Nomination: Best Short Subject, Cartoons - M-G-M
"The Rookie Bear" is, like many short films made in the early 1940's, the story of a young recruit adapting to life in the military. What is different about this short, beside the fact that the protagonist is an animated bear, is that the film approaches military life with a gently sardonic, questioning attitude.
"The Rookie Bear" is a MGM cartoon featuring Barney Bear, the star of a couple dozen animated shorts produced by MGM. Barney awakes from hibernation to find that he has been drafted into the Army, though because of the vague wording of the telegraph, he believes he is the lucky recipient of a vacation. Heading out for his trip, Barney soon learns the difficulties of serving in the military, notably the endless marching.
As the story unfolded, I was confident that Barney would soon discover the pride and honor that come with serving in the military, but instead things get worse and worse for him. By the film's end, when through a minor twist Barney learns that he is committed to the military even more than we previously thought, Barney is entirely disappointed by this revelation.
"The Rookie Bear" is short on humor and has only one sight gag worth mentioning (the goldfish out of his bowl early in the film), but you don't get too many chances in life to watch an anti-military cartoon from the early 1940's.
Remaining: 3169 films, 871 Oscars, 5444 nominations