Bears DVD/Blu-ray review

The movie Bears gives a fascinating look into the lives of a mother grizzly bear (Sky) and her two adorable cubs (Scout and Amber). It’s the story of their adventures from shortly after their birth during their mother’s hibernation, through summer and to the time she goes into hibernation the next season. The movie gives an intimate look at the cubs, who are as small as puppies at the beginning, and follows their growth throughout a year of development as they run into aggressive male bears, wolves and other dangers.

It becomes obvious the phrase “like a mother grizzly bear” is not a cliché, as Sky fiercely defends her cubs from the predators and dangerous situations they encounter. Scout is more adventurous than his sister, straying from his mother (a little too far at times), while Amber stays with mom, often riding on her back. As the narrator (John C. Reilly) says, approximately 50 per cent of cubs don’t make it through their first year, but Sky is an excellent mother and does all she can to ensure that her cubs make it.

During the summer, she struggles to find enough to protein eat to make it through hibernation and to continue to nurse her youngsters. The audience witnesses what bears eat, including grass, shellfish and their favorite (but only available during a certain period), salmon. Sky has to keep Amber and Scout away from the mature male bears, so she doesn’t go on the beach with the other bears to fish for salmon while the two cubs are very small, which makes it more difficult for her to build up her energy for the winter. As the bears travel through the country, the scenery is absolutely breathtaking. There’s also a section of fascinating time lapse photography that shows how their surroundings change over a period of weeks.

Most of us don’t often get to see bears in real life, which makes this movie such a wonderful peek into what these incredible creatures are like, and how they get along with other animals. They’re mostly peaceful and as you can see in the special features, weren’t bothered by the presence of the filmmakers, but just went about their business of foraging for food.

The music includes Phillip Phillips’ “Home” and an original soundtrack by Academy Award-nominated composer George Fenton. The DVD also includes a music video featuring Disney star Olivia Holt singing “Carry On.” The Blu-ray has many more special features, such as Welcome to Alaska, in which we witness the journey of the filmmakers into the Alaskan wilds as they film Sky and her cubs; The Future For Bears, which shows how the filmmakers lived amongst the bears during production and tells of the importance of protecting the wilderness to ensure their survival, and our own. A Guide to Living with Bears shows how the team interacted safely with the bears and in How Did they Film That, the crew takes on epic filming challenges to get amazing shots for the movie.

Click here to read our interview with Alastair Fothergill, one of the directors of Bears.

Other home releases available today include: Muppets Most Wanted, The Railway Man, A Haunted House 2, Mood Indigo, Locke, Frankie & Alice, Cas & Dylan and Filth. For a full list of DVD and home releases, click here.  ~Alexandra Heilbron

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