Disney’s new film “Bears” takes us on a wild, adventure filled ride narrated with love, wit and zeal by John C. Reilly. It starts with the all- important question: can Sky, the mama bear take her cubs (Amber and Scout) to where the salmon spawn in time to fatten herself up, and feed them, so that they can survive through to the following year’s hibernation? In “Bears” we follow the lives of all three of them in the quest against other bears (who are lean and hungry too) and a predatory wolf.
This is a film for all ages which even though it is stamped with the Disney logo, is not simply for small children. While it never crosses the line in depicting the sometimes treacherous pitfalls they encounter, neither does it default into the all too familiar cornball humor that nature films are known for.
John C. Reilly does a fabulous job in narrating the film and there are some humorous lines such as when one of the adult bears, after gorging himself on salmon rubs his back on a tree, falling asleep belly up. Reilly quips that it’s like his dad after a big meal falling asleep with the remote.
It must be noted that the cinematography in this film is simply unparalleled in its beauty. (However, since it was filmed in Alaska, one does wonder where all the polar bears are. Were they on vacation?)
“Bears” is laudable because it never preaches, yet it allows us to make the mental leap that if the bears in Alaska use the snow covered mountains to build their dens, what will happen after the polar ice caps are gone? While this is never overtly stated, it is underscored both at the beginning of the film and at its close. They note that bears need to do this for three years, while the cubs grow. Thus, making the case that cubs in their infancy depend on their mother’s care for a long period of time.
One special note, theatergoers should make sure to stay till the very end to see the actual cinematographers, their equipment, out takes and interactions with the wild life they filmed. This is truly a film to be cherished and loved by all.