While not one of my favourite cartoon characters, Barney Bear was a very funny and likable character where his sluggishness was a huge part of his charm. He was also interesting for being modelled on both his creator Rudolf Ising (who also was his first voice actor until 1941) and the mannerisms of Wallace Beery.
After a great debut cartoon in 'The Bear That Couldn't Sleep', Barney's second cartoon is nearly as good. There is not much wrong here actually in 'The Fishing Bear', though it is not hard to figure out where it's all going in a cartoon that is on the light side when it comes to the story. 'The Fishing Bear' is an example of a cartoon that does everything very well, if just lacking the extra something. Barney's personality again is very well established and he proves again why he was deserving of his own series and it was sad he didn't last longer.
The animation is colourful and beautifully drawn with fluid movements and meticulous attention to detail. The amount of detail given to Barney's character design was incredibly and it was a shame that it became simplified later on and lost its special uniqueness. The music, courtesy of Scott Bradley, is lushly and cleverly orchestrated, with lively and energetic rhythms and fits very well indeed, even enhancing the impact of actions and gestures.
It's a beautifully timed and very funny cartoon too and it is easy to feel for Barney in an increasingly bizarre situation.
Barney is easy to like, even when a little crankier than usual, and one is with him every step of the way in his frustration, but it is the duck that steals the cartoon. Ising does a great job voicing Barney.
Overall, very good. 8/10 Bethany Cox
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