Food for thought‘[...] do not think that good design can make a poor product good, whether the product be a machine, a building, a promotional brochure or a business man. But [...] good design can materially help make a good product reach its full potential. In short, [...] good design is good business.’
Thomas J. Watson Jr., IBM CEO

The Bear That Wasn’t

March 8, 2008, 2:48 PM

I remember seeing The Bear That Wasn’t on Cartoon Network when I was a kid and being enchanted by its beautiful yet thought-provoking story. Chuck Jones made the animated short adapting Frank Tashlin’s book (hope amazon will be selling it again soon, i can’t buy from resellers in Romania).

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(photo from Kip W’s The bear that wasn’t photo setthank you Kim for scanning the whole book. Mind the beautiful typography in the title.)

The story beautifully touches the problems of urbanization, mass production, human alienation, workaholism and of course, the environment’s. It sounds over-ambitious for a cartoon, I know, but it’s amazing to see how easily these ideas are presented while keeping the cartoon entertaining even for small children (that will grow up and write rants like these :D). Graphic lines that entangle and move the characters, camera cuts made in an almost-comics-like manner (Samurai Jack‘s got nothing on this :P), suited and colored to match every masterfully-drawn character’s personality, music that gives you that 50’s industrial feeling but still manages to describe different social statuses and sometimes even have a hint of techno sound, and last but not least, the wonderful storytelling make this cartoon a true gem.

Enjoy:

Too bad sometimes we let others convince us we’re just “a silly man who needs a shave and wears a fur coat”. Luckily some of us don’t buy that for too long.

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Comments:

Very subtle…I was looking for this cartoon, but I didn’t know how it was called, so thanks :)

You’re welcome :) (twice ;) ).

This is one of the best cartoons i’ve seen in my whole lifetime. :)

Wonderful post and many thanks for the link to Kip W Flickr, were I could read the book.
I watch the cartoon yesterday and got impressed by it.
It reminds me a lot of Feiffer’s Munro. If you want to see more in this post from my blog (http://tonnerredebrest.blogspot.com/2008/05/great-comic-book-heroes-by-feiffer.html) you could see this great short and my entry.
Thank you.

[…] blogging has its rewards, here’s yet another proof: Mr. Valentín wrote me after watching “The Bear That Wasn’t” about another old time gem, Munro, a short animation made by Jules Feiffer, one of the great […]

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[…] blogging has its rewards, here’s yet another proof: Mr. Valentín wrote me after watching “The Bear That Wasn’t” about another old time gem, Munro, a short animation made by Jules Feiffer, one of the great […]

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