‘The Three Bears’ are a family, consisting of Papa Bear, Mama Bear and Junior Bear. Dad is a loud-mouthed, short tempered know-it-all, while Junior is an overweight, clumsy buffoon. The two are constantly in each other hair, while Mama Bear always ended up in the middle. To restore order, she often resorts to giving a good whack with a rolled up newspaper.
They first appear in a 1944 cartoon: ‘Bugs Bunny and the Three Bears’. Papa Bear tries to feed his hungry family, by re-enacting the fairy tale ‘Goldilocks and the Three Bears’. Then, when Goldilocks passes by, they will eat her. Unfortunately they don’t have any pudding, so Mama Bear uses carrot soup. This does not tempt Goldilocks, but none other than Bugs Bunny.
The other four shorties:
- ‘What’s Brewin’, Bruin?’ (1948): Papa Bear decides that the family must begin hibernation. But as Mama Bear is snoring and Junior’s cradle is creaking, Papa Bear is kept awake;
- ‘Bee-Deviled Bruin’ (1949): It’s breakfast time, but the honey pot is empty. Therefore Papa Bear and Junior raid a nearby bee hive;
- ‘Bear Feat’ (1949): Daddy Bear reads a newspaper ad for a bear that can do tricks. He tries to get his whole family into shape;
- ‘A Bear for Punishment’ (1951): It’s Father’s Day and Mama and Junior’s well-meant gifts, only irritate Papa Bear.
The five cartoons were produced by Warner Brothers, in their Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies series. The cartoons were drawn and directed by Chuck Jones.