While The Rocketeer may have been considered a commercial disappointment, there’s little doubt that it still resonated with fans. At its core, the film essentially set out what it aimed to do and more, paying homage to film serials that were popular during the era that the film was actually supposed to take place in — films serials were popular in the 1930s-1950s and The Rocketeer took place just prior to WWII in 1938. Regardless of the reviews, many fans who enjoyed it in their childhood still hold it in high regard, and with it, a fantastic cast of characters and memorable moments perfect for dog-naming.
Rocketeer Inspired Dog Names in Pop Culture
When The Rocketeer hit theaters in 1991, there was little second-guessing that it was a Disney film. Despite not being stamped with the universally recognizable symbol at every opportunity in attempts to appeal to a wider audience, what started as Dave Stevens’ seminal work (then just an independent comic), laden with imagery and storylines that favored an older audience, soon transformed into a kid-friendly film. And even though it didn’t end how it was intentionally started, it still stayed true to its roots of heroism and overcoming the odds, two of its most prevalent themes.
But the rockets in The Rocketeer weren’t the only ones to have significant impact on its young audience. Just over 15 years later, a Rocket would be introduced that would take the children’s book market by storm: Rocket the Dog. While Rocket wasn’t author Tad Hills’ first sensation — that title goes to Duck & Goose, which skyrocketed to a New York Times #1 bestseller — Rocket was popular enough to justify its own series.
But Rocket was no ordinary dog either. The illustrated version was actually inspired by a pet Hills and his wife Lee actually owned. Not only was the little Wheaton Terrier incredibly adorable, Hills claimed he was just an all-around good dog with the kind of accessibility that allowed him to turn away from the popularity of his established Duck & Goose series. After creating a cover that depicted a tiny bird reading to a dog for an issue of PW, Hills was inspired to write and illustrate a picture book that would help kids learn to read — at the time, it was a relatively untouched market.
To do so, he knew he had to find a way to get the kids to identify with the characters and found no better way to do so than through a cute and cuddly dog. In the first book How Rocket Learned to Read, Rocket actually starts as a reluctant reader who is eventually drawn into a compelling story (not unlike the book itself). He was able to use many of the dog’s noises (as well as noises that surrounded them in their illustrated world) to bridge a gap of understanding letters (come to find out, the word “grrrr” is great for that). Based on his adorable dog as well as the dog Hills shared his childhood with, he was able to create a highly popular series of children’s books, all aimed at helping them to learn.
Rocketeer Inspired Dog Name Considerations
Trying to find the perfect name for your dog is no easy task, but if you want to rocket to success, start by making a list of your dog’s most notable traits from their looks to their quirks and personality, as this will be the easiest measure for comparison.
For instance, if your dog is hyper or fast and zooms around like a high-speed vehicle, the names Rocket, Gee Bee, Racer, Sportster and Z would be solid choices. If they are classically handsome or pretty, then the names Hollywood or Gable would be great picks just like Lothar and Tiny Ron would be ideal for a dog with many wrinkles and folds. For dogs that tend to act like classic “tough guys”, then the names Neville, Sinclair or Valentine would be decent options. If they love to sniff out hidden objects then the names Fitch and Wooly are certainly suitable.
There are plenty of directions you can go, such as naming them after a filming location you have ties to or after elements of the film that were as inspirational to the creators (such as Bettie Page, Commando Cody, Rondo Hatton) as they are to you, so don’t be afraid get creative by firing up the mental jets and letting it fly!