Disney movie focuses on bears in Alaska

KUSA – Disney is returning to the wild in their new nature movie Bears. Following the success of Oceans, Chimpanzee and others, Bears chronicles a year in the life of a mother bear and her two young cubs.

Director Alastair Fothergill didn't want this to be another nature documentary. He wanted it to be an insightful movie.

"We're making a movie not a documentary," Fothergill said. "Story is everything. We always knew we wanted to follow a mother and her cubs in the first year."

Grizzly bears are considered "threatened" by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in the conterminous states. Human encroachment on the bear's habitat has been a contributing factor to their population decline and their threatened status.

Additionally, there is a high mortality rate in bear cubs.

"Fifty percent of bear cubs die," Fothergill said.

The film crew was attracted to Sky, the mother bear, due to her relaxed nature. They sought a relaxed bear because they didn't want to disturb the animals during their production.

Dr. Jane Goodall, a Disney ambassador, was able to visit Alaska during the filming. She was able to see the bears in their natural habitat.

"It was completely magical," Goodall said. "It was wonderful to be so close without any fear and with the bears ignoring us completely."

With little interaction with human life, the Alaskan bears fearless when it comes to mankind.

"The bears have no fear when it comes to human beings," Fothergill said. "To be within a meter of a brown bear is breathtaking."

Bears is in theaters Friday April 18. Disney is also donating a portion of every ticket sold in the first week to the National Park Foundation.


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