The latest feature film from Disneynature follows the adventures of a mother bear named Sky and her two cubs, Scout and Amber.
Set against a majestic Alaskan backdrop, their journey begins as winter comes to an end and the bears emerge from hibernation.
Wildlife documentary pros Alastair Fothergill and Keith Scholey follow their tried and tested format, lending the animals human names, motivations and emotions, in this educational and entertaining family movie.
“It’s about a mother bear living in a wonderfully remote part of Alaska, Katmai National Park, and really it’s about the first year in the life of her two bear cubs. We know that about 50 percent of all newborn bear cubs die within the first year, so that was the story, that was the drama of our movie. And along the way she encounters rival male bears and wolves and all sorts of challenges,” says Alastair Fothergill.
It took more than a year to shoot the 400 hours of footage used to make the nearly 80-minute film.
Some days they would film as little as two to three minutes, devoting time to letting the bears adjust to their presence.
“We did use some toys, but actually most of the film was done in quite a traditional way, because the only way you can operate in the National Park… there’s very strict rules, which are right, about machines, you’re not allowed any of that stuff, so, really, the only way we could operate most of the time was carry the camera and carry the tripod, follow the bears on foot, anticipate what the bears are going to do, get set up, film what you can, move on,” said Keith Scholey.
‘Bears’ is on worldwide release from now.