Barney Bear has a sign on his cabin door that says, "Do not disturb - asleep for the winter." Unfortunately, the poor bruin's wish to hibernate in his bed under a pile of clothing is dashed by the arrival of his nephew, a polar bear from up north, who has come down to spend the winter with him. Right away, the boy makes a pest of himself by opening all the windows in the cabin in order to let in some cold air. Next, he drags his uncle outside to go ice fishing, an adventure that nearly ends in disaster when Barney gets frozen in a block of ice and almost goes over a waterfall. The unwelcome visit is cut short when the boy realizes that Barney's patience has just about snapped.Written by
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 the previous cartoon 'Bear Raid Warden' was the first Barney Bear cartoon to not be directed by Ising, 'Barney Bear's Polar Pest' is George Gordon's second of three outings and while there's much better in the series it's pretty good. It's slight, even for a Barney cartoon, and if you are familiar with the concept of many of the previous cartoons you'll know where the cartoon is heading from the outset. While his nephew has his cute moments, Barney has had "pest" characters that are funnier and more interesting.
However, as to be expected, Barney is fun and adorable, with his personality yet to be simplified, and is easy to root for. 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 Polar Pest' may not be hilarious or original, more the odd sprinkling of amusing silly chuckles kind, but it has a lot of simple charm, is nicely paced and is all round pleasant to watch.
In conclusion, pretty decent but not one of the better Barney cartoons. 7/10 Bethany Cox
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