Bears is a documentary that follows a female Alaskan brown bear named Sky and her two cubs, Scout and Amber. The film follows Sky and her cubs for a full year, from when they emerge from her den high up in the Alaskan mountains to next winter's hibernation.
This movie is great for kids. Which is why, when I walked into the theater and saw nothing but kids and their parents (God bless them), I didn't become my normal, curmudgeon filmgoer self. I expected kids to be talking to their parents about what they were seeing and their parents going "yeeaah, that's a big bear". The filmmakers did an amazing job of showing the ruthlessness of the Alaskan wilderness but also keeping it within good taste for little kids, and that is difficult. You can't show bears being killed in battle, but when you show the bears feeding on salmon, and the fish are being pulled apart or blood is running out of the fish's mouth, well that kind of thing can't be edited out. It can be shown in a different light, and the last thing these kids cared about were the fish. But let's be real for a second"”who doesn't want to see two huge bears fight each other on the big screen. The filmmakers do a wonderful job of just showing how powerful and majestic these creatures are while also showing just how dangerous they are at the same time.
John C. Reilly does a great job narrating the film. Yes, he isn't Morgan Freeman, but he's a close second. His voiceover work in this movie sounds like he is reading to his two children which works a big positive into this film, especially since it is little kids watching this movie. The only drawback to the film is that at times they tried to go too "kiddish" in the more harrowing moments to try and alleviate any anxiety that might be felt from the young audience.
The review rating is split because, while this is a great film to take your kids to go see, the dialogue in the film might be a bit childish for a grown adult. So let's start with the "A for kids". If you have kids, I would say 11 and younger, take them to see this film. The film shows the wonders of Alaska without going too in-depth or stating facts that might go over the younger generation's heads. Also, go during the day when there aren't other kids running around. It will make for a much more enjoyable experience. For the adults, like I said earlier, the dialogue is written for kids, so spending an hour on this might be for only true nature fans, but it's not time wasted. This being a Disney documentary, you know you aren't going to be watching something that VICE put out. It doesn't' get that detailed, but to be able to condense 12 months in to this time frame, Fothergill and Scholey, did a great job. It also would not be a bad gift when it comes out on DVD/BluRay. It's something that can be re-watched as background ambiance.