The Country Bears
“The Country Bears” can best be described as a country-rock-and-roll musical. Based on Disney World’s “Country Bear Jamboree,” its lively musical numbers feature the voices of John Hiatt and Don Henley as two of the singing bears, and Queen Latifah plays a bartender at a non-alcoholic “honey” bar. Bonnie Raitt also provides the singing voice for a female bear. Even Willie Nelson and Elton John make brief appearances as themselves. In the movie, 4th grader Beary Barrington (voiced by Haley Joel Osment) runs away from home after his older brother, Dexter (Eli Marienthal), tells him he is adopted and, in fact, is a bear not a human. Beary decides he belongs with the Country Bears, a musical ensemble that disbanded years earlier; but he hopes they’ll reunite to save the legendary Country Bear Hall.
Children from age 4 on up will root for Beary in his quest to find out where he belongs, and laugh at the bumbling cops, Hamm and Cheets, as they chase the missing bear across the country. Interspersed with music and slapstick mayhem are strong messages of family love, acceptance and forgiveness. A harrowing car chase, two bears fighting, and Hamm and Cheets being tossed around an automatic car wash provide action for the young and restless. With no sexually suggestive elements or foul language, it is fun for the whole family.