Disneynature Films, an independent label of Disney headquartered in France, have hit home runs in the past with Earth, Oceans, African Cats and Chimpanzee. All of the films have been fairly non-threatening documentaries that feature gorgeous cinematography and stories that are very familiar to the Disney faithful.
They look to continue their success next year with the release of Bears. Directed by Alastair Fothergill and Keith Scholey who both also collaborated on African Cats, the film tells the story of a grizzly bear family and their trek across the Alaskan ranges.
It’s first trailer was released today.
Nothing says “nature” like acoustic pop music from American Idol winner Phillip Phillips.
It doesn’t look like Fotherfill or Scholey will be breaking their mold too much with this picture, but it looks like a fine, intimate look at these powerful and graceful animals. It also continues a trend with these Disneynature films: all of the animal pictures have shed a more positive light on some of Disney’s more iconic villains (Scar from The Lion King with African Cats, Apes from The Jungle Book with Chimpanzee and now the Bear from The Fox and the Hound with Bears).
I’m calling it now: 2015’s Disneynature film will be about reptiles to amend the bad rap they get in films like The Jungle Book, Peter Pan, Aladdin and Sleeping Beauty. Snakes, crocodiles and dragons aren’t all bad, you’ll see!
The film will open just in time for Earth Day here in the States, on April 18th, 2014. That also continues a tradition that has gone all the way back to 2009 with Disneynature’s first film, Earth. A percentage of the film’s box office performance will go to charities affiliated with Disney to preserve parks, as noted in the above trailer.
Here’s the official synopsis:
In an epic story of breathtaking scale, Disneynature’s upcoming true life adventure “Bears” showcases a year in the life of a bear family as two impressionable young cubs are taught life’s most important lessons. Set against a majestic Alaskan backdrop teeming with life, their journey begins as winter comes to an end and the bears emerge from hibernation to face the bitter cold. The world outside is exciting — but risky — as the cubs’ playful descent down the mountain carries with it a looming threat of avalanches. As the season changes from spring to summer, the brown bears must work hard to find food—ultimately feasting at a plentiful salmon run — while staying safe from rival male bears and predators, including an ever-present wolf pack. “Bears” captures the fast-moving action and suspense of life in one of the planet’s last great wildernesses — Alaska!