‘Bears’ Showcases Landscape

Nathan Fisher

Unbeknownst to me, as I am a movie-watching cave dweller, this is Earth Week. Hopefully you’ve kept the car parked and biked to the store and around campus. To celebrate Mother Earth, Disneynature released “Bears,” the newest installment of their animal documentary series. To be frank, the pickings were slim in the theater this week, and none of my buddies wanted to see a documentary about bears (Me: Hey do you guys want to see a movie? Friends: Yeah, sure, which one? Me: “Bears.” Friends: What? Me: There is this new nature documentary on bears! Friends: No). I, on the other hand, decided to be open-minded and was pleasantly surprised and amazed at the glimpse into the life of the bear clan.

“Bears” (not exactly a snappy title, but short and to the point) follows a mama bear and her two cubs for an entire year. The bear family climbs mountains, fights the elements, catches fish and faces hungry predators as they try to survive. John C. Reilly (“Stepbrothers” and “Gangs of New York”) narrates the movie and offers the viewer occasional bear facts, but mainly interprets and explains which cub is doing what and why the bears are acting certain ways. Reilly, thankfully, also provides the occasional one-liner, which made me chuckle as we traipsed through the wilderness with the bear family through the cubs’ first year.

Not to toot my own horn, but I’ve hiked a lot and have seen bears in the Olympic Mountains, but “Bears” showcased how beautiful Mother Nature is. The movie is gorgeously shot with panoramic views as we fly over the mountaintops, as well as up-close and personal shots when we seem to be part of the clan. I would’ve been terrified to be the camera crew who were trying to get close-up shots of bear cubs next to their 800-pound protective behemoth mama bear. Or the scenes of two bears, each weighing over a ton, fighting each other over a single fish! Or how about the scenes of gigantic bears that are so hungry, they are willing to eat cute little cubs. (What is the word for bears eating bears? Bear cannibalism.) Pretty sure eating three measly humans that are filming next to you would be an easier meal than going through an angry mama bear to try to eat her cubs.

The “Bears” movie was fun to watch! The cubs were adorable, and I loved watching them grow and was scared for them in their (attempt) to survive. So, if you are feeling nature conscious this Earth Week, go check out the new “Bears” documentary. You’ll be amazed at the scenery, fall in love with a bear family and maybe even learn a thing or two along the way.