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The Bear That Wasn't (1967)

A bear wakes out of hibernation in the middle of a human society that blindly refuses to recognize him as an animal.


Chuck Jones, Maurice Noble (co-director)


Frank Tashlin (story "The Bear That Wasn't"), Irv Spector (additional story)


Paul Frees

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Complete credited cast:
Paul Frees ... Narrator (voice)


The Bear That Wasn't is a ten minute animated short about a bear that settles down for his long winter nap. While he is asleep the progress of man continues. He wakes up to find himself in the middle of an industrial complex. He then gets confused by the foreman as a worker and is told to work. To this he responds, "but I'm not a man, I'm a Bear." He is taken to each of his successive bosses, who try to convince him that he is just a very hairy man that needs a shave... Written by <kendel@livenet.net>

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Release Date:

6 October 1967 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Bjørn eller ikke bjørn See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Color (Metrocolor)
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Did You Know?


Frank Tashlin disowned the film and accused Chuck Jones of completely missing the point of the story. Tashlin also wanted his name removed from the credits, but there wasn't enough time to do this before the cartoon had to go into general release. See more »

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User Reviews

Different Story & Artwork
9 June 2007 | by ccthemovieman-1See all my reviews

This is really different, an animated that you would think has to be really funny with the people that made it, guys like Chuck Jones and Frank Tashin, Paul Frees and Maurice Noble....but it isn't. It simply is a comment on being who you are, and perhaps a dig or two on our industrialized, impersonal society. Whatever the intent, there is one thing for sure: this is different.

One could made the same analogy with an alligator and the state of Florida. One day it's a swamp; the next thing you know it's nothing but concrete and condominiums. Huh? That's the scene here as the bear hibernates, wakes up and now he's in the middle of a big city and then, inside a factory where nobody believes he's a bear. Why would they? Why would a bear be in a factor? What happened to the open land where he lived? Everyone has questions in here.

However one interprets this story, I enjoyed the artwork and the modern style of it in this cartoon. Like the story, the artwork is very different from the Looney Tunes we are used to seeing from the 1930s through the 1950s. In some respects, it is very '60-ish looking, a la The Pink Panther cartoons.

Whatever it is, if you own the Looney Tunes Golden Collection Volume Three, don't overlook this extra cartoon that is listed under "From The Vault."

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