A Bear for Punishment
A Bear for Punishment title card.png
Directed byCharles M. Jones
Story byMichael Maltese
Produced byEdward Selzer (uncredited)
StarringBea Benaderet
Billy Bletcher
Stan Freberg (all uncredited)
Music byCarl Stalling
Animation byKen Harris
Phil Monroe
Lloyd Vaughan
Ben Washam
Layouts byRobert Gribbroek
Backgrounds byPhilip DeGuard
Color processTechnicolor
Production
company
Distributed byWarner Bros. Pictures
The Vitaphone Corporation
Release date
October 20, 1951 (USA)
Running time
7:10
LanguageEnglish

A Bear for Punishment is a 1951 animated Warner Bros. Looney Tunes cartoon directed by Chuck Jones.[1] The short was released on October 20, 1951, and stars the Three Bears.[2]

Plot

In the Three Bear's cave, Henry Bear is woken up from slumber by a ridiculous number of alarm clocks. Junyer Bear claps and happily exclaims, "Oh boy! At last the great day has come, at last! Oh boy, oh boy!" When he can't shut them up, Junyer silences them all by whispering "Shhhhh!" Henry loses his temper, as he often does, shoving a clock in Junyer's face. He is about to lose his temper with Ma Bear when she reminds him today is Father's Day. Henry feels embarrassed and (reluctantly) allows his family to treat him for Father's Day.

Unfortunately, the family's celebration of Father's Day repeatedly backfires on Henry: Junyer trips on a roller skate as he is presenting Henry with breakfast in bed, covering him in food; he accidentally fills Henry's tobacco pipe with gunpowder and causes it to explode when he lights it; and he attempts to shave his "Paw" using a broken, shattered straight razor blade, leaving Henry injured to the point where Ma and Junyer briefly thinks he's dead. However, Henry rises up and beats Junyer again, causing him to exclaim, "Paw is all right now, Maw!"

Ma and Junyer then put on an elaborate musical presentation for Father's Day, which embarrasses Henry to the extreme. This includes Junyer reciting a cheesy poem for "My Paw," Ma giving an exaggerated song-and-dance act (while keeping a dead-serious and straight face for the entire time), and Henry being grabbed and dressed up as the Statue of Liberty, while Ma and Junyer (dressed as George Washington and Abraham Lincoln repectively) present him as a tribute to Father's Day.

The march, "Father", performed by Junior and Ma, is a special vocal written to the tune of "Frat", a long-standing Warner cartoon staple. This is also one of few shorts where Mel Blanc does not provide a voice for any character.[3]

Voice cast

Reception

Animation historian Greg Ford writes that A Bear for Punishment is "a tour de force depicting Maw and Junyer's overzealous salute to Father's Day... As outrageous as Ken Harris' animation of this pageant is, Jones' drawings of Paw, in intercut reaction shots, are even funnier... It is typical of Jones' direction that, even in the midst of one of the most energetic, floridly animated scenes in cartoon history, the primacy of the single drawing should reassert itself."[4]

References

  1. ^ Beck, Jerry; Friedwald, Will (1989). Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies: A Complete Illustrated Guide to the Warner Bros. Cartoons. Henry Holt and Co. p. 228. ISBN 0-8050-0894-2.
  2. ^ Lenburg, Jeff (1999). The Encyclopedia of Animated Cartoons. Checkmark Books. p. 147. ISBN 0-8160-3831-7. Retrieved 6 June 2020.
  3. ^ Furniss, Maureen, ed. (2005). Chuck Jones: Conversations. University Press of Mississippi. pp. 80–81. ISBN 978-1578067299.
  4. ^ Beck, Jerry, ed. (2020). The 100 Greatest Looney Tunes Cartoons. Insight Editions. pp. 16–17. ISBN 978-1-64722-137-9.