Introduction To Bernard Bear
I first came across Bernard Bear, whilst I was flying on a small Asian airline. The turbulence was causing a fair extent of anxiety, so I was extremely happy to see the little drop down screens pop out from the roof of the plane and showcase a whole series of cartoons starring a polar bear getting himself into all kinds of strife and trouble. This bear didn't speak, he just made strange mumbling sounds, and he was surrounded by a cast of amusing characters that acted as sidekicks for his many ventures that he set about on. Why hadn't I come across this character before? It didn't look like a Chinese nor Japanese style animation, and the sense of humor that was being used was more like western style slapstick, however the whole cartoon certainly had an unusual quality about it. I had to find out more...
Who's The Cartoon Polar Bear?
Delving into the internet started to give some of the answers about why this character is a little "off centre" to the normal cartoon classics we are used to seeing... and maybe if I was more of a "multi linguist", it would be easier to track down the information.
Bernard Bear, also known as Backkom (pronounced Ppaekkom) or Berni depending on which country you are in, is a co-produced cartoon that encompasses three countries in it's making. Spain, Korea and France all worked together to make this very cool show. RG Animation Studios (Korea), BRB Internacional (Spain) and M6 (France) have done a fine job creating Bernard and his cast of friends, and it's surprising that he hasn't gained more of a following in other countries.
Bernard Bear has a lot of fantastic support from the characters around him in these short 3-4 minute creations.
Zack The Lizard - Who thinks he is the coolest of cool, drives a sports car and basically does everything really well... is a constant tormentor for Bernard to put up with.
Lloyd and Eva - A couple of penguins who at first may seem rather cute but can be a little irritating. Bernard actually seems to have a bit of a thing for Eva who is constantly fluttering her eyelids and often being squashed or put in danger by Bernard's clumsiness. Lloyd may look all innocent, but he is a persistent and insistent penguin who likes to challenge Bernard and push his patience.
Goliath (Goliat) - A tiny chihuahua with a big dog attitude.
The Best Episodes
There are 156 x 3 minute episodes of these cartoons, so it's a little difficult to just choose a few. Whichever one you watch is sure to show Bernard Bear finding disaster after disaster as he inadvertently manages to go from bad to worse on nearly every occasion. It's reported that Bernard's popularity is now on the rise around the world with 250,000 daily episode viewers online, he has hit viral status.
"My Friend Bernard" was a t.v movie released in 2012, but from all accounts it gets a big thumbs down receiving terrible reviews. The plot involves a young boy called Sam, who is scared of everything until meeting the adventurous and brave Bernard, who of course, as we have seen is afraid of nothing.
The other movie due for release in 2013 is a 3D animation called "Super Bernard" that runs for 75 minutes. The movie will be backed with a full licensing and merchandising plan, that could see Bernard products become more available around the world.
Table Tennis with Lloyd
Bernard's Positive effect
The good thing about Bernard Bear cartoons is the promotion of the "never give up" attitude. He continually attempts to overcome adversity and is always open for a challenge. It is light slapstick cartoon humor at it's best.