THE BEAR, an enchanting 30-minute animation about a young girl's relationship with a polar bear that escapes from the local zoo, is very much a spiritual follow-up to that timeless Raymond Briggs classic, THE SNOWMAN. The two productions look and feel very similar to each other and, while THE SNOWMAN has the edge, THE BEAR comes close to reaching the same level of quality.
As usual, there's far more going on than meets the eye, something that makes these Briggs stories suitable for adult viewers as well as the kids. On the face of it, it's simply a humorous tale about an unlikely relationship, but underneath it's all about friendship, being comfortable in your own skin, the tribulations of finding one's place in society, mysticism and nature versus technology and progress.
Needless to say it's also touching, thought-provoking and magical, with expert, hand-drawn animation and beautifully realised characters.
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