A mother bear and her two cubs, an epic journey in the Alaskan wilderness in their first year of life **** 4 Stars
By Gabrielle Pantera
HOLLYWOOD, CA (Hollywood Daily Star) 2014/8/19 – “The biggest technical challenges we faced on the core camera team were the extreme locations where these bears live and the nature of the work,” says Bears cinematographer Sophie Darlington. “Animals tend not to like large groups of people and so you’ve got to be ready at a moment’s notice with no chance to repeat the action. Our kit had to be as weather-proof and sand-proof as possible, also be portable, and, most importantly, be able to deliver the quality expected from a Disneynature feature.”
“The team made a rule early on that all footage would be captured as low as possible so we’d always be within the eyeline of the animal or below,” says Bears director/producer Keith Scholey. “The perspective is not necessarily something audiences will notice, but it will give them the feeling of being in the bears’ world.”
“The joy of actually making a film for Disney with the budgets they give us is that we can spend a lot of time getting it right,” says Scholey. “We’re not constantly pushed to shoot every day. We can wait, if needed, for some better weather.”
“Some days we’d get three or four minutes, “ says Darington. “On a good day we might get six minutes. On a great day we’d get 45 minutes if we roamed in different areas. When the salmon arrived, the bears went ballistic and we’d grab every moment we could get.”
Since the bears hibernate for six months it took awhile to get all the footage. Shooting went from April through October over the course of two years.
This film is for the whole family. There are some tense moments, but all end just fine. All the bears survive. No crying or upset children after this film. The cinematography is up close and cute.
DisneyNature Bears originally released to theaters for Earth Day. A family of bears works together as a mama bear teaches her two cubs the ropes in the wilds of Alaska. Educational and fun. Incredible footage, lots of factual information and a great story.
The film follows Sky, an Alaskan Kodiak Brown Bear, and her two newborn cubs, Scout, the independent boy bear and Amber, who stays close to mom. Narrated by John C. Reilly, he brings to life the action on the screen. It is lighthearted for the most part and the cubs are cute and funny. The vistas of Alaska are wild and wide open. If you enjoy the outdoors, it will make you want to go and see Alaska, or glad to stay home and see it from the comfort of your living room.
The change in scenery as the seasons change is spectacular. Amber hitches rides on mom’s back for much of the film. Scout gets into some mischief and mom has to go to his rescue a few times. The two cubs are taught life’s most important lessons.
Disneynature Bears released on Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack on August 12th