The Country Bears
The Country Bears is a 2002 American family musical comedy film, directed by Peter Hastings and produced by Walt Disney Pictures, and based on the Disney theme park attraction Country Bear Jamboree.
Like other celebrated rock-and-roll groups, the members of the legendary group the Country Bears were torn apart by the perils of their own success: ego, jealousy, and a little too much honey. The story of how eager young fan Beary Barrington can convince the bitter ex-members of the rock band to put aside their differences and perform a benefit concert to save Country Bear Hall, the legendary venue where the band got its start.
Why This Film Is Hard To Bear
- The animatronics for the bears are rather mediocre and look more like sock puppets; the fact that they always stare on screen does not exactly help.
- The movie feels like an average G-rated film, but with the bears shoehorned into it.
- Acting from characters that comes across as unnatural.
- Incredibly unlikable supporting characters.
- The premise is very confusing and weak, with the bears spending too much time trying to get the band back together.
- The soundtrack is rather generic and doesn't even fit in the story or setting.
- Awful editing, such as a scene where the bears go into a car-wash and try not to get caught by the police.
- Some of the writing is very cheesy.
- The main antagonist is very lame as he doesn't even seem to be accounted for in the film.
- Uninteresting chain of events that only serve to pad out the running time of the movie.
- The ending makes no sense and is rather tiresome to sit through.
- Pointless cameos from Wyclef Jean, Willie Jean, and Elton John.
- Misleading title: Despite being called The Country Bears, the first half of the movie mostly focuses on the parents rather than Beary.
- It even made Michael Eisner attempt to shut down production of the better-received Pirates of the Caribbean film adaptation, which director of that film Gore Verbinski wants to continue production.
- Christopher Walken's performance can be hilarious at times, such as his line "This isn't over, BEARS!". Pretty much anything involving Walken is gold.
- The ending song "Straight to the Heart of Love" is easily the best one out of this entire soundtrack.
- The movie's awkward tone, atmosphere, and pacing is low key hilarious, making it one of those "so bad it's good" kind of movies.
The Country Bears received negative reviews from critics and was unanimously panned by fans of the original attraction. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 30% based on 85 reviews, with a general consensus that states: ″Despite all the celebrities on hand, this spin-off from a theme park attraction still feels tired and hokey.″ On Metacritic, the film has a score of 37 out of 100, indicating "generally unfavorable reviews," as well as a 4.1/10 on IMDb.
The film was a box office flop, only grossing $18 million on a $35 million budget.