|Index||7 reviews in total|
It's Father's Day and "Junyer," who looks like Baby Huey except he's a
bear in diapers, has set off a ton of alarm clocks early in the
morning. The father, "Henry," gently tells his kid he's not happy with
those clocks, punching his kid in the face! When Ma reminds Pa that
it's Father's Day, Pa literally turns into "a first class heel."
That kind of sets the tone for this cartoon. The kid wants to pamper the old man for the day - but will kill him instead because he's so stupid (i.e. he spells "tobacco" g-u-n-p-o-w-d-e- r) and the father doesn't want the attention, just to be left alone. The mother is kind of goofy, too. This is a real dysfunctional family.
In the last three minutes, I laughed out loud a number of times as the material in here got better and better with some clever, dark humor lines. Junyar's one-act play and Ma's tap dancing are both flat-out hilarious.
This cartoon is absolutely delightful! While not the best series of cartoons Warner Brothers did, it was quite often effective. I rarely have much sympathy for Pa Bear, but here my heart goes out to him. This has got to be the most nightmarish Father's Day on record! The number of memorable scenes is quite high, but my favorite has to be whe Junyer fills Pa's pipe for him! Second has to be when Junyer shaves Pa! This is just wonderful. Cartoon Network runs this one fairly often. Most recommended. From the top of the key, he shoots and nothing but net at the buzzer!
The lesser discussed by largely hilarious Three Bears series directed by Chuck Jones drew to a close in monumentally funny style with 'A Bear for Punishment'. A very simple premise makes for an hysterical cartoon. It's Father's Day and a reluctant Papa Bear must sit through his family's attempts to honour him in more and more violent or humiliating ways. This culminates in a ridiculous variety show which climaxes with a bizarre tableau in which the Three Bears assume the roles of Washington, Lincoln and the Statue of Liberty. As well as the ample laughs, 'A Bear for Punishment' also offers a slightly tragic angle as we witness the Baby Bear's unconditional love for his Pop contrasting with Papa Bear's genuine violent contempt for his son. As well as being a triumph of timing and an ability to draw riotous comedy out of an essentially plot less cartoon, 'A Bear for Punishment' is especially notable as a performance piece, with voice artists Billy Bletcher, Bea Benederet and Stan Freberg giving the most remarkable performances they ever gave as these characters. 'A Bear for Punishment' is a fittingly uproarious finale to an under appreciated series.
The last of the cartoons featuring the three bears features Junyer
celebrating Father's day much to the chagrin and broken bones of Pa. I
have to say that the three bear characters were far from my favorites,
but this last one was the best that they ever got. Which granted was a
little above average, but that should count for something, right? This
animated short can be seen on Disc 2 of the Looney Tunes Golden
Collection Volume 2. It also features an optional commentary by Micheal
Barrier that is pretty informative, as well as a music and effect only
My Grade: B
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"A Bear for Punishment" is a hilarious Warner Bros. cartoon that simply
cannot be missed. Directed by the magnificent Chuck Jones, it stars the
Three Bears. (Well, the WARNER BROS. version of the Three Bears,
anyway.) Papa Bear, voiced by Billy Bletcher, is a short, hot-tempered
grouch. Mama Bear, voiced by Bea Benaderet, is the mild-mannered voice
of reason in the family. And "Junyer" Bear, voiced by Stan Freberg, is
a seven-foot-tall diaper-donning pea-brain. Because it's Father's Day,
Mama and Junyer go to ridiculous extremes to see to it that Papa has
every bit of comfort and entertainment. They need not have bothered!
My favorite scenes in "A Bear for Punishment" include the following (PLEASE do not read any further if you have not yet seen this cartoon). By far the most hilarious scene in this short is that of Mama tap dancing and singing to the accompaniment of "I'm Just Wild About Harry". Junyer is quite funny as he chases Papa around the house while wielding a dangerously sharp razor and later as he recites his "My Pa!" poem.
"A Bear for Punishment" is probably the epitome of Father's Day disasters. Is it any wonder that the grumpy old Papa Bear cringes with increasing embarrassment as he watches Mama Bear & Junyer Bear present their theatrical Father's Day tribute?
The three bears' cartoons from the Looney Tunes crowd aren't in my
vocabulary as much as Bugs Bunny and his ilk are, but the two that I've
seen ("Bugs Bunny and the Three Bears" and this one) I really like. "A
Bear for Punishment" portrays Father's Day, and so Ma and Junyer try to
make Pa happy...all the while irking him due to arch-incompetence and
excessive affection. They should have just left the guy in peace! So,
Chuck Jones had every reason to be proud of this cartoon. One can
imagine how much fun voice artist Stan Freberg must have had turning
Junyer into his dopey self. Really funny.
I wonder why Junyer is twice his father's size.
Bear for Punishment, A (1951)
** (out of 4)
Ma, Pa and Baby Bear star in this short that takes place on Father's Day as the dimwitted Baby tries to give dad a good gift but of course fails. BUGS BUNNY AND THE THREE BEARS is one of my favorite animated shorts but this here certainly isn't in the same league. I think one of the biggest things missing is the voice work of Mel Blanc as none of the bears here contain the same energy, charm and fun of the original. The voices here just aren't the same and it really takes away from the story because the grumpiness of Pa just comes off as cruel and not funny. There's one hilarious scene that has Baby Bear fixing dad a pipe, which doesn't go as planned and this here is without question the best scene in the movie.
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