Famous Disney Bears

In honor of Earth Day on April 22nd, Disneynature is releasing another new documentary, Bears. This new movie will follow a bear family for a year as the young cubs learn life lessons. Seeing the commercials for this movie got me thinking about all of the bears in the Disney family.

Disneynature Bears
Disneynature Bears

Winnie the Pooh
Let’s start with probably the most famous Disney bear of all. Coming from the books by A. A. Milne, Pooh and his friends from the Hundred Acre Wood are a childhood staple. He may be “stuffed with fluff,” but he can be quite courageous when needed. We’ve all joined in on their adventures (often in search of “hunny”) and learned about friendship along the way. Pooh and Piglet’s friendship in particular, never fails to warm my heart.

Pooh
Tigger, Pooh, Piglet, and Eeyore

Baloo 

Carefree and fun-loving Baloo is Mowgli’s best friend in The Jungle Book and he taught us all about the Bare Necessities (which, thanks to writing this blog post, I have had stuck in my head for three days). For the most part, Baloo is playful, but he can be very protective of Mowgli. He is probably the most popular character from the movie and in fact, became the star of his own TV series: TaleSpin.

Baloo and Mowgli float
Baloo and Mowgli float

Koda and Kenai

These two bears from Brother Bear started out with quite the complicated relationship, but eventually became as close as brothers. Koda is the playful and talkative one, while Kenai is moody and serious. I think they both learn a lot from each other.

Koda and Kenai
Koda and Kenai

Harris, Hamish, and Hubert

Oh the triplet brothers from Brave. Definitely can’t forget them. Merida’s young brothers are always up to some sort of mischief, which is what caused them to become bears to begin with. Although they don’t stay that way forever, you can still see the brothers as bears in the Festival of Fantasy parade.

Brave triplets
Brave triplets

Br’er Bear 

Betsy mentioned Br’er Bear in her post about bunnies and rabbits as the antagonist to Br’er Rabbit in The Song of the South. Teamed up with Br’er Fox, the two keep getting outwitted by Br’er Rabbit and you can see a lot of their foiled plans in the Splash Mountain ride at the theme parks.

Br'er Bear and Br'er Fox plotting
Br’er Bear and Br’er Fox plotting

Country Bears

Big Al, Liver Lips, Wendell, Trixie, Terrence, Henry, and the rest of this musical gang have been entertaining guests at the Magic Kingdom since the park opened. There was also a version at Disneyland up until 2001. The popularity inspired a movie in 2002, but that wasn’t very successful. They remain pretty popular in the Magic Kingdom though, especially with fans who grew up with the show.

Country Bear Jamboree
Country Bear Jamboree

Fozzie Bear

This jokester of the Muppets is Kermit’s best friend. He’s very often the target of Statler and Waldorf’s heckling, but he keeps trying with his “wocka wocka” tagline! Fozzie always struck me as very loyal, especially to Kermit and though he may be slow to catch on most of them time, I think he is a friend you can count on.

Fozzie Bear
Fozzie Bear

Humphrey the Bear

Humphrey was created in 1950 and appeared in several Disney Animation cartoons at that time. Humphrey is kind of a big and goofy bear that lives in a national park and tries to steal food from the visitors. He doesn’t speak, but he does make different grunts to express emotions. His shenanigans are usually spoiled by Donald Duck or the park ranger. He got to be so popular that the animation studio created a series just for him, but unfortunately the studio stopped producing the short films soon after that. He later appeared in other shows like Chip & Dale Rescue Rangers and House of Mouse. If you’re looking for him these days, you might want to check out the Wilderness Lodge.

Humphrey
Humphrey

Honorable Mentions: Little John from Robin Hood, Gummi Bears, Duffy, Lotso, Bear in the Big Blue House

When I first started writing this post, I was surprised by how many bears would be on this list. It was fun to rediscover some old favorites like Humphrey! Did I forget any of your favorite bears?

 

 

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Animal Kingdom and Epcot Connecting Families With Nature

Animal Kingdom and Epcot

Connecting Families With Nature Series

Throughout the year Animal Kingdom and Epcot will be hosting Connecting Families With Nature Series of special events designed to bring attention to animals, their habitats, and what we humans can do to help them not only thrive but survive!

The events take place at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and The Seas with Nemo & Friends at Epcot. The goal of each is to provide kids and families with a special opportunity to connect with nature, talk to our animal experts, and learn more about some of the fantastic creatures with whom we share our planet. Here’s the list of our 2014 events. Watch the Disney Parks Blog for more detailed posts shortly before each one. We hope to see you at one or more of them!

We ventured to Rafiki’s Planet Watch for the first event in the year long series on March 4th to celebrate ‘Springing Forward’ a few days early by celebrating frogs, toads and other amphibians.

Once we arrived, we were greeted by Cast Members and found all sorts of great games, activities, and special examinations we could watch.

The first thing we did, as we listened to Guitar Dan, was to make our very own Toad Abode for the frogs and toads in our yard to be comfy as Cast Members told us about frogs that were native to Florida. You know that I HAD to have a few Mickey’s on there!

Connecting Families with Nature

Once inside we were able to try our hand at several games (who knew I could standing jump 7 ft!), watched an examination of a frog, and learned ways that we could do our part to help frogs.

Connecting Families with Nature

Did you know that, according to some estimates, as many as one-third of the known amphibian species are threatened by extinction because of loss of habitat, climate change, pollution and disease? To find out more about Disney conservation efforts, visit www.disney.com/conservation

 Connecting Families with Nature

 

These Connecting Families With Nature Special Events are a great way to make your trip to the park extra special, and I know that we will definitely be going to more throughout the year. We had so much fun!

Connecting Families with Nature

If you want to join in the fun with us, here are the upcoming 2014 events for Connecting Families with Nature! You always want to keep in mind that dates subject to change:

At Disney’s Animal Kingdom:

    • March 4: Spring Forward for Amphibians Day — Just a few days before we adjust our clocks forward for Daylight Savings Time, we’re “springing forward” to celebrate frogs, toads and other amphibians.
    • April 22: Party for the Planet in celebration of Earth Day — Every day is a Party for the Planet at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, as guests and cast members join together to celebrate the wonders of nature, but, on Earth Day, there will be even more natural magic. Included is a celebration of the release of Disneynature’s new True Life Adventure “Bears,” in theaters April 18, which showcases a year in the life of a bear family as two impressionable young cubs are taught life’s most important lessons.
    • May 6: International Migratory Bird Day — Time to celebrate of one the wonders of nature – bird migration – and the ways we can help protect birds on their journeys.
    • May 20: World Turtle Day — Turtles are fascinating creatures, and really cool dudes, too – just ask Crush! Both Disney’s Animal Kingdom and The Seas with Nemo & Friends celebrate turtles with special activities.
    • June 10: Pollinator Day — butterflies, bees and other pollinators are the stars of this celebration.
    • July 29: Big Cat Day — It’s all about the largest cats, like lions and tigers – cats to whom you wouldn’t want to say, “here, kitty, kitty.”
    • August 5: Primate Day — The perfect place to find out what a 400-pound gorilla and a one-pound cotton-top tamarin have in common.
    • September 23: Elephant and Rhino Day — Learn fun facts and important conservation information about magnificent and endangered elephants and rhinos.

At The Seas with Nemo & Friends at Epcot:

    • April 22: Earth Day Celebration — It’s an ocean of fun at The Seas on Earth Day as this Earth Day celebration focuses on marine animals.
    • May 20: World Turtle Day — See the magnificent sea turtles swim by in the main aquarium and find out what each of us can do to keep turtles safe in the wild.
    • June 4: World Oceans Day — Join Nemo, Dory, Crush and the rest of the gang in celebrating the wonders of the oceans.

 

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Daddy’s Movie Day Is Back With Disneynature’s African Cats

 

Generally when new movies come in for review, it means a light hearted night on the couch with my daughter and a bowl of popcorn.  When Disneynature’s African Cats came, the situation was a little different.  Unlike most movies we watch, African Cats depicts real creatures in their life and death struggles as they survive and care for their young in a harsh environment.

African Cats takes viewers deep into the breathtaking African savanna to witness the heart-stopping rivalry between two lion prides and the epic journey of one brave cheetah family.  Shot over the course of two and a half years using state-of-the-art camera equipment, African Cats captures the awe-inspiring beauty of one of the wildest places on Earth as it tells the dramatic and often intimate stories of Mara, an endearing lion cub who strives to grow up with her mother’s strength, spirit and wisdom; Sita, a fearless cheetah and single mother of five mischievous newborns; and Fang, a proud leader of the pride who must defend his family from a rival lion clan.

Although the documentary depicts these very real conflicts between rival animals, Disney does a very good job making them friendly and very accessible to children.  They provide a wealth of opportunities to acquaint younger viewers with these animals in a realistic manner, while leaving room for discussion and growth.

An awe-inspiring adventure blending family bonds with the power and cunning of the wild, African Cats captures the real-life love, humor and determinations of these majestic kings of the savanna in an exciting, heartwarming and visually stunning tale that is sure to engage children and adults alike.  The film is narrated by Oscar-nominated actor Samuel L. Jackson and directed by Alastair Fothergill (Disneynature EARTH) and Keith Scholey.

In addition to the film, the discs include an incredible array of bonus features that take viewers deeper into the savanna through extensive interactive behind-the-scenes footage including filmmaker and conservationist interviews, an incredibly touching music video featuring Jordin Sparks singing “The World I Knew,” plus a look at the global efforts to which The Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund contributes.

 

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VTVk5cmhQxk

 

 

 

Bonus Features

 

 

DVD:

  • Disney & Nature – Viewers get a deeper look into the conservation efforts around the world being sponsored by The Walt Disney Company.
  • Save The Savanna – A comprehensive look at Disney’s “See African Cats, Save the Savanna” program and its impact on the region.

BLU-RAY
Everything on the DVD, plus…

  • Filmmaker Annotations – This interactive in-movie feature is a viewing mode with 12 different segments that allows consumers to watch behind-the-seans footage of the productions process and hear stories from the fimmakers and conservationists who spent several years making the film.
  • Jordin Sparks “The World I Knew” Music Video

MOVIE DOWNLOAD
Everything on the DVD, plus…

  • Introduction To Masai Mara – a segment from the Flimmakers Annotations Blu-ray feature
  • Filming The Cats – a segment from the Flimmakers Annotations Blu-ray feature
  • Sophie’s Elephants – a segment from the Flimmakers Annotations Blu-ray feature
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