In their 2014 installment of their documentary series, Disneynature take us into the world of bears living in the wilds of Alaska. Bears is narrated by John C. Rielly and it follows a mama bear named Sky and her cubs, Scout and Amber, as they attempt to survive the cub's first year of life.
The primary reason to see this film is the amazing nature footage. It becomes even more incredible during the clips that run alongside the end credits, showing just how close the crew got to the bears and how they captured the amazing shots. I wish the film had more behind-the-scenes footage, as it was fascinating.
The bear cubs are adorable. Really adorable. I could watch them for hours. The film shows the real harrowing issues that the mama bear faces while she is trying to raise her cubs which include predators and starvation. There are plenty of really intense moments and lots of aggressive bear fights. When starved, adult bears will attack bear cubs. As with the other Disneynature films, there are plenty of light moments to off-set the harsh ones. We see the cubs at play and some comedic moments as adult bears attempt to catch fish.
A problem that I've had with the Disneynature films is the blatant anthropomorphizing in the narration. In parts it made me cringe, especially how every animal, beyond the main bears, was given a human name. The narrator was constantly speaking as to what the animals were feeling. I understand the role of the narration is to create a story out of the bear footage, but in most cases less would have been more. I would have liked the animals to speak for themselves as most of the action was self-explanatory. The narrator could have stuck to interesting facts about the bears and their environment. This isn't a slight against John C. Reilly, he was fine, it has more to do with the actually script and the need for even having one.
Alaska looks breathtaking in this film. It will make you want to book a trip.
We were in a theatre with several young children, all of whom seemed to find the Bears compelling and were eagerly discussing it with their parents as we were exiting. This movie isn't squarely aimed at children, it's definitely something that adults will enjoy, but it's extra nice that it seems to be a film equally enjoyable for the entire family. A rarity. The beautiful cinematography makes this a must-see on the big screen.
I'm really happy that this is one Disney film where the bear cubs are not left as orphans! There are some close calls, but the entire family remains intact. No tears shed in this film!