Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Bear that Was on the New York Times Op-Ed Page

Something I'm pretty sure I didn't expect to see when I flipped through today's New York Times op-ed page: a detailed plot summary of an op-ed writer's "favorite children's book" by Frank Tashlin, who has a strong cult following among both fans of his live-action movies and animation buffs who know him for his relatively brief but influential period working on the Looney Tunes (and the book in question was later adapted into a cartoon at MGM, not Warner Bros., but made by Termite Terrace alumni Chuck Jones and Maurice Noble):
The situation reminded me of my favorite children's book — "The Bear That Wasn’t," by Frank Tashlin — in which a factory is built around a bear while he is hibernating. When the bear wakes up, no one believes that he is a bear; everyone is certain that he is a malingering factory worker "who needs a shave and wears a fur coat." The bear keeps protesting, "But I am a bear." Ultimately, his confidence in his own identity as a bear is shattered.

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