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The Impossible Possum (1954)

Barney sets out to trap a possum for his dinner, but that proves difficult until he uses a puppet of a girl possum, and even then...


Dick Lundy


Jack Cosgriff (story), Heck Allen (story)


Paul Frees


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Uncredited cast:
Paul Frees ... Barney Bear (voice) (uncredited)


Barney walks out of his cabin singing, "I've gonna have possum for dinner!" He notices a nearby possum and thinks his dinner plan is set. However, this possum is smarter than Barney figured (he has a heck of a time trying to remove his tail from a branch). Barney figures he can outsmart the possum using a female possum hand puppet which the possum falls for. Barney plays jitterbug music and they dance. Alas, the disguise comes off when the possum invites the girl home with him. Finally, Barney chops down the possum's tree home... only to have it crash land on his house. Oh well, Barney just says, "I told ya I was gonna have possum for dinner and there he is," pointing to the possum chowing down at his dinner table. Written by Matt Yorston <george.y@ns.sympatico.ca>

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Release Date:

20 March 1954 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)


Color (Technicolor)
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User Reviews

Barney and the possum
9 November 2017 | by TheLittleSongbirdSee all my reviews

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. 'The Impossible Possum' is not just one of Lundy's best Barney offerings, to me it's one of the best of the series. Even with a slower pace than the usual frenetic energy of the early Barney cartoons 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. The possum is a great supporting character, good comic timing as well as helping give the story purpose.

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.

'The Impossible Possum' 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. Veteran voice actor Paul Frees characterises the characters beautifully.

In summary, great. 9/10 Bethany Cox

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