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Disneynature: Bears

General Information:

Media Type: Blu-Ray
Type: Open Edition
Release Date: 2014-08-12

Geek's Thoughts: Disneynature's 2014 release Bears arrives on Blu-ray, Digital HD, Disney Movies Anywhere and On-Demand today. The film takes you to the Alaska Peninsula and Katmai National Park and Preserve where you follow a mother brown bear and her two cubs through the first year of the cub’s life. Starting off high in the mountains in her den. The long journey to the coast for food and the summer. The search for safe food and quest to protect her cubs all summer. Then the salmon runs of late summer to store up for the long winter hibernation that is ahead. And eventually back up into the mountains for another winter. The film’s scenery is amazing and takes you to a place on the planet that most will never venture and brings you up close to the animals as they go about their normal lives.

 

In addition to the film the Blu-ray includes four short bonus features that take you behind the scenes of the production. In total these featurettes are about half an hour. They include a look at what it took to get to the filming location, how they were able to be so close to the Bears, and a look at how a couple of the shots were done, for example the underwater photography which captured a bear swimming.

I have always enjoyed the Disneynature films. You are taken into worlds very different from everyday life. In Bears the film crew did a great job of conveying the scale of Alaska. That is one of the hardest aspects of the state to realize until you have been there or see a film like this. I was able to go on vacation to Alaska in 2013 and the scale was the one aspect that really stuck out to me and this film shows that as it tells its story. The narration by John C. Reilly was just ok to me. It is hard to be a single voice over animals and at times it just did not seem great to me.

Bears is very family friendly. They come across as more or less gentle creatures. There are a couple skirmish sequences and several scenes of them eating fish. There is some blood visible but it is not overwhelming and probably ok for most ages. For a majority of the film it is incredible wide shots of the vista and some very close shots of the bears. Other animals do play a role such as a raven, wolf and quite a few others make cameos including bald eagles and foxes.

The Blu-ray extras are interesting to watch but I really would have liked to have seen more. They total about half an hour but only scratch the surface of what it takes to put a film like this together and bring it to the big screen. For example they do not even go into the editing process or story process, which I would have been curious about. Was the story flushed out as they were filming or did it come during the editing process?

If you are a fan of nature films or just want to see some incredible scenery and animals you will not be disappointed with Bears. If you want to learn a little more about how the film came to be the Blu-ray extras give you a taste but are not in depth.



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