The Country Bears

(i)

 

A dumb story about a bear adopted by humans.
  • Review Date: May 20, 2003
  • Rated: G
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2002
  • Running Time: 88 minutes

What parents need to know

Violence & scariness

Family tension, mild peril, no one hurt.

Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

Some product placement.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Comic references to honey abuse.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that although this movie is rated G and has none of the usual parental concerns, they should be sensitive to some of the issues in the movie that may trouble children. Beary runs away, and his parents are frantic about his safety, but he doesn't let them know where he is and doesn't seem to miss them for most of the movie. Beary's human parents don't tell him the truth about his adoption. He's told about his origins very cruelly by his jealous brother. Some parents will regret having their children see a character "play" music on his armpit if it sparks some attempts at imitation.

What's the story?

THE COUNTRY BEARS begins with some wit and style – a wood-burning credit sequence and "Behind the Music"-style clips about the beloved band's rise and fall. Their last series of concerts was called the "Hiber-Nation" tour. In a flashback, we learn the story of Beary (voice of Haley Joel Osment), a bear adopted by humans who runs away from home because he feels different. The Country Bears Hall is about to be torn down by wicked Reed Thimple (Christopher Walken). Beary decides and the only way to raise the money to keep it standing is to get the band back together.

Is it any good?

QUALITY

Less story than product placement, The Country Bears is based on a theme park attraction, but Disney World's robot bear performers may just have a better plot than this movie, which is basically "The Blues Brothers" with fur. But then it disintegrates into a dumb "get the band back together" story, as Beary reminds his former band mates about how close they all used to be..

Some surprising guest appearances by Elton John, Willie Nelson, Bonnie Raitt, Don Henley, and Queen Latifah (Raitt and Henley contribute singing voices) and some lively musical numbers by Disney label artists provide bright spots. But the in-between doses of silliness and syrup just dragged. The kids in the audience loved the scene with the policemen caught in the car wash, though.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how everyone feels different from the rest of the world at times, and how we make connections with those who are and who are not like us.

Movie details

Theatrical release date:July 26, 2002
DVD release date:December 17, 2002
Cast:Christopher Walken, Diedrich Bader, Haley Joel Osment
Director:Peter Hastings
Studio:Walt Disney Pictures
Genre:Family and Kids
Topics:Music and sing-along, Wild animals
Run time:88 minutes
MPAA rating:G

This review of The Country Bears was written by

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Quality

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Parent Written byCarefulaboutmovies July 14, 2012

Some concerns

I'm surprised that it wasn't noted in the review that there is a scene with a gun, in which a character is holding it in his hand as he tells the bears which way to go. There is also a bar scene in which it shows characters sitting at the bar drinking what appears to be pints of beer (though supposedly honey). The words stupid and idiot are used several times.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 15 years old Written byDominicboo1 May 28, 2011

Fun Movie For All Ages

The Country Bears might not be a classic family movie, but it's very much a safe one for all ages. There is no serious violence, the only thing that's some suggestive for all ages is Zeb Zoober has a honey addiction that's supposed to symbolize alcohol. (kids won't understand it though) This is based on a classic Walt Disney World attraction (like Pirates of the Carribean was).
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Adult Written bynduns March 31, 2010

The only thing that saves this from 1 star...

is Christopher Walken simply because this is the only time we ever see him take his role seriously, and it's funny just for that alone. The rest of this movie is just stupid and not funny in the slightest.

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