Spoiler-Free Review of Disneynature’s ‘Polar Bear’

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Spoiler-Free Review of Disneynature's 'Polar Bear'
Disneynature’s POLAR BEAR – Photo by Jeff Wilson. ©2022 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Happy Earth Day readers and in honor of this special day Disneynature released their most recent film Polar Bear exclusively on Disney+. Polar Bear tells the story of a new mother bear whose memories of her own youth prepare her to navigate motherhood in the increasingly challenging world of the Arctic that polar bears face today.

Disneynature’s Polar Bear starts out by introducing the audience to some stunning and quaint sequences of the Arctic that the polar bear sees in their daily life. The story unfolds when we are introduced to the main characters of this story, two little polar bear cubs and their mom. One of the little polar bear cubs is a female narrated by Catherine Keener who introduces us to her family and sets the tone of the film. Narrated in past tense the audience can tell that the scenes taking place are memories of this polar bear’s youth.

Related: Interview with Disneynature’s Polar Bear Directors Alastair Fothergill and Jeff Wilson

Spoiler-Free Review of Disneynature's 'Polar Bear'

Now an audience member who may not understand the present and past tense of the narrator’s voice may initially be confused by the setting and time in the first half. Also, in the first couple of moments of the film when we are introduced to the cubs, the audience may get confused about which polar bear is speaking. Instead of a shot of one polar bear when the narrator is talking, we see both cubs which can be deceiving for the listener. Is she narrating for one or both cubs?

Throughout the next part of the film, our female polar bear explains the impact her mom and brother had on her early stages of life. Most importantly her mom taught her how to survive during the different seasons and especially global warming, which impacts the polar bear’s world all year round. Her mom also taught her how to fight and distract enemies that may impact their way of life.

This part can definitely be seen as an aspect of the film that will allow audiences to reflect on their own lives. It can also spark a conversation after the film about why family is important and how our parents or guardians helped mold who we are today.

Spoiler-Free Review of Disneynature's 'Polar Bear'

Later in the film, the audience finally has a clear understanding who the main character of the film is and the audience is brought back to the present day. The female polar bear is now taking all the lessons she was taught by her mom and is acting on them every day. But she explains that global warming is getting worse and their need to survive is higher.

In the end, Polar Bear introduces a call for action from the audience to support polar bears and spread the news about global warming. As it not only affects the human world but also the polar bear’s world as well.

Spoiler-Free Review of Disneynature's 'Polar Bear'
Disneynature’s POLAR BEAR – Photo by Florian Ledoux. ©2022 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Although this is a spoiler-free review, I thought I would share some insights that the film shares about the future of the arctic. Before the ending credits, the audience is given these facts, “The Arctic could be ice-free by summer 2040. The actions we take today can positively change the future for polar bears.” There is also an organization titled Polar Bears International, which is mentioned, at the end of the film, that helps protect polar bear families and their homes.

Related: Disneynature’s ‘Polar Bear’ Film is Coming to Disney+ on Earth Day

Disneynature’s Polar Bear is a beautifully shot and inspiring film that I think all families should watch. This film really helps bring awareness not only to polar bears but also to the bonds that these animals create that can mirror human life. By humanizing their bonds, the audience can connect with these animals and hopefully help make a difference.

Spoiler-Free Review of Disneynature's 'Polar Bear'
Disneynature’s POLAR BEAR – Photo by Jeff Wilson. ©2022 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

If you want to read more about the polar bear’s lifestyle and how you can help, you can visit the link below.


As always stay tuned here at Chip and Company for all new content premiering on Disney+ and from Disneynature.


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Written by:

Annalise is a filmmaker, writer and Disney enthusiast out of northern Baltimore, MD. Her recent film The Mourning, in which she was the writer and Director was nominated at The National Short Film Festival and the Fort Meyers International Short Film Festival. She is a recent graduate from Towson University and in 2019 she participated in the Disney College Program where she made movie magic at Hollywood Studios. Her and her family are avid Walt Disney World travelers and spend three times out of the year at the most magical place on earth! Annalise is a writer of News & Entertainment for Chip and Company!
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