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Bears (or other animals) in film


Katie_G
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Talking about Grizzlies recently got me thinking about Bart the Bear. At 9'7" and 1500 lbs. he was the hardest working Alaskan brown bear in film.

Bart_the_Bear_and_Doug_Seus.jpg...shown here with his trainer and acting coach

21 acting credits include -

The Bear (1988).   Bart's breakout role. Fantasy of an orphaned bear cub who is adopted by an adult male bear.  This never happens in nature, but audiences loved Bart and his intense performance - no CGI or man-in-a-bearsuit here.  Oscar buzz was defanged by The Academy's discriminatory "no animal actors" policy.  He trained hard, and by using teddybears and food rewards, eventually overcame the natural instinct to kill and eat his co-star, cub-actor Youk.  The film's directors Jean-Jacques Annaud and Lee Tamahori called Bart "The John Wayne of Bears."

 

White Fang (1991) With Ethan Hawke, Klaus Maria Brandauer.  Credited as "The Bear"

Legends of the Fall (1994). Worked with Brad Pitt and Anthony Hopkins for the first time.

The Edge (1997) Bart survived working with Alec Baldwin, but in 1998 a cancer diagnosis cut short his career. His performance in The Edge was praised by film critic Kenneth Turan as "a milestone in ursine acting." Reportedly Anthony Hopkins would spend hours in awe just watching him at his craft, in much the same way others watched Hopkins.

 

 

Sadly Bart died in 2000, but "Bart 2" has followed in his pawprints, killing it in "Into the Grizzly Maze" with Billy Bob Thornton.

 

 

If you know of other bear films or have a favorite animal-actor,  please post!

 

 

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Okay Katie, and seein' as how you've asked here.

My favorite on-screen bear was a lot less threatening a beast than Bart here...and always wore a hat and a tie.

(...and whose lone threat to humans was his constant search of acquiring a pic-a-nic basket or two from the unsuspecting camper)  ;)

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Bear: anonymous.  Known only by the name of the character he (she?) played, "Ol' Slewfoot" in The Yearling (1947), enigmatic, idiosyncratic, elusive, after this one performance, for the brilliance of which admirers call him 'The Brando of Bears' (it being Brando who should be more appropriately termed 'The Slewfoot of Actors'), in character he disappeared into the lush palmetto vastness, forfeiting his salary and residuals.

Old_Slewfoot_Pic__1.jpg?1477131371

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I've read a few articles on animal training in the movies. I'm not sure why it's not a topic I haven't paid more attention to, as it can be a critical part of a given movie. There are a few horrible instances in movie history of animal abuse. The Charge of the Light Brigade, comes to mind (think that was it). I know movies are monitored now to prevent that sort of thing.

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DAY OF THE ANIMALS (1977) is a movie about the depletion of the ozone layer and how it affects a variety of animals . . . and maybe some people, too!

With that in mind we have the ridiculously bad movie THE WILD BEASTS . . . WILL GET YOU!  (1984-Italian).  This is an Italian movie . . . but it was filmed in Hamburg, GER.  Because, see, the filmmakers needed a zoo and Hamburg has a big zoo.  :)  So there you have it.  → Creatures of all kinds go loco  🤪  when their water supply is contaminated by PCP and bust out of the zoo to wreak havoc on the hapless city folk.  If you like 'Bad Movies' then you will likely enjoy this mess!

There's the 1978 made-for-television movie THE BEASTS ARE ON THE STREETS.   

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