What parents need to know

Parents need to know that wildlife documentary Bears is family-friendly overall, but a few moments/scenes might be too tense and potentially scary for preschool-aged viewers. None of the animals die, but there are several scenes in which the lives of the mother bear and her cubs are in danger, and in one it seems like a cub has been eaten by an adult male bear. Other threats include predator males, a gray wolf, and the environment itself -- all providing for dramatic sequences. Children who can get past that part of the movie will learn a good bit about the brown bears of Alaska and get a close-up look at how mama bears treat their cubs.
  • Families can talk about why wildlife documentaries are so popular. What attracts families to nature films? Are they better for kids than other live-action movies? Why or why not?
  • The narrator combines moments of humor and imagined dialogue with discussing facts about the way that bears live. Does the combination work? Which parts do you prefer?
  • Some critics have mentioned that the narration doesn't delve deeply into the way that bears live and act. Why do you think filmmakers might have chosen that approach? Might that make the movie more appealing to a younger audience?
  • Does humanizing the animals in movies like Bears make them more or less likable? Is it right that some are depicted as "good" and some as "evil"? Aren't all the animals just acting like animals?
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