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The Bear That Wasn't (1967)

Approved  |   |  Animation, Short, Comedy  |  31 December 1967 (USA)
7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 393 users  
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A bear wakes out of hibernation in the middle of a human society that blindly refuses to recognize him as an animal.

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Title: The Bear That Wasn't (1967)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Paul Frees ...
Narrator (voice)
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Storyline

The Bear That Wasn't is a ten minute animated short about a bear that settles down for his long winter nap. While he is asleep the progress of man continues. He wakes up to find himself in the middle of an industrial complex. He then gets confused by the foreman as a worker and is told to work. To this he responds, "but I'm not a man, I'm a Bear." He is taken to each of his successive bosses, who try to convince him that he is just a very hairy man that needs a shave... Written by <kendel@livenet.net>

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Release Date:

31 December 1967 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Bjørn eller ikke bjørn  »

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Trivia

This was MGM's last theatrical animated short. MGM's animation focused on television after this title was released. See more »

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User Reviews

When Four Geniuses Come Together ...
2 December 2002 | by (Cherry Hill, New Jersey) – See all my reviews

... the result is this underseen gem from the last days of the MGM Animation Department. The four geniuses are, of course, Chuck Jones (co-director), Maurice Noble (co-director/designer), Frank Tashlin (script), and Paul Frees (voices). The result is a delight.

Tashlin's Thurbur-like story, which I won't spoil, is a delightful double satire on big business bureaucracy and perception vs. reality, with our hapless ursine hero somehow preserving his dignity and sanity in a situation that rapidly snowballs into indignity and insanity. Tashlin's witty script calls to mind his best work in live-action films, Jones and Noble's direction and designs are among their best, and the understated humor of Frees's voice characterizations wrap up this comic package nicely. That this film wasn't even nominated for an Academy Award is inexplicable.

As I revise these comments, some three years after I originally wrote them, "The Bear That Wasn't" has finally come out on DVD, as part of the Loony Tunes Gold Collection, Volume 3. Do yourself a favor and see it.


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