The Little Bear Movie



Gentle tale of bear friendship has a few tense moments.
  • Review Date: May 10, 2013
  • Rated: G
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2003
  • Running Time: 75 minutes

What parents need to know

Educational value

Kids will learn about camping and the dangers of the wilderness, and gain an appreciation for the beauty of nature.

Positive messages

The Little Bear Movie offers extremely positive messages about friendship, nature, courage, imagination, and familial love.

Positive role models

All the characters except Trouble, the mountain lion, are sweet-natured, kind-hearted, loyal, and friendly. Parents are present, concerned, and extremely invested in their children's lives.

Violence & scariness

The plot is driven by the separation of a bear cub from his family during a violent storm. Some menace shows up in a few key scenes from a predatory mountain lion.

Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Not applicable

Promotes Little Bear books and TV show.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that the plot of The Little Bear Movie centers around a bear named Cub who is separated from his parents during a dangerous storm. Though the film is overwhelmingly positive and sweet, there's some menace in a few key scenes that involve a mountain lion named Trouble who intimidates and means to eat the animals.

Parents say

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What's the story?

When Little Bear (voiced by Kristin Fairlie) and his father go camping, he meets a lost bear named Cub (voiced by Kyle Fairlie). Fast friends, they set out on adventure that includes learning about each other's natural habitats, making friends with Little Bear's clan, including Duck, Owl, and Cat, following their imaginations, and looking for Cub's parents.

Is it any good?


The Little Bear Movie, based on the TV series Little Bear, originally written by Else Holmelund with illustrations by Maurice Sendak, is such remarkably gentle, positive programming for children that it feels like an anomaly. Fit for any preschooler, and likely to incite a little nostalgia for organic, free-range play in adults, the film is slower-paced and practically quaint in its simple desire to show the budding friendship between a civilized bear and a wild bear, and the abiding respect they foster for each other's ways of life along the way. 

Kids will enjoy the sweet friendships, the silly foxes, and the outdoor adventure. Parents will like the attention paid to the dangers of the outdoors, the free-spirited play driven by imagination and a cardboard box, and the family-friendly themes.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about what it's like to camp out in the wilderness. What can you do to prepare? How can you make sure you're safe and respectful among the animals who call the wilderness home?

  • Go online to learn more about bears in their natural habitat, and what humans do to preserve their numbers in the wild.

Movie details

DVD release date:June 3, 2003
Cast:Kristin Fairlie, Kyle Fairlie, Max Morrow
Director:Raymond Jafelice
Studio:Paramount Pictures
Genre:Family and Kids
Topics:Friendship, Great boy role models, Great girl role models, Wild animals
Run time:75 minutes
MPAA rating:G

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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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