The Bullwinkle Effect

Image from wikimedia.org

I realize I’ve been on a Rocky and Bullwinkle jag lately. But these quotes gave me one of those “a-ha!” moments. I really dig it when someone goes to the trouble to give an actual name to a phenomenon I’ve known intuitively all my life. More serendipity, I guess. From DVD Verdict Review:

In the world of comedy, there is a phenomenon many call “The Bullwinkle Effect.” This is when a youngster watching the animated mishaps of Bullwinkle and Rocky sees only a lighthearted adventure story; but an adult watching the same cartoon picks up on all the satirical elements to the writing, and enjoys it on a whole other level.

From the Stockton-San Joaquin County Public Library website:

“The Bullwinkle Effect”: entertainment ostensibly designed for youngsters, but delightful for all ages. Children will enjoy it, but they will miss many of the references and jokes that amuse adults.

From the RPGNet Forum:

“The Bullwinkle Effect”: it’s funny at five, really funny at fifteen, hilarious at twenty-five, etc.

Yeah, I’ve known this all my life. Some of my favorite bits of entertainment are examples of this. “Rocky and Bullwinkle,” obviously. But also “Calvin and Hobbes,” Mad magazine, “The Simpsons,” the better “Looney Tunes” and “Merrie Melodies,” “Beany and Cecil,” the Carl Barks comic books for Disney, “Animaniacs,” “The Powerpuff Girls,” the old Max Fleischer cartoons, and “Despicable Me.”

It’s extremely validating when not just one, but several sources have beqeathed a name upon something I’ve known all along. “I am so S-M-R-T,” as Homer J. Simpson would brag.

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2 Comments on “The Bullwinkle Effect”

  1. […] smart people have self-doubts? Turns out there’s a name for that: the Dunning-Kruger Effect. Once again, it’s awesome when someone goes to the trouble to give name to a phenomenon I’ve observed […]

  2. […] Name For It.” Through the magic of the Intertubes I’ve stumbled upon a couple of these, here and […]


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