- Growing the Beard: The early shorts were sluggisly paced and overly gentle in comedy, not to mention very derivative of Disney's shorts. When the series changed directors and started taking some cues from Tex Avery (such as ramping up the pacing and timing, and giving Barney a much-needed redesign) the series really improved by its later years, especially under Dick Lundy's direction.
- So Okay, It's Average: The general consensus of the series; not a bad cartoon by any means, but vastly inferior to Tom and Jerry and Tex Avery's cartoons. The big issue is that the series is very low key and soft in comedy tone in contrast to those other two series, even after it grew the beard, and Barney himself isn't a particularly interesting protagonist, with most of the humor coming from the people or things that heckle him, and his indignated reactions to them.
- They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: Many consider "The Bear and the Beavers" this. Here's Leonard Maltin's take on it.
In the hands of a gag-oriented director, this could have been a very funny cartoon. But Ising does everything imaginable to avoid getting laughs. The film opens with a superfluous (and misplaced) storybook introduction, and the beavers are designed in the cuddly-cute manner associated with Ising's fairy tales. Everything happens at the same measured tempo, with no acceleration or exaggeration of timing. When the beavers disassemble Barney's house, they do it in regimented fashion; Ising even cuts to shots of beavers sawing, knocking away, and so forth. By making this climax so realistic in timing and treatment, he eliminates what should have been the comic highpoint of the film.