Friday, April 18, 2014

Disneynature's "Bears" in Theatres Today! {Review}

Disneynature Bears PosterLast weekend my family and I were treated to a preview screening of Disneynature's latest theatrical release, "Bears." The film follows a family of momma bear and her two cubs through the cubs' first year of life. It highlights the struggles of the bears to find food and to stay safe in the big, wild world. And it shows the mother's devotion to her cubs as she protects, feeds, and teaches them the skills they'll need in life. It is an amazing look into the lives of these animals. I don't want to go so far as to say it humanises the bears, because that's not it. But the film does give a great understanding of their reality and the many ways in which we are similar to our wild neighbours.

The documentary was shot in Alaska, and the videography is stunning. The filmmakers have really captured the vastness and beauty of the landscape. I found myself wishing I could change careers and become a wilderness photographer as the scenes just took my breath away. During the credits you get to see some footage of how the shots were achieved, and it is really amazing just how close to the animals these filmmakers were able to get.

filming Bears
Yeah. That's close!
Going into the film I was a little concerned if it would be too scary for the younger set, since it is looking at life or death struggles. There is certainly a build up of suspense at a few points, as you wonder whether or not both cubs will survive, but no one seemed to find it too intense. There are a couple of fight scenes between large, angry bears, and that might be scary for some small kids, but you don't see anything nasty. The only blood I saw came from the salmon the bears were catching and eating.

Bear with salmon in mouth
Overall, my boys and I really enjoyed "Bears." I wasn't entirely happy with the voice over provided by John C. Reilly, though Hubs thought he was a good choice. I felt his voice didn't have the right tone for the story, and some of the narration felt a little forced. It definitely detracted from the movie for me, but that was not a unanimous opinion, and I'd still watch it again.

bear cubs playing in the water
How cute are these two??

three bears digging for clams
Digging for clams
I think you'll come out of this movie with both new knowledge and a new appreciation for these gorgeous animals. Highly recommend!

Disclosure: I have not been financially compensated for this post. My family and I did receive complimentary access to a special screening to facilitate this review. All opinions on this blog, as always, remain my own.

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