Just in time for Earth Day is the latest installment in the Disneynature series, Bears. The nature documentary takes viewers on a year-long journey with a mama bear, Sky, and her two cubs, Scout and Amber. The trio embark on a treacherous trek across the Alaskan wilderness as they search for the elusive salmon run that enables bears in this region to store enough fat for the upcoming long winter. This pending hibernation is of particular importance to mama bear, Sky, who must continue to nurse her cubs through the bitter cold in Alaska.
The filmmakers did an exceptional job of obtaining up-close glimpses into the life of these bears. The film opens with an intimate look at the bears’ den where we see the newly born cubs cuddling up to their mother.
The cubs grow quite rapidly throughout the progression of the film and quickly develop distinct personalities providing moments of humor and awe. In our screening of the film, little ones in the audience were especially taken with Scout, a rather rambunctious adventurer whose personality is probably not all that dissimilar to a number of young boys.
Through the eyes of the cubs learning how to survive in the Alaskan wilderness, we also learn ourselves the perils that await bears on this annual journey. The threats come from both within their species and a lone wolf who also must find a way to survive.
However, not all animals pose a threat as Sky forms an unlikely alliance with a raven, forming a mutually beneficial relationship. The Alaskan landscape represents yet another character in the story as it provides awesome views of a vast landscape that presents its share of challenges from one season to the next. The trio of bears must overcome all these obstacles in the hopes of feasting on enough salmon to last them through the winter.
Disneynature’s Bears packs enough wonder in its relatively short running time (86 minutes) to maintain the attention span of most little ones. You’ll need to decide if your older children and teens will have enough interest in this type of film, but nature lovers of all ages will definitely appreciate a look into a year in the life of these brown bears.
The free Disneynature Bears printables and activity pack for kids we have available is a great tool to accompany the film and extend the learning experience! The printable activities include a word search, a bear mask template, lots of information on how and where brown bears live, and fun games to help children learn more about bears.
Disney invites you to experience the film in its opening week as a portion of the proceeds will go to the National Park Foundation, the official charity of American national parks. Disneynature Bears presents an opportunity to support the protection of the environment via a nature documentary that appeals to young children still learning about all that the world has to offer.
Disclosure: We were provided a complimentary advance screening of the film to facilitate this post. All thoughts and opinions are our own.