ChildCare Action Project (CAP): Christian Analysis of American Culture


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Entertainment Media Analysis Report
A service to our youth through you,
their parents and grandparents, in His name by His Word

The Country Bears (2002), G
Analysis Date: Juy 28, 2002
CAP Score: 87
CAP Influence Density: 0.24

MinMax: -36

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NOTE: If you do not want the plot, ending, or "secrets" of a movie spoiled for you, skip the Summary/Commentary. In any case, be sure to visit the Findings/Scoring section -- it is completely objective to His Word and is the heart of the CAP Entertainment Media Analysis Model applied to this movie.


If Scriptural references appear, the full text appears at the end of the Summary / Commentary likely using a mix of KJV and NIV.

THE COUNTRY BEARS (G) -- ...light-hearted romp in the life of a runaway bear...

Production: Walt Disney Pictures, Working Bear Productions Inc.
Distribution: Buena Vista Pictures
Director(s): Peter Hastings
Producer(s): Jeffrey Chernov, Andrew Gunn
Written by/Screenplay: Mark Perez (written by)
Cinematography/Camera: Mitchell Amundsen
Music: Peter Hastings, John Hiatt, Krystal, Brian Setzer, Christopher Young
Film Editing: George Bowers, Seth Flaum, Dean Holland
Casting: Ruth Lambert
Production Design: Dan Bishop
Art Direction: Maria L. Baker

Elementary school aged Beary Barrington (voice of Haley Joel Osment) is a happily bonded young one living with his doting parents, Mr. Barrington (Stephen Tobolowsky) and Mrs. Barrington (Meagen Fay) and spiteful "you'll thank me when you're older" brother, Dex (Eli Marienthal). One day, Beary starts to wonder why he looks so different than the other family members. He wonders whether he is adopted since he looks like a bear, not a boy. Three times Mr. Barrington tried to stop Dex from spilling the beans that Beary was adopted from a Park Ranger. Each time Mr. Barrington swatted Dex on the top of his head with a newspaper. The third time Dex blocked it with an expression not indicative of respect for his parents' wishes. It was one of those scenes in which the viewer who has raised children might wish Mrs. Barrington were standing behind Dex with a newspaper of her own. But alas, as is seemingly typical of adolescent arrogance in movies, the impudence of Dex "won" and Beary is painfully made aware that he is adopted: a case of what the parents want and when they feel Beary should know he was adopted is unimportant -- that the older sibling is, of course, wiser than all. We've all been there.

Broken-hearted Beary decides to run away to find his heroes: a band of singing, quitar-playing bears called The Country Bears, (I believe were) Fred Bedderhead (voice of Brad Garrett), Ted Bedderhead (voice of Diedrich Bader - "Jethro Bodine"), Tennessee O'Neal (voice of Toby Huss) and Zeb Zoober (voice of Stephen Root). Beary treks to The Country Bear Hall, the "wildlife" version of the Grand Ole Opry and home of The Country Bears. Upon arrival, Beary finds only one bear remaining, Henry (voice of Kevin Michael Richardson) caring for the grounds. The band has broken up and gone their different ways. Beary also finds out that dastardly banker Reed Thimple III (Christopher Walken) wants to tear down The County Bear Hall because the Bears owe $20,000. Not satisfied with this development, Beary convinces Henry to contact all the band members to throw a benefit concert to reunite the bears and to save the Hall.

While this was going on, the Barringtons had the police looking for Beary. Officers Hamm (Daryl Mitchell) and Cheets (also Diedrich Bader), yes, Hamm and Cheets ... say that fast ... bumble their way around possible leads and even get involved in a chase of a bus through a carwash. Push comes to shove, the band gets together, Dex finds a change of heart about his brother, a ton of forgivings happen, The Country Bear Hall is saved and Beary realizes his family is the true love.

The Country Bears is a light-hearted romp in the life of a runaway bear, trying to find acceptance in life and running from pain. And all without consequences, of course. That Dex's change of heart about his adopted brother once Dex sees Beary "making it big" does not excuse the hatefulness and arrogance that hurt Beary enough to make him want to leave. Nor does it excuse Dex's rebellion against his mother and father's wishes about when Beary is told about being adopted. Nor does it excuse arrogance toward and disrespect of police officers. The Dex character is a good model to show your children how NOT to behave or think [Is. 30:1]. The running away of Beary is another very negative example. From where do you think kids get most of their ideas [Luke 17:2, Titus 2:6-8, Heb. 13:17]?

In addition, we see an adult (Walken) in an office with his pants off, reckless driving to escape authority, physical assault and a firearm threat [Rom. 13:13]. Plus kidnapping (or bearnapping) with unlawful confinement and a woman in a bathtub during the rolling of the credits with other issues all combined to steal 13 points from the starting 100 points. The issues of impudence and hate (attitude) [Prov. 8:13] are responsible for the greatest loss of points, thus the yellow CAP Alert light for this Disney movie with a G rating which, by the way, seems to increasingly be reaching for the PG rating and beyond, away from wholesome, to grab a slice or two of R this year and two or three slices next year and three or four more next year....... That may sound quite wild, but we have been drugged for so long with extremes that what once was morally unacceptable has become morally invisible [Ps. 12:8].


If needed to focus or fortify, applicable text is underlined or bracketed [ ]. If you wish to have full context available, the Blue Letter Bible is a convenient source. If you use the Blue Letter Bible, a new window will open. Close it to return here or use "Window" in your browser's menu bar to alternate between the CAP page and the Blue Letter Bible page.

  • Is. 30:1 Woe to the rebellious [carar {saw-rar'}: rebellious, stubborn, revolters] children, saith the LORD, that take counsel [adopt ways, behavior], but not of me; and that cover with a covering [mask, hide], but not of my spirit [with vain and empty reasoning], that they may add sin to sin:
  • Titus 2:6-8 Similarly, encourage the young men to be self-controlled. In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us.
  • Heb. 13:17 Obey them that have the rule over you [your parents], and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account [report to God], that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.
  • Rom. 13:13 Let us behave decently ...
  • Prov. 8:13 To fear the LORD is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech.
  • Ps. 12:8 The wicked freely strut about [e.g., create progressively vile/offensive entertainment with impunity and no consequences to younger and younger audiences every year] when what is vile is honored among men [when enough people continue to defend it, embrace it, pay for it, enjoy it, want it].

    *******Food for Daily Thought*******
  • 1 Cor. 15:33 (KJV) Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. (NIV) Do not be misled: Bad company corrupts good character.
  • Jude 4 For certain men* whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord. [*men: anthropos {anth'-ro-pos}, generic, a human being, whether male or female]
  • Matt. 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto [or for] one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto [or for] me.
  • Luke 17:2 It would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around his neck than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin. [cause by teaching or example]
  • Ps. 119:133 Direct my footsteps according to your word; let no sin rule over me.
  • John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
  • 1 Thess. 5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.


    As always, it is best to refer to the Findings/Scoring section -- the heart of the CAP analysis model -- for the most complete assessment possible of this movie.

    The Country Bears (2002) CAP Thermometers

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W):
  • disobeying police command
  • reckless driving to escape without consideration of the safety and property of others
  • physical assault
  • firearm threat
  • kidnapping with unlawful confinement
  • diving off a stage
  • traffic endangerment/property damage

    Impudence/Hate (I)(1):
  • ultra-hateful brother
  • child threatening father
  • adolescent running away
  • teenage arrogance against all authority, the "'It' ain't good enough no matter what 'it' is attitude, repeatedly

    Sex/Homosexuality (S):
  • adult with pants off in office
  • scant outfits, repeatedly
  • woman in bathtub during rolling of credits

    Drugs/Alcohol (D):
  • none noted

    Offense to God (O)(2):
  • none noted

    Murder/Suicide (M)(3):
  • none noted

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    NOTE: The CAP Analysis Model makes no scoring allowances for trumped-up "messages" to excuse or for manufacturing of justification for aberrant behavior or imagery, or for camouflaging such ignominy with "redeeming" programming. Disguising sinful behavior in a theme plot does not excuse the sinful behavior of either the one who is drawing pleasure or example from the sinful display or the practitioners demonstrating the sinful behavior. This is NOT a movie review service. It is a movie analysis service to parents and grandparents to tell them the truth about movies using the Truth.

    "There are some in the entertainment industry who maintain that 1) violent programming is harmless because no studies exist that prove a connection between violent entertainment and aggressive behavior in children, and 2) young people know that television, movies, and video games are simply fantasy. Unfortunately, they are wrong on both accounts." And "Viewing violence may lead to real life violence." I applaud these associations for fortifying 1 Cor. 15:33. Read the rest of the story. From our nearly seven years of study, I contend that other aberrant behaviors, attitudes, and expressions can be inserted in place of "violence" in that statement. Our Director - Child Psychology Support, a licensed psychologist and certified school psychologist concurs. For example, "Viewing arrogance against fair authority may lead to your kids defying you in real life." Or "Viewing sex may lead to sex in real life." Likewise and especially with impudence, hate and foul language. I further contend that any positive behavior can be inserted in place of "violence" with the same chance or likelihood of being a behavior template for the observer; of being incorporated into the behavior mechanics and/or coping skills of the observer. In choosing your entertainment, please consider carefully the "rest of the story" and our findings.

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    (1) As noted in CAP Special Report-001, "Investigation Area and Scoring Trend," of the six CAP Investigation Areas, Impudence/Hate was the strongest presence in all four movie classifications. It has a strong revelation about the entertainment media.

    (2) The use of the three/four letter word vocabulary without God's name in vain is incorporated into the Impudence/Hate Investigation Area. The use of God's name with or without the four letter expletive is incorporated into the Offense to God Investigation Area. There is no duplication.

    (3) Only portrayal of successful murder or suicide are incorporated into Murder/Suicide. Portrayal of attempts to commit murder or suicide and deaths by police action or war are incorporated into Wanton Violence/Crime.

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