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The Boy Who Wanted to Be a Bear (Collector's Series Edition) (2002)

Marlon Vilstrup , Joachim Boje Helvang , Jannik Hastrup  |  NR |  DVD
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Marlon Vilstrup, Joachim Boje Helvang, Otto Brandenburg, Paprika Steen, Anne Clausen
  • Directors: Jannik Hastrup
  • Writers: Bent Haller, Michel Fessler
  • Producers: Didier Brunner, Lars Tømmerbakke, Marie Bro
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Collector's Edition, Color, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Central Park Media
  • DVD Release Date: February 8, 2005
  • Run Time: 75 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0006JML2A
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #331,657 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Boy Who Wanted to Be a Bear (Collector's Series Edition)" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Interviews with the US cast
  • Art Gallery
  • "Teh Boy Who Wanted to Be a Bear" background information
  • Arctic trivia quia

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

A mother bear's cub dies in the Arctic wild, and her mate steals a human boy to be their son. The mother bear loves the child more with each passing day, and he grows as wild and free as the strongest bear. When the boy's human father arrives to take him back, the child must choose his own destiny. Can he return to humankind, or will his heart forever be the heart of a beast? Collector's Series Edition DVD Features: Anamorphic Widescreen Format, Interviews with the English Language Cast, Original Theatrical Trailer, The Boy Who Wanted to Be a Bear Background Information, Arctic Trivia Quiz, English & French whth English Subtitles, and more.

This mystical film from Danish director Jannik Hastrup tells the story of a polar bear couple who, after losing their stillborn cub, steal a baby boy to raise as their own. Mother bear names him "Little Bear" and, in time, teaches him to survive in the snow, catch fish from the river, and defend himself against wolves. The mother knows, however, that the happiness they share will not last forever--that eventually the boy's father will search for, and find, his son. When the father finally does "rescue" his son, returning him to the company of humans, the boy unwillingly lives with them as a wild misfit who struggles with his dual identity. Finally, he escapes to make a journey to the Spirit of the Mountain to determine who he really is. On one level, this is an enchanting story of a mother's sustaining love, yet the stronger message underscores the fragility of the relationship between man and beast. The stunning animation resembles watercolor paintings in motion, and the haunting musical melodies add a dialogue of their own. (Ages 10 and older) --Lynn Gibson

Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Mythic Tale about Choices February 26, 2005
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
"The Boy Who Wanted to be a Bear" is one of the most engrossing and magical animated feature-length films of recent memory. It's the story of a wild boy caught between two opposing worlds -- the village of men and the land of animals. In each, there are reasons to stay and reasons to leave, but the power of love helps to lead him toward his ultimate decision.

The soundtrack is marvelous (composed by the artist who scored Winged Migration and Himalaya), and helps to give the film some additional spirit. The animation is simple, yet powerful and rich -- the scenes have the youthful look of magic marker imposed over watercolor backdrops, and yet, because of this, the characters feel more real. The pace of the story is perhaps a bit too brisk at times, but overall this is a masterful film. I think that you and your children will enjoy this as much my the folks in our house did.

A word to the wise: purchase the Collector's Edition so that you'll have the option of the English audio track as well as the beautiful, original French audio track. It's a shame when studios consider original languages to be "extras."
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of a kind! June 30, 2007
Beautiful film! My 4 and 5 year olds loved it. I loved the cultural aspect to it that is so hard to find. In reference to the violence, it's not any more violent than Disney's Lion King.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Definately not a Disney Move May 3, 2005
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Very surreal and dreamy picture about a boy taken from his parents by grief stricken bears who want to raise him as their son. He grows up, his Father reclaims him, and his struggle to become part of the wild again begins. A fantastic film, probably a little better for older children.
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2 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A dreadful film!!!!!!! November 30, 2010
A Kid's Review
This is a dreadfull movie for kids. I am twelve, and when I was little when my mom took me to see this at the movies. I was traumatized and have been furious with my mother ever since!!! I kept thinking that bad things were going to happenn, like that the mother Polar Bear was going to die. She said she wouldn't. Well, she was wrong. The mother is shot with an arrow! Almost everyone at the end of this movie is either sad or traumatized or dead. Please do not let your kids see The Boy Who Wanted To Be A Bear. It is sad and disturbing!
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4 of 21 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars This Storyline Makes No Sense May 31, 2006
Okay, so Momma polar bear has a stillborn cub at the same time Momma Indigenous Woman has an Indigenous live baby. Momma polar bear is grief-stricken and Papa polar bear is beside himself, because she is in such a great valley of depression. So Papa bear makes a visit to the Indigenous Woman's house and takes Indigenous baby to give to Mama bear.

So the boy gets raised as a polar bear until Papa Indigenous Man hunts down all the polar bears, including Mama Bear (after he leaves Mama bear with the human kid, Papa bear leaves the plot. If he was so concerned about Mama bear, why did he leave?)

Anyway, the boy wants to be a bear, and in the end (SPOILER WARNING!!!!!!) he becomes a bear.

The film never focuses on the fact that the Indigenous mother and father lose their son, and their grief is downplayed. It's all focused on the silly female bear.

In my opinion, it was a poor way for Papa and Mama bear to deal with her grief. But maybe I'm just ignorant on the ways of polar bears.

The animation isn't too happening, either.
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