Bears Parent Guide
Although the film offers a sanitized view of the wild, this documentary brings bears to life in a way that a trip to the zoo could never hope to do.
Parent Movie Review
Alastair Fothergill has a great gig with the Disneynature Studio. He’s the director behind films like Earth, African Cats, Chimpanzee and the 2014 release Bears. Imagine having a job that flew you around the world. Of course once you’re on location, you have to spend countless hours in less than ideal conditions, standing as still as possible in order to not disturb your subject. Also, there’s no fancy director’s chair, no comfy trailer to hang out in and certainly no retakes. And you still have to work with the occasional diva.
Okay, maybe it’s not as great as it looks.
Still Fothergill and his camera crew have captured some of the most stunning film footage ever shown in a theater. And in the documentary Bears, they do no less. The story follows a mother brown bear and her two cubs during the little ones’ first year of life in the Alaskan wilderness. The opening scenes show the newborn cubs still inside the den. Their tiny pink paws and almost hairless bodies make it seem impossible to think they could ever endure the harsh environment outside the cave. Yet only weeks later they’ve grown enough to make their first foray into the snow covered landscape.
While the cinematography is spectacular, the dialogue is definitely aimed at a young audience. John C. Reilly narrates. And to be honest, the script gets a little cheesy at times when the movie makes it appear we can read the bears’ minds. (It’s more likely the hungry animals were contemplating how tasty a cameraman would be.) Despite the fact adults might feel this dialogue is manipulative, kids will likely love the silly comments and the antics of the small cubs.
The only real problem for little ones may be the portrayal of the mother grizzly defending her babies from a hungry male bear, along with some other fights between the massive animals. Some blood is shown when the bears go salmon fishing and snag the writhing fish between their mighty jaws. As well, there is a brief comment about a boy bear that likes a girl bear, but it is subtle enough that only the most inquisitive child might ask for more details.
Although the film offers a sanitized view of the wild (and thankfully none of the main characters die), this documentary manages to bring bears to life in a way that a trip to the zoo could never hope to do. Watching this mother and her cubs navigate the perils they endure is inspiring and impressive. Yet the real charm is when we watch them romp, play, explore and soak in the summer sun.
Once again Alastair Fothergill and his team have given us all a reason to care about the environment.Directed by Alastair Fothergill, Keith Scholey. Starring John C. Reilly, Victoria Naumova. Running time: 78 minutes. Theatrical release April 18, 2014. Updated May 23, 2016
Rating & Content Info
Why is Bears rated G? Bears is rated G by the MPAA
Violence: The bears narrowly miss being swept away in an avalanche. A mother bear fights to defend her cubs from predators including a wolf and a male bear. A cub gets separated from his mother when the tide comes in. Some blood is shown when the bears catch salmon and eat their flesh.
Sexual Content: Brief scene includes some romantic music and a comment about a boy bear that likes a girl bear.
Alcohol / Drug Use: None
Page last updated May 23, 2016
Bears Parents' Guide
As omnivores, bears will eat almost anything they can find. In this film they ate grass, mussels, clams, and salmon. You can learn more about grizzlies at the animal fact guide.
Grizzlies are on the Endangered Species List. See what one organization is doing to help protect these bears.
Share more information with the children you teach using this free resource created by Disney Nature.
The most recent home video release of Bears movie is August 12, 2014. Here are some details…
Home Video Notes: Bears
Release Date: 12 August 2014
Bears releases to home video (Blu-ray/DVD/Digital Copy) with the following special features:
- Welcome To Alaska - Journey with the filmmakers into the Alaskan wilds to film Sky and her cubs.
- The Future For The Bears - Experience the thrill of living with the bears during production, and the importance of protecting the wilderness to ensure their survival and our own.
- A Guide To Living With Bears - Learn how the team interacts safely with these magnificent creatures.
- How Did They Film That? - Get an inside look on some of the extreme filmmaking that went into getting shots high in the mountains and under frigid cold water.
- “Carry On” Music Video By Olivia Holt