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The Bear and the Bean (1948)

An anthropomorphic jumping bean from Mexico causes Barney Bear no end of trouble.


Uncredited cast:
Billy Bletcher ... Barney Bear (voice) (uncredited)
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Barney Bear is about to settle down to a meal when he receives a package from his cousin Pedro Bear. The package contains a Mexican jumping bean. Barney is initially charmed but after a while, the bean begins to wear out its welcome and annoy Barney. He puts it in a bottle but the bean escapes eventually causing Barney to think a prowler has broken into the house when the bean hops into a pair of shoes and starts dragging the coat rack. Written by Matt Yorston <georgey@atcon.com>

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User Reviews

Barney Bear and the jumping bean
5 November 2017 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

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 ten cartoons by Ising and three by George Gordon, all decent to great, Preston Blair and Michael Lah collaborated for three Barney Bear cartoons in the late 40s. 'The Bear and the Bean' is the first of the three, and supervised by Hanna-Barbera it's by no means among the best of the series but it's pretty good. Even for a Barney Bear cartoon, that admittedly are never to be seen for their stories, the story is slight and anybody who has seen any of the previous cartoons will know exactly 'The Bear and the Bean' is heading, conceptually there's not that much variation apart from the bean character (who is nevertheless a fun pest and a good foil for Barney).

'The Bear and the Bean' also started differences to Barney's character design and personality. They are certainly well executed on their own but compared to before with Gordon and especially Ising they're not the same and not as good. Barney's originally incredibly nuanced and detailed character design was quite a bit simpler to before (did like the Tex Avery-like influence) from this point onward. Meanwhile he isn't as cranky and gruff here either, there's evidence of that but from this point it's toned down in comparison, which makes his frustration a little less easy to relate to, from this point he is almost a little too nice considering who the character was based upon in the first place.

Barney is still a fun and adorable character though and he does have a situation that makes him not at all hard to root for. Just that his previous cartoons did it better.

Animation is colourful and beautifully drawn with fluid movements and meticulous attention to detail. Really liked the Avery influence and the stylised look is sleek and elegant, it's very different to before but looks great considering budgets were not as big from my understanding at this point. 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.

While not hilarious or original, 'The Bear and the Bean' is still amusing and has a silly charm that makes it a likable watch. Pacing is lively and it was nice that there was more an Avery-influence to the story and flow than a Disney-like one.

Overall, pretty good cartoon, particularly taking into account another director change and things being simplified, but not a great one. 7/10 Bethany Cox

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Release Date:

31 January 1948 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Bjørnen og bønnen See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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