Parents' Guide to

Brown Bears - Teddy Bears Picnic

By Joly Herman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Iffy attitudes about bears mating make this docu no picnic.

TV Max Educational 2021
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This visually interesting, but oddly curated documentary show can't really be taken seriously. In Brown Bears - Teddy Bear Picnic, a mother bear emerges from a cave, shaking off a winters' sleep with a cub in tow. Though she's hungry and hankering for food, the mother bear takes the time to nurse her cub before going on the hunt for sustenance. This is all well and good. But her peer, a younger bear, is being stalked by a young male bear as she bathes in a lake. Thanks to the creepy narration sequence, the natural order of things -- animals in the wild do mate and reproduce, after all -- is sexualized in a way that raises red flags.

Another questionable interpretation occurs when men transporting two cages of baby cubs land on an island to release the cubs into the wild. They drop some apples and fish in hopes that the cubs will learn how to eat on their own. There is no plan for these animals -- just a drop off and maybe a check in later. "Hopefully they'll adapt," the narrator says. Such haphazard behavior makes this feel like less of a documentary show and more of a circus.

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