Watch The Bear That Wasn't
- 10 min
The Bear That Wasn't is a 1967 animated movie based on a book of the same name by Frank Tashlin. The movie is directed by Gene Deitch and features the voice of Paul Frees as the protagonist, a bear who wakes up from hibernation to find that his forest has been replaced by an industrial complex. The movie opens with the bear waking up from his long winter sleep, only to find that his cave has been bulldozed over by construction workers. He ventures out into the woods to find his surroundings unrecognizable, with roads, factories, and power lines everywhere. He tries to find his way back to his home, but is met with nothing but confusion and frustration from the humans he encounters.
The bear tries to explain to everyone he meets that he is a bear and he belongs in the forest, but no one believes him. They all think he is just a silly man dressed up in a bear costume. The bear becomes increasingly distressed as he is rejected by everyone he meets and struggles to survive in this unfamiliar urban environment.
Throughout the film, the bear encounters different characters who represent various societal roles, such as businessmen, police officers, and even a psychiatrist. Each character interacts with the bear in their own way, expressing disbelief and confusion about the bear's identity, adding to his growing sense of alienation.
The visual design of the movie is striking, with a stark contrast between the natural forest and the cold, metallic buildings of the industrial complex. The backgrounds are often minimalist, adding to the feeling of disorientation the bear experiences as he navigates this new world.
The animation itself is simplistic, with sparse backgrounds and minimal movement, but it is effective in conveying the bear's emotions and the overall theme of societal disconnection. The movie's soundtrack is also notable, featuring a whimsical score by jazz composer Eddie Sauter, adding to the dreamlike quality of the film.
The film's message is clear: the bear is a metaphor for a person who has lost touch with their natural state and is struggling to find their place in an increasingly industrialized society. The bear's journey of self-discovery and acceptance is a powerful statement on the importance of preserving nature and staying connected to the natural world.
Overall, The Bear That Wasn't is a poignant and thought-provoking film that has resonated with audiences for over 50 years. It is a masterfully crafted meditation on the human condition that speaks to the universal struggle of finding one's place in an ever-changing world.