20-Foot-Tall Rocky and Bullwinkle (In Transition)
Beverly Hills, California
Rocket J. Squirrel and Bullwinkle J. Moose were the stars of Jay Ward Productions' most popular cartoon. It had debuted as "Rocky and his Friends," flopped, then was revived as "The Bullwinkle Show." On the day that this reboot was first broadcast, a colorful statue of the two stars was erected outside the Jay Ward Productions' offices on the Sunset Strip. Movie bombshell Jayne Mansfield pulled the ribbon that unveiled the cartoon superheroes.
That was in 1961. The sculpture was built to parody a statue directly across the street -- a bikini-clad, spinning showgirl on a billboard advertising the Sahara Casino in Las Vegas. When R and B were erected, they spun around too. Whenever the rotating showgirl's bathing suit was painted a new color, Bullwinkle's sweater soon followed. Cement disks arrayed around the base of the statue bore "Walk of Fame"-style signatures and elbow prints of the cartoon's writers.
Jay Ward Productions' eventually went bankrupt, and Jay passed away in 1989, but the statue remained -- remarkable because almost everything in Hollywood is knocked down to make way for the newest thing. Rocky and Bullwinkle, nearly forgotten animated characters, stubbornly clung to their curvy spot along busy Sunset Boulevard for 52 years!
Their long run ended on July 22, 2013, when the statue was unexpectedly removed by a crane. Fans feared that Rocky and Bullwinkle had been lost forever.
They were, in fact, being restored by artist Ric Scozzari. Rocky and Bullwinkle reappeared, freshly painted, on Oct. 9, 2014, inside the glass atrium of the Paley Center for Media in Beverly Hills. The Center has said that it plans to return Rocky and Bullwinkle to a spot on Sunset Strip in July 2015.