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Raymond Briggs' The Bear/The Animal Train (1998)

Raymond Briggs  |  G |  DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)

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Raymond Briggs' The Bear/The Animal Train + The Snowman & The Snowdog
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Product Details

  • Actors: Raymond Briggs
  • Format: Animated, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: G (General Audience)
  • Studio: Miramax
  • DVD Release Date: December 9, 2003
  • Run Time: 26 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0000C8APV
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #272,821 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Raymond Briggs' The Bear/The Animal Train" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Product Description

RAYMOND BRIGGS' THE BEAR: Here's the delightful animated film based on the popular children's book about a young girl named Tilly who visits the zoo and accidentally drops her teddy bear into the bear exhibit. That night, Tilly cries herself to sleep, only to wake ad find a huge polar bear standing before her ... as he gently presents her with her beloved teddy bear. So begins a magical friendship with humorous complications ... This heartwarming, beautifully rendered tale from the creators of THE SNOWMAN -- and featuring the voice of Academy Award(R) winner Judi Dench (Best Supporting Actress, SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE, 1998) -- brings home the message of love, friendship, and giving. THE ANIMAL TRAIN: It's Ben's bedtime, but staying up with his parents to watch a TV show about endangered animals seems a lot more fun. Later that night, Ben awakens to discover that his stuffed dog, Jim Jam, has come to life, and so has his toy train! Bursting with excitement, they climb aboard for a magical tip around the world to save endangered animals. Based on the Parents' Choice Award-winning book, "Oi! Get Off Our Train," THE ANIMAL TRAIN delivers fun, laughter, and important reminders about our environment.

The Bear
Raymond Briggs's popular children's book The Bear is neither as famous nor as cherished as his popular tale The Snowman. Both wintertime stories allow a child to go on a fantasy journey, and more importantly, both videos embrace a lost art: the wordless narrative. Tilly spies a new polar bear at a London zoo. That night she dreams the bear visits her house. Besides being a good snuggler, the bear presents many problems to Tilly--from leaving droppings around the house to being a challenge to bathe. Soon Tilly and the bear ride through the crisp Christmastime night, encountering another magical bear--Ursa Major, or the Big Dipper. Briggs's elegant message of friendship is beautifully brought to life in this 25-minute production featuring music by Howard Blake.

The Animal Train
Little Ben receives a gentle lesson about conservation in this 1999 BBC-Miramax co-production based on John Burlingham's book Oi! Get Off Our Train. After staying up a bit too late watching a TV show about endangered animals with his folks, Ben dreams of a magical place where he, and his trusty stuffed dog Jim Jam, are in charge of a train that winds though the earth's habitats. Young viewers Pre-K to elementary school age are introduced to clear-cutting, poachers, and other issues that are endangering animals around the world. Burlingham's wonderful color palette makes the 29-minute short wonderful to look at, while the talking animals have enough personality to insure that kids will demand repeated viewings. --Doug Thomas

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars all the kids love The Bear January 19, 2000
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
I have a 4 1/2 year old and 3 year old and we all have enjoyed watching this video for endless hours. We got it when the kids were younger, and the nice thing is, it doesn't matter if the kids can't talk yet because athe scenes and music tell the story without words. My husband and I enjoy it. Everyone who has seen this video at our house has asked how to get it. Even the grownups have their eyes glued to the screen.
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disney changed it for the worse. December 16, 2003
By A Customer
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
The Bear originally did (as stated in the Amazon editorial review information) "embrace a lost art: the wordless narrative." That is what you get when purchasing the VHS version of this wonderful short film. However, when Buena Vista Home Video (Disney) got a hold of it for the DVD they added narration and sound effects. The film suffers for these changes. I own the VHS version and have enjoyed it as an adult and with my children. I was excited to learn of a DVD version and ordered it as soon as it was available. However, I am disappointed in these changes and encourage you to purchase the VHS over the DVD.
As for The Animal Train it is pleasant enough and my 3 year old, who loves trains, has watched it repeatedly. But, it is not in the same class as The Bear (the original VHS version).
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This film is stunning. December 25, 2001
Format:VHS Tape
I don't think these reviews really give the impression of how simply beautiful this film is. In 1998 when the film premiered on Channel 4 I was fourteen - there is no age barrier for The Bear. The visual imagery is in a class of its own, and Howard Blake's score must surely rate as one of the most heartfelt and beautiful of the last decade.
It's really hard for me to convey my enthusiasm for this picture - suffice it so say that, in my opinion, it surpasses The Snowman.
Do buy this film. Whether you're eight or eighty it will enchant. I'm off to watch it again.
London, UK
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A lyrical, magical story January 16, 2000
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
I showed this to a class of kindergarteners and they all sat quietly for the 30 minutes to amazing feat! The art is beautiful and the story sweet. Don't miss it, whether you have kids or not.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Bad mistake of adding narrator to "Bear" December 20, 2003
By A Customer
.... I and my 2 1/2-old boy have enjoyed watching "Bear" so much in the past so I was excited to get the DVD version. However, to my disappointment, it has added narration - the VHS version did not have narration. What the narrator does is to completely take away imaginabiltiy and mind-creativity of kids who watch it over and over with different interpretation of the story each time. I would have given it only one star, but "Animal Train" was very good so I am giving the DVD three star rating. (By the way, there is nothing against the narrator, Judy Dench who happens to be one of my and my wife's favorite actors)
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best! April 27, 2002
Format:VHS Tape
My 2 year old loved this video! Refreshing because of its lack of dialogue, it allows children to think for themselves. Missing too, are the usual awful songs and cacophony of noise infused into childrens videos these days. You won't regret this purchase.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars disappointing January 18, 2008
The original cut of this video was breathtaking, and a magical part of my children's early childhood. We lost the original in a move, and were so happy to find it again in DVD format. Well. Somewhere over time, it was decided to add a narration that utterly ruins it. Now we have Dame Judi Dench in a voiceover that made my daughter groan, "it's like adding a sports announcer to a beautiful ballet". The music and animation told the story in a simple and artful way that is now ruined for us. What a shame.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Narration is Terrible, Ruined a Good Thing April 14, 2009
When we first watched this as VHS with my daughter (several years ago) it was wonderful! The images and music combined to tell the story and also let her figure out what was happening on her own, using her imagination. In this version, the narration tells the story for you, so kids don't have to think, but not only that - it ruins the soundtrack and is very distracting. At some points it's hard to hear, so it sounds like someone talking just loudly enough to be disturbing. The vocals, so lovely during the skating scene, are now shortened and relegated to the background, barely audible, and the narration continues as someone talking over the music. I wish it had been left alone with just the images and the music as it was first made. It was much better then. If I could return this one, I would. Very disappointing!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Whoa!
2 programs in 1 DVD
Published 3 months ago by Sean Herbs
4.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as The Snowman
This animated movie is very long and quite noisy (and a little annoying) but my son loves it. I prefer the quiet pleasure of The Snowman.
Published 10 months ago by sandra p. cohen
5.0 out of 5 stars Raymond Briggs' The Bear [VHS]
I love the movie and lost my original. I couldn't believe the price of the DVD. The VHS is just as good if you still have a player. Beautiful story, pictures, and music.
Published 20 months ago by Nancy Roppolo
3.0 out of 5 stars Words? Really?
We watched this as a family for a decade every winter holiday on VHS, but had to go to DVD when the tape fell apart. The VHS was all images and music, like The Snowman. Read more
Published 22 months ago by Sam Hranac
5.0 out of 5 stars Great DVD
I first saw this with my young grand daughter in England-each Christmas we would watch it-I have one now for myself at home-It is wonderful and such a great story-well written and... Read more
Published on May 15, 2012 by Carolyn
5.0 out of 5 stars My toddler gives it a thumbs up
I like the way these stories are animated. Not digitalized, but a more simple drawing style. My 3 year old really likes The Animal Train and will request it often. Read more
Published on November 30, 2011 by Maria M.
5.0 out of 5 stars The Bear
I ordered this video for my granddaughter who is 2 1/2 yrs. old. I had previously gotten her Raymond Briggs' "The Snowman" which she plays over and over. Read more
Published on March 19, 2010 by Virginia R. Small
4.0 out of 5 stars Toddler prefers version with no speaking
We had borrowed an old VHS version of this movie from the library that my daughter (2 years old) absolutely loved - it was a version just like the Snowman movie that she loves,... Read more
Published on February 17, 2010 by N. Cousino
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Raymond Briggs' magical winter journey that is enchanting and...
Raymond Briggs' "The Bear," originally released in 1999, is a delightful holiday spectacle that is unfortunately often overshadowed by the popularity of the previous Briggs'... Read more
Published on November 18, 2008 by Taran Wanderer
5.0 out of 5 stars cute and relative
It was a mere dream that we all as kids would want to come to life.
Published on July 31, 2007 by Cristalle C. Boone
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