Barney Bear reads in his paper that it's Good Neighbor Week and is encouraged to help his fellow man. "Say, that's a good idea", exclaims Barney whose neighbor is a beaver presently building a dam. Barney decides to help the buck-toothed animal with the wood chopping but the beaver impatiently tries to explain that he's quite capable himself. Finally, the beaver is finished with his dam but Barney, not satisfied, exclaims, "I'll build ya a great big one", and builds a dam the size of the Grand Coulee. Barney is greatly pleased by this... until he realizes his only flaw. Because of the dam's massive size, the nearby woodland area quickly floods!Written by
Matt Yorston <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 the Preston Blair and Michael Lah unit stopped after just three (and pretty good too) cartoons, 'The Bear and the Bean', 'The Bear and the Hare' and 'Goggle Fishing Bear', Dick Lundy was the fourth director to take over the Barney series after Ising (10 cartoons), George Gordon (3) and Blair/Lah, and turned out to be the joint-longest-serving director after Ising with 10 contributions to the series. His second Barney cartoon 'Busybody Bear' is even better than his very good first one 'The Wise Little Quacker' and is not just one of his better contributions to the series but also one of the better Barney cartoons in general. Even with a slower pace than the usual frenetic energy one and Barney's simplified design and nicer and less gruff character than those in the Ising and Gordon cartoons.
Have to say that it was lovely to see this side to Barney. It's not his original personality, which there is a preference for, but as always he is a lot of fun, adorable and very easy to like and he always has been. Buck the beaver works well with him, although the less likable character.
Animation is nicely drawn and colourful, if slightly lacking the finesse and meticulousness of the earlier entries of the Barney Bear series. 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.
'Busybody Bear' is a very funny cartoon throughout, and the timing, even with the not as frenetic and more laconic pace, is still spot on. Really liked the characteristic silly charm that makes the series so likable.
In summation, great cartoon and even better than Lundy's first Barney effort. 9/10 Bethany Cox
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