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Bears Review Critics


Dave White Profile

Ursa for minors. Read full review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 4.0

    out of 100

    Generally favorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 63

    out of 100

    ReelViews James Berardinelli

    The "nature" aspects of Bears are undercut by the need to turn this into a live-action Disney cartoon, complete with cuddly heroes and nasty villains.

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  • 70

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Michael Rechtshaffen

    Disneynature’s Bears combines sweeping vistas and remarkably intimate wildlife photography to typically stirring effect.

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  • 75

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    It has lighthearted moments, but is also suspenseful at the right times.

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  • 83

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Adam Markovitz

    There's an elemental appeal to watching these animals hunt and play in the Alaskan wildnerness, and the Disneynature team has mastered the art of capturing it.

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 6+

Some tense moments in Disney's nature documentary.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that wildlife documentary Bears is family-friendly overall, but a few moments/scenes might be too tense and potentially scary for preschool-aged viewers. None of the animals die, but there are several scenes in which the lives of the mother bear and her cubs are in danger, and in one it seems like a cub has been eaten by an adult male bear. Other threats include predator males, a gray wolf, and the environment itself -- all providing for dramatic sequences. Children who can get past that part of the movie will learn a good bit about the brown bears of Alaska and get a close-up look at how mama bears treat their cubs.

  • Families can talk about why wildlife documentaries are so popular. What attracts families to nature films? Are they better for kids than other live-action movies? Why or why not?
  • The narrator combines moments of humor and imagined dialogue with discussing facts about the way that bears live. Does the combination work? Which parts do you prefer?
  • Some critics have mentioned that the narration doesn't delve deeply into the way that bears live and act. Why do you think filmmakers might have chosen that approach? Might that make the movie more appealing to a younger audience?
  • Does humanizing the animals in movies like Bears make them more or less likable? Is it right that some are depicted as "good" and some as "evil"? Aren't all the animals just acting like animals?

The good stuff
  • educationalvalue true3

    Educational value: Kids will learn lots of things about brown bears, like how they live in the Alaskan peninsula, travel great lengths to find spawning salmon every year after hibernation, and nurse and care for their cubs for two years -- as well as how male bears don't participate in child-rearing and may even cannibalize the cubs of other males. But there's not a lot of in-depth discussion about the bears, what threatens their habitats, and how they interact with one another in bear society.

  • message true1

    Messages: Family oriented messages about sticking together to overcome obstacles, protecting one another from threats, and caring for your young. This is also, in a way, a tribute to single parenting, since in bear society, only mothers raise their offspring.

  • rolemodels true1

    Role models: The narration ascribes human characteristics to the animals, so it's easy to see the mother bear in "human" terms. She takes her job to protect and provide for her offspring seriously. She cares for cubs when it would be easier to flee and get to the salmon faster; she faces alpha bears and a hungry wolf in order to keep her cubs safe. And she doesn't leave her cub behind, even when it seems like he's been killed.

What to watch for
  • violence false2

    Violence and scariness: The mother bear and her cubs must overcome various obstacles -- nature, a hungry wolf, and fellow bears. Although they all survive, there are several tense, perilous moments when it seems like one or both of the cubs might die. In one scene, a hungry male searches for a cub, and then the cub doesn't emerge, making viewers think he's been eaten.

  • sex false0

    Sexy stuff: When Magnus the alpha bear spots a she-bear, the music changes, and the narrator says he has "game" as Magnus tries to flirt with this potential mate. But she seems to shun him, so the narrator says "that's Bear for 'no.'"

  • language false0

    Language: Not applicable

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not applicable

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false0

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Not applicable