Barney has a dive mask and swim fins to help with his pursuit of fish. First, though, he needs to get the anchor set, despite an overly helpful little seal. The seal acts like an inept ...
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Barney has a dive mask and swim fins to help with his pursuit of fish. First, though, he needs to get the anchor set, despite an overly helpful little seal. The seal acts like an inept hunting dog, leading Barney to a cave with an angry lobster, then an unfortunate encounter with a shark.Written by
Jon Reeves <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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. Their third outing 'Goggle Fishing Bear' gets my vote as their best one, though all three are worth checking out and it's a shame that they and Gordon didn't make more. 'Goggle Fishing Bear' may not be one of the best Barney Bear cartoons, none of them have been bad at this point, quite the opposite, but it's a lot of fun and well done. The story is a bit thin and predictable at times which is not unusual for the series.
Once again, Barney's character design and personality is different to the one seen with Gordon and especially his creator Ising. 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. His foil here is a seal and the seal matches Barney very well in comic timing and cuteness, coming close to stealing the cartoon. Their chemistry has the wit that was just missing a tad in the one between Barney and the rabbit in 'The Bear and the Hare'.
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, 'Goggle Fishing Bear' 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.
On the whole, cute, entertaining and well made. 8/10 Bethany Cox
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