for revealing plot details.
  • The first episode was made by Ward's parnter, Alex Anderson. The animation in this and the next four episode is just stinks because due to budget cuts with Ward productions, they had to be drawn by low-paid, Mexican animators. It took a little while for the characters to even look right.
  • The events from Jet Fuel Formula are referenced in a 2014 Rocky and Bullwinkle comic. 
  • True Story