Posted in: Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on January 28th, 2009
The Great Polar Bear Adventure is indoctrination pure and simple. Disguised as a warm and fuzzy nature show in the realm of Meerkat Manor and its like, this film has really only one theme.: Humans are very bad creatures, for the most part. It follows the plight of a family of polar bears who can no longer find the frozen ice river floes that provide them with tasty seal meat. The reason, of course, is what the bears call the two legs. Somehow the bears know that it is the two legs that are causing the winter to grow shorter and the ice flows to disappear earlier every year. Of course, for the last two years ice floes have returned to normal, but let’s not confuse the issue with the facts. Eventually the bears are driven closer to a two leg settlement where they are forced to rummage through trash piles in order to survive. Eventually one of the rare good two legs darts them and takes them further north where they can roam and survive…for now.
Whatever your politics, I would hope that the idea of using children’s entertainment to push an agenda would not be why you might buy a video for the kids. There are plenty of good programs out there, so that it doesn’t seem necessary to have to have a conversation with your kids to explain why humans are so evil. Not the message I would want to send to children. Sure, the bears are cute and the CG animators did a great job of making it look like they were actually speaking. I don’t even mind a moral or a good message at the end of a kid’s show, but I assure you that you will find this program heavy handed.
The program is presented in a surprising 2.35:1 aspect ratio. I assume it was originally a television broadcast, but I had not seen or heard of it previously. Most of the footage is put together from various nature documentary pieces and so has a quite varied look in quality. Most of it is a bit fuzzy with plenty of grain. There were a few newer shots made at a zoo using real bears and green screen f/x, but they look very obvious, although clearer in quality.
The Dolby Digital 2.0 track is here for dialog and nothing more. It does its job well.
Making Of The Great Polar Bear Adventure: This 10 minute piece focuses on the task of the CG lip animation and the putting together of footage from many sources.
I generally like nature shows. The talking or story created versions are a relatively new genre, and some are quite good. I find that generally when taken as a whole series it tends to get tedious, so I rather gravitate to these one off films. Unfortunately I don’t wish to be preached at. Who really enjoys being scolded for entertainment. If I want that, I’ll go to a Rodney Dangerfield performance. I don’t need polar bears scolding me. My advice on this film? “Forget it.”