Movie Mom

Movie Mom


The Country Bears

posted by rkumar
C
Lowest Recommended Age:Preschool
Profanity:None
Nudity/Sex:None
Alcohol/Drugs:Comic references to honey abuse
Violence/Scariness:Family tension, mild peril, no one hurt
Diversity Issues:Theme of difference, characters of different races
Movie Release Date:2002

Less story than product placement, “The Country Bears” may go down in history as the first movie ever based on a theme park attraction. I hope it goes down as the last. Much as I enjoy the ride, I don’t want to see “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Movie”* or “The Tiki Room Birds on Broadway.”

Disney World’s robot bear performances may just have a better plot than this movie, which is basically “The Blues Brothers” with fur. Yes, it’s the old story about getting the band back together.

The movie begins with some wit and style – a wood-burning credit sequence and “Behind the Music”-style clips about the beloved band’s rise and fall. Their last series of concerts was called the “Hiber-Nation” tour.

But then it disintegrates into a dumb story about a bear adopted by humans (voice of Haley Joel Osment as “Beary”) who runs away from home because he feels different. The Country Bears Hall is about to be torn down by wicked Reed Thimple (Christopher Walken). Beary decides that the only way to raise the money to keep it standing is to get the band back together. That sets up the rest of the movie as we meet up with a series of indistinguishable bears and watch Beary remind them of what they used to mean to each other.

Some surprising guest appearances by Elton John, Willie Nelson, Bonnie Raitt, Don Henley, and Queen Latifah (Raitt and Henley contribute singing voices) and some lively musical numbers by Disney label artists provide bright spots. But the in-between doses of silliness and syrup just dragged. The kids in the audience loved the scene with the policemen caught in the car wash, though.

Parents should know that although the movie is rated G and has none of the usual parental concerns, they should be sensitive to some of the issues in the movie that may trouble children. Beary runs away, and his parents are frantic about his safety, but he does not let them know where he is and does not seem to miss them for most of the movie. Beary’s human parents don’t tell him the truth about his adoption. He is told about his origins very cruelly by his jealous brother. Some parents will regret having their children see a character “play” music on his armpit if it sparks some attempts at imitation.

Families who see this movie should talk about how everyone feels different from the rest of the world at times, and how we make connections with those who are and who are not like us.

Families who enjoy this movie will enjoy The Muppet Movie and The Muppets Take Manhattan.

*I was kidding when I wrote this, but it turns out that a Pirates of the Caribbean movie did happen and, as you may know, it was terrific..



Previous Posts

A Tribute to Unlikeable Women in the Movies
I really enjoyed the recent series on "Unlikeable Women" from the folks at Bitch Flicks. I remember a panel of women filmmakers at Comic-Con all agreeing that the code word for making female characters meek and pliable (and giving all the tough dialogue and action to the male characters) was "relat

posted 3:50:31pm Mar. 04, 2015 | read full post »

WIN Tickets to "Danny Collins" With Al Pacino and Annette Bening
WIN tickets to a free showing of Al Pacino's new film, "Danny Collins," in Washington D.C. on March 11, 2015. Inspired by a true story, Al Pacino stars as aging 1970's rocker Danny Collins. But when his manager (Christopher Plummer) uncovers a 40 year-old undelivered letter written to him by John L

posted 11:00:21am Mar. 04, 2015 | read full post »

When Boredom Beats Mental Busywork
I love this tribute to boredom on car trips with children.  I well remember being in the back seat with my sisters, alternating games of GHOST and Botticelli with highway bingo and, yes, arguing with each other about who had to ride in the middle.  What will today's children remember about family

posted 8:00:55am Mar. 04, 2015 | read full post »

Screenwriter Graham Moore on Writing About Smart People
One of the most touching moments of the 2015 Oscars broadcast was from Graham Moore, a 28-year-old screenwriter who won the Best Adapted Screenplay award for "The Imitation Game," based on mathematician Alan Turing's word to solve the Enigma code during WWII. [youtube]https://www.youtube.com/wa

posted 3:59:29pm Mar. 03, 2015 | read full post »

YouTube's New Campaign for Women: #DearMe
What advice would you give your younger self?  In celebration of International Women's Day, take part in YouTube’s global #DearMe initiative to inspire and empower young girls everywhere. [iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/AbqT_ubkT0Y?rel=0" frameborder="0"]

posted 2:19:03pm Mar. 03, 2015 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.