Movie Review: “Bears” Is Delightful And Charming


Review by James McDonald

A documentary that follows an Alaskan bear family as its young cubs are taught life’s most important lessons.

“Bears” is a documentary in which we follow Sky, a mother bear with two baby cubs, Scout and Amber. We see the adorable cubs weeks after they’re born and gradually, we see them taking their first steps into the Alaskan wilderness. The trio make their way from the top of a snow-covered mountain down to the coast where they await the schools of salmon that at the end of every summer, make their way back upstream to the location where they were hatched. Along the way, the bears encounter danger in other large male bears who are starving and in dire situations like that, resort to eating anything that moves, especially young cubs. They also confront a savage wolf who follows them part of the way and tries to separate the trio so that he can eat one of the babies.

The movie has some absolutely spectacular cinematography and we are shown parts of Alaska that have never been seen before. Apparently, it took the filmmakers a long time to put this together. Instead of just watching the bears doing their thing, which, by the way, we see a lot of, they decided to add narration to it, more so for the kids which helps move the story along and also explains a lot of the bears’ motivations for some of their actions. This was aimed primarily at the kids but I know I came away from the movie having learned a thing or two, or three about bears in the wilderness. Watching some of these majestic creatures, weighing anywhere from 1,000 to 3,000lbs, standing on their hind legs as they get ready to battle for dominance, was just incredible.

The film also shows us a real-life avalanche, a force of nature so fast and deadly that it kills anything and everything in its path. One shot in particular had the camera high up in a helicopter as the barrage of ice and snow flowed downhill with speeds of up to 90 mph. This one scene was jaw-dropping as it’s the first time anybody has filmed a spectacle like this and lived to tell the tale. Thankfully, our bears were nowhere near it so they were able to continue on their journey. The screening I attended had many young kids there who loved the scenes of the bears playing and joking around with each other and I have to agree with them, these scenes made the entire audience laugh. The film is rated G but if you plan on bringing some of the younger kids, just know that there are some intense scenes throughout, especially where the males fight each other. Other than that, I would highly recommend the movie.

In theaters April 18th

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James McDonald
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