Picks and Pans Review: The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle

updated 07/17/2000 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 07/17/2000 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Robert De Niro, Jason Alexander, Rene Russo, Piper Perabo, Randy Quaid

Miscalculated would be a polite word for this tedious adaptation of the early '60s TV cartoon series about Rocky, a flying squirrel, and Bullwinkle, a dimwitted moose. The original cartoon—with its politically hip references to the Cold War—always worked on two levels, appealing to both kids and adults. Except for a promising opening that spoofs show business, this updated, charmless film version, mixing live action with animation, will please only kids—and nondiscerning ones at that. Human stars Alexander, Russo and, especially, De Niro are wasted as bad guys, and there are pointless cameos by John Goodman, Billy Crystal and Whoopi Goldberg.

When Goodman came onscreen, a child sitting near me gleefully piped up, "It's the Flintstones guy." It's unlikely any kid will greet Goodman's next movie appearance with "It's the Rocky and Bullwinkle guy." (PG)

Bottom Line: Why bother?

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