‘Bears’ takes viewers to Alaskan wilderness

Sky shares a moment with one of her cubs in "Bears," the latest from Disneynature. (AP Photo/Disney, Adam Chapman)

Sky shares a moment with one of her cubs in “Bears,” the latest from Disneynature. (AP Photo/Disney, Adam Chapman)

By M. Scott Morris

Daily Journal

The Disneynature team put life and limb on the line to bring “Bears” to theaters.

As I watched, I wondered how the filmmakers got their up-close-and-personal footage, and from past Disneynature efforts I knew there’d be a glimpse during the closing credits.

Apparently, standing up with your hands out to your sides and saying, “Go around” is enough to get a fully grown brown bear to leave you alone. Who knew?

The daring filmmakers spent a year tracking a new mother, Sky, and her cubs in the Alaskan wilderness. It’s easy to pull for the family, especially after narrator John C. Reilly tells us only half of new cubs make it a year.

That means Amber and Scout will face plenty of obstacles, including the harsh landscape, hungry wolves and other bears.

Sky and her cubs need to survive until the salmon come in to fill up their bellies so the bears can survive the next winter’s hibernation.

Reilly has an amiable voice, though I was annoyed by the script that assigned human motives to the bears when bear motives would’ve been better.

For the most part, “Bears” rolls across the screen in a slow, ambling pace, much like the way the bears move most of the time. If you’re feeling pushed or pulled by the hectic demands of daily life, this movie offers a short respite.

I was reminded of the nature shows Disney aired on Sunday evenings when I was a kid, but it was nice to see the bears and the Alaskan setting on a big screen.

The extended shot of the trio first leaving the den is amazing, and when the credits roll, the filmmakers show us how it was accomplished. “Bears” might inspire a few kids to dream of becoming Disneynature filmmakers, though I suspect it’ll have the opposite effect on others.

I give “Bears” a B minus.

It’s showing at the Cinemark in Tupelo, as well as Malcos in Oxford and Corinth.

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