A nature documentary that follows a newborn monkey and its mother as they struggle to survive within the competitive social hierarchy of the Temple Troop, a dynamic group of monkeys who ... See full summary »
In an epic story of breathtaking scale, Disneynature's new True Life Adventure "Bears" showcases a year in the life of a bear family as two impressionable young cubs are taught life's most important lessons. Set against a majestic Alaskan backdrop teeming with life, their journey begins as winter comes to an end and the bears emerge from hibernation to face the bitter cold. The world outside is exciting-but risky-as the cubs' playful descent down the mountain carries with it a looming threat of avalanches. As the season changes from spring to summer, the brown bears must work hard to find food-ultimately feasting at a plentiful salmon run-while staying safe from rival male bears and predators, including an ever-present wolf. "Bears" captures the fast-moving action and suspense of life in one of the planet's last great wildernesses-Alaska! Written by
Walt Disney Studios
Bears (2014) is the fifth theatrical release for Disneynature. The first four releases under the Disneynature label (Earth (2007), Océans (2009), African Cats (2011), and Chimpanzee (2012)) are among the top five highest grossing feature-length nature films of all time. Walt Disney was a pioneer in wildlife documentary film making, producing 13 True Life Adventure motion pictures between 1948 and 1960, including Seal Island (1948), Beaver Valley (1950), The Living Desert (1953), and Jungle Cat (1960). The films earned eight Academy Awards®. See more »
Written by Greg Holden and Drew Pearson
Performed by Phillip Phillips See more »
Reviewed by: Dare Devil Kid (DDK)
Rating: 4/5 stars
Disneynature has brought us some amazing documentaries in the past, including "African Cats" and "Chimpanzee". If there's one thing you can count on from these films, it's that they are absolutely stunning to watch, and their latest project, "Bears", is no exception. Following a year in the life of a brown bear (Sky) and her two cubs (Scout and Amber), we watch as they emerge from their den and go on an incredible journey for food that has them facing such dangers as avalanches, wolves, and even other alpha-male bears. It all comes down to a battle for survival as Sky desperately tries to find enough food to provide for her cubs to carry them through the next hibernation.
Narrated by Oscar-nominated actor John C. Reilly, "Bears" is a touching documentary that just goes to show how sometimes films with the simplest themes make for the most engaging experiences. It also manages to get quite tense in places; frequent long-shot vistas of fields and waterways harbor a succession of threats, which are freely milked for suspense.
There's not a whole lot of plot to be found here aside from following these bears from spot to spot on their quest for food, and yet, the documentary provides plenty of thrills as they come up against a number of obstacles. From the very start, you can't help but root for them on their difficult journey that has them traveling from the high peaks of the Alaskan peninsula to the shallow streams where salmon mass in great numbers. All the while, we're treated to the gorgeous backdrop of the Alaskan wilderness, made all the more amazing by the dazzling cinematography. Disneynature has once again gone above and beyond to bring us this footage, spending two years and braving several precarious moments capturing over 400 hours of it. Whittling that down to just 78 minutes must have been a herculean task, but in the end, it's wonderful to see that it was worth all the hard effort that went into it. An early avalanche sequence and Myriad shots involving a salmon hunt are particularly impressive. "Bears" is a visual experience through and through, one that offers eye-popping delights at every turn.
Not without a few contrivances as it caters to younger audiences, "Bears" is nonetheless an earnest, adorable real-life adventure. Despite the bracing beauty of the wilderness, and the respite provided by cubs at play, the film is primarily a sobering treatise on survival, narrated from the perspective of a family of three bears, giving their plight for survival a sense of sincere thematic heft. The only drawback of this visually brilliant, highly engrossing documentary is that it aims to be too kid-friendly at times, and downplays some of the harsher realities of bear life. But that doesn't take away much from what is undoubtedly an entertaining display for nature movie fans, animal lovers, and anybody in general who enjoys a good documentary.
With its touching story, beautiful scenery, and stunning camera- work, "Bears" becomes another worthwhile documentary in the Disneynature library. Kids and adults alike will be drawn into the plight of Sky and her cubs as they trek across the Alaskan wilderness in search of nourishment while facing down whatever stands in their way.
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