Entertainment » Movies

Bears

by Michael  Cox
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Tuesday Aug 12, 2014
Bears

Before you throw "Frozen" into the Blu-ray player for the umpteenth time, because your kids are terrified that there may be one bar of music or one frame of animation they have forgotten since yesterday, consider giving them the opportunity to see a real-life adventure.

The breathtaking photography of Disneynature's "Bears" makes the most spectacular CGI of the summer's blockbusters pale in comparison.

Extraordinarily daring camera crews have spent 2 years exploring the Alaskan Peninsula in order to capture majestic aerial landscapes, brilliantly-colored time-lapse sequences and intimate close-ups of animal interactions.

Often shot through long lenses in gorgeously detailed slow motion, these images are astoundingly displayed in this Blu-ray release, especially considering how the film was shot which you can get a glimpse of in the impressive bonus materials, "Welcome to Alaska," "The Future for Bears," "A Guide to Living with Bears," and "How Did They Film That?"

"There are many factual dangers for these darling little cubs that give the fictional Maleficent a run for her money, including a predatory grey wolf and a couple of territorial and cannibalistic male bears that are not above infanticide."

The episodic narrative focuses on a new mother bear, Sky, who comes out of hibernation to introduce her impressionable cubs to the bear society and help them learn to forage for food. There are many factual dangers for these darling little cubs that give the fictional "Maleficent" a run for her money, including a predatory grey wolf and a couple of territorial and cannibalistic male bears that are not above infanticide. (These powerful antagonists rise 10 feet tall and weigh up to 1,000 lbs.)

Though it's somewhat disconcerting that the little boy bear, Scout, is portrayed as an adventurer while the little girl, Amber, is timid and dependent, the true hero is a strong female, the fiercely strong Sky, who fearlessly protects and raises her young.

And little girls can revel in behind-the-scenes women heroes like Symira Taback-Hlebechuk (the Lead Guide) and Jane Goodall (world famous primatologist and UN Messenger of Peace). One of the many pleasures of the bonus material is watching these women, including an experience where Taback-Hlebechuk faces down a brown bear and peacefully sends him on his way.

Skillfully directed by Alastair Fothergill ("Earth" and "Chimpanzee") and Keith Scholey ("African Cats") this film has all the heartwarming plot moments we've come to expect from Disney. George Fenton's ("Gandhi," "Frozen Planet") sweeping orchestral music is as luscious and majestic as the landscape. And John C. Reilly ("Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby," "Step Brothers") performs the expository narration with a vulnerable charm, even if it does contain some bizarrely corny editorials.


Purchase your Blu-ray before August 19 and a portion of the proceeds will go to the National Park Foundation.
Rated G
Disneynature.com

Comments

Add New Comment

Comments on Facebook