Awww-worthy BEARS entertains and inspires (review and activity freebies)

I usually save movie reviews for Saturdays, but this one I simply must share with you now as Easter weekend is prime time for enjoying a movie with family. BEARS from Disneynature opens tomorrow, so if you're looking for a film both young and old will enjoy for the holiday (or any day), BEARS just might be the ticket.

Bears movie poster

I had the opportunity to screen BEARS last weekend for free; Brianna, Andrea and Jim joined me. We all thoroughly enjoyed the breathtaking film which showcases one full year in the life of a mama bear named Sky and her two adorable (and sometimes precocious) bear cubs as they traverse the Alaskan wilderness in search of food.


There was plenty of suspense in BEARS, especially as the cubs and their mother faced mean old bears — who are quite hungry and determined to snack on baby bears — as well as a wolf and other natural dangers that confront them throughout the year.

I worried that, as oft happens in nature, there may be a gruesome scene or two that would make adults cringe and kids cry. Despite there being plenty of moments in which viewers hold their breath in hope all ends well, BEARS is kid-friendly, with nothing that would require Mom or Dad (or Grandma or Grandpa) to go into detail about the circle of life.

The Alaskan backdrop of BEARS is beyond breathtaking. The landscape is majestic, and the photography captures it in incredible detail.

Speaking of detail, many close-up scenes with the animals make you wonder how the heck the film makers captured such things. Things like the salmon moving upstream — and the bears catching them mid-air — but most of all, the itsy bitsy bear cubs and their mama in the den at the start of the film. Truly amazing. (Watch the closing credits to see that the photographers were right there, that it wasn't filmed from long-distance with the help of mega lenses. Incredible.)

Disneynature films are never boring, and part of the secret lies in the narration. John C. Reilly narrates BEARS with a light touch, keeping kids and adults watching... and chuckling in several spots.

BEARS from Disneynature (rated G) opens in theaters April 18 in celebration of Earth Day (April 22). Disneynature, via the Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund, will make a contribution to the National Park Foundation to protect wildlife and wild places across America’s national park system for each moviegoer seeing the film during opening week (April 18-24, 2014). Find out more on the BEARS website.


For more BEARS fun — including a word search, bear mask and more — click the graphic below to access a PDF file with several activities for kids. Pick and choose which pages you and yours want to enjoy, then print them out. (Note: As it is 23 pages of fun, the PDF does load a bit slow.)

Bears printable activities

Disclosure: I was invited to screen the film for free and was provided the activities to share here. All opinions are my own.


Today's question:

What is the closest you have ever come to a bear (and where)?