HOLLYWOOD — Disney proved a theme park attraction could be brought to life the second “The Country Bears” band came off of the tour bus for the Sunday afternoon preem at Hollywood’s El Capitan.
While Haley Joel Osment found it “especially cool” to lend voice to lead character Beary, it was the animatronic bear suits by the Jim Henson Creature Shop and blood, sweat and tears by suit performers that made the red carpet stroll by Fred, Ted, Zeb and Tennessee so real.
Buena Vista execs Oren Aviv, Richard Cook, Brett Dicker, Bob Iger, Nina Jacobson and their families were even treated to some post-film picking and grinning onstage by the Bears after the flick.
Since people “weren’t familiar with the story” of the fictional band, helmer Peter Hastings was able “to get a little irreverent with it and make the film a musical that was fun for both adults and kids.” For a mass appeal, Hastings cast adult-familiar Christopher Walken as the baddie and hired John Hiatt to write Bear songs that weren’t strictly country but “a mix of many different types of American music.”
Enjoying the Southern twang with their families at the Hollywood/Highland Ballroom after-bash were cast members Diedrich Bader, Candy Ford, Krystal, Eli Marienthal and guests Clancy Brown, Danny Bonaduce, E.G. Daily, Christopher McDonald and Kevin Richardson.