Lack of originality bearly tolerable in Disneynature's 'Bears'
Disneynature’s Bears has everything that makes for a great nature documentary. It has the beautiful landscape of the Alaskan Peninsula. It has the compelling storyline of nature and survival. It has cute little bears, and it has a relatively famous narrator, John C. Reilly.
Unfortunately, while all of these are great when taken into account by themselves, they just do not make for a compelling documentary because the film lacks the one thing that every story needs – originality.
If you have seen any other bear documentary, except the Timothy Treadwell story, you have already seen all of these images – avalanches, bears posturing, salmon leaping into the waiting maw of a hungry bear. It isn’t that these images aren’t spectacular; they just aren’t new.
Maybe the big screen just isn’t big enough to capture the glory of real bears. This film certainly felt confined in trying to narrow the focus on the two cubs and their mother.
Disneynature’s Bears should delight children and those who do not have experience with other bear films. There are plenty of embearassing puns, a couple of tense times, but nothing ever really happens. Maybe that is what life is really about – a bunch of nothing happening with one or two stand out times.
(This film is rated PG for some unknown reason – maybe it was the bear breasts, the bear violence, the salmon gore, or the scene of bearly disguised bear lust. This is a nature film – if you think you have to protect your children from nature, I can’t help you. Really, MPAA, PG? Maybe they were afraid of an avalanche of criticism for “scenes of nature.” All of those trees and fish and bears can be scary.)
(Editor note: I have attempted to confirm that Bears was rated PG, but I have seen conflicting reports on the web. I hope that it was G and that the rant was for nothing, but I am pretty sure that the theater card at the end said PG.)
If you do plan on seeing Bears, you should do so between April 18 -24, 2014. Disney will be donating $.20 of every ticket to the National Park Foundation with a minimum of $100,000, which is pretty good because usually companies max out the donation rather than donate a minimum.
Watch Romney's Review of Bears on Movie Pilot