Barney Bear

Barney Bear

"Barney Bear" was a series of animated cartoon short subjects produced by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer cartoon studio. The titular character was an anthropomorphic cartoon character, a sluggish, sleepy bear who often is in pursuit of nothing but peace and quiet.

He was created for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer by director Rudolf Ising, who based the bear's grumpy yet pleasant disposition on his own and derived many of his mannerisms from the screen actor Wallace Beery. Barney Bear made his first appearance in "The Bear Who Couldn't Sleep" in 1939, and by 1941 was the star of his own series, getting an Oscar nomination for the 1941 short "The Rookie Bear". Ising left the studio in 1943.

Ising's original Barney design contained a plethora of detail: shaggy fur, wrinkled clothing, and six eyebrows; as the series progressed, the design was gradually simplified and streamlined, reaching its peak in three late 1940s shorts, the only output of the short-lived directorial team of Preston Blair and Michael Lah. These cartoons tended to have a hint of Tex Avery's influence and more stylilized, rubbery movements--which wasn't surprising, as both worked as animators (and Lah ultimately as co-director) on several of Avery's pictures [Adamson, Joe, "Tex Avery: King of Cartoons", New York: De Capo Press, 1975] . Avery himself never directed a Barney short. The last original Barney Bear cartoons were released between 1952 and 1954, and Dick Lundy was responsible for those. In these early 1950s films, the designs suffered from the declining studio's economizing.

In the 1941 cartoon The Prospecting Bear, he met a donkey named Benny Burro, who later became his partner in the comic book version of Barney Bear.

Barney Bear did not appear in new material again until Filmation's "The Tom and Jerry Comedy Show" in 1980.

MGM filmography

;Directed by Rudolph Ising:
*"The Bear That Couldn't Sleep" (1939)
*"The Fishing Bear" (1940)
*"The Prospecting Bear" (1941)
*"The Rookie Bear" (1941)
*"The Flying Bear" (1941)
*"The Bear and the Beavers" (1942)
*"Wild Honey" (1942)
*"Barney Bear's Victory Garden" (1942)
*"Bah Wilderness" (1943)
*"The Uninvited Pest" (1943)

;Directed by George Gordon:
*"Bear Raid Warden" (1944)
*"Barney Bear's Polar Pest" (1944)
*"The Unwelcome Guest" (1945)

;Directed by Preston Blair and Michael Lah:
*"The Bear and the Bean" (1948)
*"The Bear and the Hare" (1948)
*"Goggle Fishing Bear" (1949) ;Directed by Dick Lundy:
*"The Little Wise Quacker" (1952)
*"Busybody Bear" (1952)
*"Barney's Hungry Cousin" (1953)
*"Cobs and Robbers" (1953)
*"Heir Bear" (1953)
*"Wee-Willie Wildcat" (1953)
*"Half-Pint Palomino" (1953)
*"The Impossible Possum" (1954)
*"Sleepy-Time Squirrel" (1954)
*"Bird-Brain Bird Dog" (1954)


External links

* [ Barney Bear at Don Markstein's Toonopedia]

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