Review: ‘The Great Bear’

Danish animation "The Great Bear" reps a winsome debut from helmer Esben Toft Jacobsen and production company Copenhagen Bombay.

As cuddly as a plush toy, but with just enough darkness to broaden its age range up to tweens, Danish animation “The Great Bear” reps a winsome debut from helmer Esben Toft Jacobsen and production company Copenhagen Bombay. Story of two siblings who befriend a giant ursine creature deploys CG techniques yet looks pleasantly cartoony and old-fashioned. After two weeks in release locally, the pic has cumed a strong but less-than-fierce $309,000, but could still show furry legs in neighboring territories.

On a visit to their grandpa (voiced by Elith Nykjaer) in the country, 12-year-old Jonathan (Markus Rygaard) and his 6-year-old sister Sophie (Alberte Blichfeldt) enter the forbidden forest beyond the backyard, where Sophie is abducted by a bear as massive as a mountain, who has trees growing out of his back for camouflage. A crazed hunter (Flemming Quist Moller) enlists Jonathan’s help to slay the beast, but Jonathan switches sides when he realizes what a sweetheart the bear is. Eco all-creatures-are-sacred message is duly preached, but without a heavy hand, and there’s a refreshingly surreal Hayao Miyazaki-quality about the pic’s more whimsical flights of fancy. Tech credits are aces.

The Great Bear

Animated - Denmark

Production

A Nordisk release of a Copenhagen Bombay production in association with Film i Vast, Danmarks Radio, Nordisk Film & TV Fund in association with the Danish Film Institute. (International sales: Copenhagen Bombay, Copenhagen.) Produced by Petter Lindblad. Executive producer, Sarita Christensen. Directed by Esben Toft Jacobsen. Screenplay, Jannik Tai Mosholt, Jacobsen.

Crew

(Color). Editor, Jacobsen, Elin Projts, Marion Tuor; music, Nicklas Schmidt; layout, Thomas Pulsen; background, Andreas Normand Grontved; character designers, Grontved, Jimmi Levinsky, Niels Bach, Jacobsen; animators, Grontved, Brian Leif Hansen, Rasmus Nyhus, Sten Platz, Stine Sorensen, Torben Sottrup Christensen. Reviewed at Berlin Film Festival (Generation Kplus), Feb. 16, 2011. Running time: 73 MIN.

With

Markus Rygaard, Alberte Blichfeldt, Elith Nykjaer, Flemming Quist Moller.

Filed Under:

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Film News from Variety

Loading