Producer: Daniel Hassid
Directors: Alastair Fothergill, Keith Scholey
Writer(s): Not Applicable
Film Editor: Andy Netley
Sound Department: Matthew Gough, Richard Hinton, Kate Hopkins, Philip Jenkins, Tim Owens, Johnathan Rush, Jack Stew, Andrew Wilson
Music Department: Jamie Ashton, John Barrett, Isobel Griffiths, Samuel Pegg, Graham Sutton
Synopsis: A documentary that follows an Alaskan bear family as its young cubs are taught life's most important lessons.
MPAA Rating: G
8.5 / 10
- Great cinematography that makes you feel like your right there with the bears
- Funny narration and commentary by John C. Reilly
- Music matches each moment of the film perfectly
- Well paced and edited
- Great scene transition
- Not as informative as other documentaries covering the same subject matter
- Some scenes might frighten kids, but it's hardly graphic at all.
A cute family friendly documentary that Disney loves to bring every earth day
While "Bears" isn't exactly the best documentary that I've ever seen, it's arguably one of the more entertaining ones out there. Like "Oceans" and "Earth", this one seems to be made for cinematic purposes rather than educational ones. In fact, you can probably watch a documentary on bears on either "Animal Planet" or the "Discovery Channel", to learn more about those creatures than you ever would watching this movie.
But, that's not to say that this film isn't full of some information about these bears. You still find out about the struggles a mother bear goes through protecting her young, after she's woken up from hibernation. Plus, the narration by John C. Reilly was quite entertaining.
Although it's been years since I've seen a Disneynature documentary, I don't seem to recall any of them using doses of humor throughout their film before this one. John seems to add various jokes throughout the documentary to keep the viewers' interests. Sometimes adding his own commentary to what the animals are doing. For example when a male bear tries to go after a female bear for mating purposes, he makes a comment saying, "The problem is he's got no game."
Hell, he even tries to do the voice for one of them. Throughout the movie, there's this baby male cub that likes to wander off, and does various funny things like getting his claw trapped in a clam and etc. John C. Reilly will make some remarks pretending to say what he thinks the bear cub would say, and he does this to add humor to this documentary. While I'm sure there's probably other documentaries that have humor in it for entertainment value, I have to admit John C. Reilly does a terrific job narrating this one. I'm sure many younger viewers will probably love John's style of comedy in this documentary.
As for the rest of the film, I thought it was orchestrated rather well. The cinematography was nothing short of amazing, as you have to tip your hat to the people that made this film even possible. The close up shots, the transitions between scenes, and musical scoring were simply breath taking.
The music matched each moment of the movie precisely, and some of it even compliments John's humorous narrative throughout the film. The cinematography literally makes you feel like your right there with the bears themselves. Displaying various up close shots of the bears' faces, and bodies; along with the other animals. Heck, we even see some nice shots of the fish swimming in the water. Not to mention the film moves at a very good pace, and it seems to be well edited.
Although I should warn parents that there are some scenes that might scare their children like when the bears fight each other, and there's quite a few others where we see the bears killing and eating fish. However, it's nothing too graphic, but if you're one of these parents that has a child that frightens easily, then it's worth pointing out.
Overall, I found "Bears" to be an enjoyable experience. Although I would hardly call this one the best nature documentary that I've ever seen, even by Disney's standards, but it's still one of the most entertaining ones ever made. As I pointed out earlier, the film features a great musical score, and the cinematography immerses the viewer right into the film. Plus, it helps when you have an entertaining narrator like John C. Reilly.
Would I advise anyone seeing this in movie theaters? Eh..probably not...unless you're just a die hard nature lover. However, it's definitely worth a rental, as I'm sure most audiences will come to love this new Disneynature documentary every bit as I did.
© 2014 Steven Escareno