Bears Movie Review
Mark your calendar—Friday, April 18th. This is the day Disneynature opens its new wilderness epic Bears. In celebration of Earth Day on April 22, Disneynature will contribute a portion of each ticket sold the first week to the National Park Foundation, and I highly recommend you go see this delightful film and, if possible, take family and friends along for the ride.
This true-life adventure film has everything—drama, comedy, intrigue, joy—as we follow in the pawprints of mother bear Sky and her two cubs, curious Scout and mama's girl Amber. The three must undertake a journey from their Alaskan mountain peak den to the sea and back again. We witness the challenges a mother bear faces to keep her cubs alive the first year of their lives, a time when 50% of cubs usually perish. As we come to expect from Disneynature, the photography is exceptional, the courage and physical effort of the film crew laudable as they literally come nose-to-nose with these massive Alaskan brown bears, the largest of all bear species.
Kudos to the editor and the director Alastair Fothergill, who succeed in organizing more than a year's worth of photo shoots into a compelling story where Sky and her cubs must skirt avalanches, run off a stalking wolf, and protect themselves from hungry male bears while searching for the elusive salmon runs which mean the difference between life and death for them. Without the salmon they will starve during the next winter's hibernation. James C. Reilly's narrative is upbeat and the lively musical score carries the storyline well.
I was fortunate to sit near a young child—a boy about three. He was mesmerized by the film, as was I. He remained engaged throughout, asking his dad, "Where are they going?", "Is that a wolf?!" and "Wow!" when an avalanche crashed down a mountainside at 80 miles an hour. Upon leaving the theater I overheard a girl, about 11 years old, say, "That was amazing!" and adults were just as complimentary. This is a movie that will awe people of all ages. And after you fall in love with this film, get a hold of Fothergill's other Disneynature films Chimpanzee, African Cats, and Earth.
Guest review by Karen Samdahl
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.