You're probably asking yourself, "Could THE COUNTRY BEARS really be
as bad as its trailers?" In a word -- yes.
With Mark Perez's abysmal script and Peter Hastings's lifeless direction,
the live-action movie is painfully bad. Watching it is about as much
fun as spending eighty-eight minutes in a dentist chair. Its lame
attempts at humor are as flat as the proverbial pancake. Only a couple
of decent musical numbers and a few cameos make the movie briefly
tolerable. Overall, the film pales in enjoyment in comparison with
the Country Bears Jamboree, the hammy Disneyland attraction upon which the movie is based.
The minimal plot concerns the reunion of the Country Bears, a once
popular group of singing bears who broke up after their 1991 tour.
Haley Joel Osment voices Beary Barrington, a bear who lives with
a human family but who doesn't realize that he was adopted. After
Beary leaves home, he joins the band members who are trying to regroup
for one more concert in order to save their old hall.
The frightening thing about the movie, which should have gone direct
to video, is the possibilities it suggests. Think of all the other
Disneyland attractions that could be turned into future movies. Are
you ready for a movie version of the Enchanted Tiki Room? The mind boggles.
THE COUNTRY BEARS runs a long 1:28. It is rated G and would be acceptable for all ages.
My son Jeffrey, age 13, gave it one star only for the cameos and some
of the non-bear musical numbers.
Copyright © 2002 Steve Rhodes