The Boy Who Wanted to Be a Bear

Central Park Media, Manufactured by The Boy Who Wanted to Be a
) ISBN 1-58664-480-7

Move over, Mowgli, there's a new man-cub on the block. Suggesting some of the themes and situations of Kipling's The Jungle Book , director Jannik Hastrup presents a lovely animated tale of family—of both the human and ursine kind. When a polar bear mother's cub is stillborn in the Arctic, her grief is enormous. Thinking he is helping the situation, the bear's mate steals an infant boy from an Inuit (presumably) family's home. The bears raise the boy as their own for years and he takes to his new loving, furry clan. But when the boy's human father finally arrives to claim his son, the boy is torn between his two families, forced to make a heartbreaking choice. The animation, with its wintry palette and thick India-ink outlines, often looks like snowy picture-book scenes come to life, and an elegant score adds to the emotional depth. This gentle story may be miles away from the snappy dialogue and slick CGI techniques of box-office busting titles like Shrek and The Incredibles , but human kids and their caregivers will find much to like here. Some younger viewers may find the baby-stealing scene a bit frightening, but overall this title is bound to make welcome family viewing. All ages. (Feb.)

Reviewed on: 07/11/2005
Release date: 02/01/2005
Genre: Children's
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