The film features an ensemble cast of guest appearances by performers including Paget Brewster, Janeane Garofalo, John Goodman, David Alan Grier, Don Novello, Jon Polito, Carl Reiner, Whoopi Goldberg, Max Grodenchik, Jonathan Winters and Billy Crystal.
35 years since their show's cancellation in 1964, Rocket J. "Rocky" Squirrel and Bullwinkle J. Moose have been relegated to reruns. Their home, Frostbite Falls, has been destroyed by deforestation, Rocky has lost his ability to fly and the show's unseen Narrator now lives with his mother, spending his time narrating his own mundane life. Meanwhile, their enemies Fearless Leader, Boris Badenov, and Natasha Fatale have lost power in Pottsylvania following the end of the Cold War. However, the three escape to a real-world Hollywood film studio, where they trick executive Minnie Mogul into signing a contract giving her rights to the show, transforming the villains from their two-dimensional cel-animated forms into live-action characters. Klutzy but well-meaning FBI agent Karen Sympathy and her superior, Cappy von Trapment, inform President Signoff that Fearless Leader intends to make himself President of the United States by brainwashing television viewers using his own cable television network named "RBTV" ("Really Bad Television"), which airs mind-numbing programming designed to zombify the public and persuade them to elect him as president. Karen is sent to a special lighthouse to bring Rocky and Bullwinkle to the real world by literally greenlighting a film starring the pair. She succeeds, with the Narrator being brought along as well but never being physically seen.
Fearless Leader is informed that Rocky and Bullwinkle have returned and sends Boris and Natasha to destroy them. The two are given a weapon called the CDI ("Computer Degenerating Imagery"), which removes cartoon characters from the real world by sending them to the Internet. Karen steals Boris and Natasha's truck, but gets arrested by an Oklahoma state trooper. Natasha and Boris in turn steal a helicopter to pursue Rocky and Bullwinkle. Rocky and Bullwinkle are given a ride by Martin and Lewis, two students at Bullwinkle's old university, Wossamotta U. Boris and Natasha get there first and make a large donation to the university in Bullwinkle's name. In return, the head of the university gives Bullwinkle an honorary "Mooster's Degree" and Bullwinkle addresses the student body, whilst Boris attempts to kill him with the CDI from a water tower. Rocky recovers his lost ability to fly and saves the oblivious Bullwinkle.
Martin and Lewis lend the two their car, which Bullwinkle drives to Chicago. Boris and Natasha once again attempt to kill the two, but instead accidentally destroy their helicopter. Meanwhile, Karen escapes prison with the help from a love-struck Swedish guard named Ole. Karen, Rocky, and Bullwinkle are reunited, but are quickly arrested for various misdemeanors that they have committed during their journey. The three are put on trial, where Bullwinkle inadvertently sabotages their case by cross-examining Karen as the prosecutor, not the defense attorney. However, the presiding Judge Cameo dismisses their case upon recognizing Rocky and Bullwinkle, stating to the District Attorney that celebrities are above the law.
The three obtain a biplane from a man named Old Jeb and escape Boris and Natasha once again. The duo consider quitting their evil occupations and getting married, but are interrupted by a call from Fearless Leader. Afraid to admit they have failed, they lie and tell him they have killed Rocky and Bullwinkle. Fearless Leader initiates his plan, brainwashing the entire country. Meanwhile, the plane is unable to carry the weight of all three aboard. Rocky flies Karen to New York City to stop Fearless Leader, but gets captured. Bullwinkle accidentally flies the plane to Washington, D.C., confusing it for New York, and crashes on the White House lawn. To get Bullwinkle to New York in time to stop Fearless Leader, Cappy scans Bullwinkle into the White House's computer and emails him to RBTV's headquarters, where he interrupts the broadcast and save Karen and Rocky. Karen knocks Boris and Natasha together, Bullwinkle throws Fearless Leader to his comrades, and Rocky ties the three villains together with the cable's wire. The heroes convince the American public to vote for whomever they want, as well as replant Frostbite Falls' trees. Bullwinkle accidentally activates the CDI, and zaps Boris, Natasha, and Fearless Leader, reverting them back to their two-dimensional animated cartoon forms and banishing them to the Internet once and for all.
And in the end, RBTV is changed from "Really Bad Television" to "Rocky and Bullwinkle Television", Karen and Ole start dating, and Rocky, Bullwinkle, and the Narrator return home to a rejuvenated Frostbite Falls."Dreamer" - Supertramp
"Be Ya Self" - Tarsha Vega
"Hooray for Hollywood"
"The Blue Danube" - Johann Strauss II
"Secret Agent Man" - Johnny Rivers
"The Child in You"
"Through the Eyes of a Child" - Lisa McClowry
"Cryptik Souls Crew" - Len
There was also a soundtrack for the film to be released by New Line Records, but was later canceled.
The film's soundtrack was released in the end by the RCA Records Label of BMG Entertainment.
Rocky & Bullwinkle opened in 2,460 venues, earning $6,814,270 in its opening weekend and ranking fifth in the North American box office and third among the week's new releases. It closed on October 5, 2000 with a domestic earn of $26,005,820 and an overseas total of $9,129,000 for a worldwide gross of $35,134,820.
On review aggregator site Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds a rating of 43% based on 96 reviews with an average of 4.8/10. The critical consensus stated, "Though the film stays true to the nature of the original cartoon, the script is disappointing and not funny." Metacritic reports a 36 out of 100 score based on 30 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".