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Movie review: 'Bears' serves a soft view of nature

Published April 17, 2014 4:26 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Like its predecessor "Chimpanzee," the new DisneyNature documentary "Bears" is a frustrating juxtaposition of stunning nature footage and dumbed-down narration.

Here, directors Alistair Fothergill and Kevin Scholey go to the Alaskan wilderness to follow a mama brown bear coming out of hibernation with her two cubs.

The narrator, John C. Reilly, dubs the mother Sky and the cubs Scout and Amber, as the film shows us the struggles Sky has finding plentiful food so she can produce milk for the cubs. The bears must climb down from their mountain den, search for food on the muddy coast, and avoid the big male bears and an opportunistic grey wolf.

Reilly's narration goes for the cute and cuddly, downplaying the rough-and-tumble of the wild — unless you count the slaughter of salmon. Kids end up learning not only about nature but the meaning of the word "anthropomorphize."

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Opens Friday, April 18, at theaters everywhere; rated G; 77 minutes.