‘Bears’ a gorgeous but untrustworthy new documentary from Disneynature

Bears

Written by Alastair Fothergill and Adam Chapman

Directed by Alastair Fothergill and Keith Scholey

UK and USA, 2013

During its fledgling years as a film studio, the Walt Disney Company helped revolutionize the nature documentary with its True-Life Adventure series. Here, as never before, audiences could thrill to the story of seals, beavers, bears, tigers, and the rest of the creatures sharing space with us on Earth. These days, what is most striking about these early documentaries is less the physical ground they cover, and more that they come from a patient time in filmmaking. Documentaries like The Living Desert and Seal Island featured narration and music, and sometimes attempted to play up the humor of an animalistic situation, but they were still created by people who afforded their presumed audience a base level of intelligence. In some respects, these nature documentaries were born out of the insistence on
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