If the sight of bear cubs prancing through wildflowers doesn’t make you smile, then you probably won’t like the new Disneynature documentary Bears. You also probably aren’t human. There’s an elemental appeal to watching these animals hunt and play in the Alaskan wildnerness, and the Disneynature team has mastered the art of capturing it; their cameras show the furry intimacy of the bear den, the thrill of a salmon chase, and the terrifying beauty of a mountain avalanche in jaw-dropping, widescreen glory.
Of course, nature itself is only half the show. With constructive editing and friendly narration by John C. Reilly, the filmmakers turn the animals into full-fledged, live-action Disney characters with human personalities: courageous mama bear Sky, her rambunctious babies, Scout and Amber, and menacing he-bear Magnus. They’re more relatable like this, but also less animal?less mysterious, fearsome, and fascinating. Their struggle for survival becomes a sweet bedtime story about a mother protecting her children. Then again, if you don’t like those, you definitely aren’t human. B+