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The Country Bears (2002), G
Analysis Date: Juy 28, 2002
CAP Score: 87
CAP Influence Density: 0.24
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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].
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*******Food for Daily Thought*******
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.
Wanton Violence/Crime (W):
Offense to God (O)(2):
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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.|