Barney is preparing his victory garden; of course, he's not the world's most skillful gardener, but he does get some good results until a hungry mole comes along. A few of the jokes are specific to WW II and rationing, but most of them are timeless.Written by
Jon Reeves <email@example.com>
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.
To me, the early Barney Bear cartoons are among Ising's better cartoons. The same goes to Barney's eighth cartoon (of 26), and eighth of ten for Ising, 'Barney Bear's Victory Garden', which may not be one of Barney's best or funniest efforts but it is very hard to dislike. It may be slight and predictable, with an ending that can be seen from miles away, and it doesn't blow the mind or have much that is hilarious or innovative. But it's well made, cute and entertaining and executes many of its components very well and not making without completely wowing.
As to be expected, 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. He is a fun and adorable character and easy to root for, one can really understand his frustration. 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 nuanced and it was a shame that it became simplified later on and lost its special uniqueness.
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.
'Barney Bear's Victory Garden' is charming, has some silly chuckles, has enough that is amusing and is paced beautifully. The gopher is a suitably fun foil and works very well with Barney, although the conflict is not a fresh one. Gayne Whitman does a nice job narrating.
On the whole, decent. 7/10 Bethany Cox
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