An eccentric millionaire has put up a large prize for the capture of the world's smallest horse (about the size of a mouse), and has sent Barney to do the job. Barney tries his trained horsefly, with no luck, then tries to do the job himself, then dresses his mule up as a female pony.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 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. Following on from one of the series' best cartoons, 'Half-Pint Palomino' while still a nice cartoon is a contender for Lundy's weakest Barney Bear effort.
Even for a Barney cartoon, the story is slight and predictable and was in need of a little more energy than what was provided. The funny moments are only amusing and perhaps there's a little too much emphasis on the "cute" factor which fall very close to being too cutesy.
Barney is very likable and fun, but there is a marginal preference for his more nuanced character design (he is very well drawn here but his design is comparatively simplified) and more of his characteristic crankiness would have suited the premise well. The little horse is adorable while Barney's antics are amusing and sweet.
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.
'Half-Pint Palomino' is charming and amusing, with decent if not always consistent timing. Paul Frees shows off as ever his considerable talent as a voice actor.
Overall, pretty good but not among the best of the Barney Bear series. 7/10 Bethany Cox
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