As mentioned in a previous post, The Bear That Wasn't is the first of two cartoons that my father had a hand in that I hope to get online (I'm halfway there!) by the time the Chuck Jones evening hits Turner Classic Movies on March 24.
I thought Bear turned out quite nice, although animation and live film director Frank Tashlin -- whose children's book from which this cartoon is adapted -- was less than thrilled. (this last link leads to an interview that Michael Barrier conducted with Tashlin.) Tashlin's complaint was that once the cigarette was put into Bear's mouth, the concept of separation between beast and man was straddled.
Now, my father could often make liberal use of putting a cigarette in the mouth of many of his own creations, but I strongly doubt he had the pull in this cartoon for how the main character would look; I'd have to put that decision upon the director. Tashlin must have felt mighty close to this book. Either way, I'll be looking forward to seeing it again, and I won't be picky. Don't forget the wonderful Maurice Noble's own personal co-directing stamp on this picture.