Silly Symphonies

film 16 of 61

The Bears and the Bees

Film Review by Dean Duncan Jul 6, 2015

My youngest child observes that the little bears look just like Mickey Mouse. She’s right! Nothing too sinister in that, of course. It’s efficient manufacture, melded with a desire to cross-pollinate your commodities. The little bears have a funny little fight. This is good, and actually addresses some of my overly insistent objections about some of these Sillies. A natural predator, an often antagonist becomes the centre of attention and sympathy, and so is transformed into our protagonist. That’s a good thing to think about, and talk about, when watching movies with your kids! A lot depends on your position, and then upon your attitude and empathy.

What I just said stands at least until the appearance of this rabid paternal personage. “All Disney dads are like that,” observes my third youngest child. He’s right, practically! During a certain period at least, or within a certain production cycle. This limitation will eventually be addressed and, to a good degree, rectified. Still, a thing! Maybe this paternal phenomenon reflects an important and possibly subconcious adult/child pattern. Kids are nice, big people aren’t. (Cf. Home Alone, etc., forever. [See our review of Rabbit-Proof Fence.]) This perception could lead to certain conclusions, attitudes and behaviours, couldn’t it?

The part when the cubs steal the honey is funny. When the dad takes over (after engaging in some multiply gratuitous child abuse) he gets outlandishly punished for it. Those sadistic bees are satisfying, within the narrative at least. But if this were live action, let alone real life, we would probably start feeling pretty uncertain toward that as well.

I’m noticing that around here we’ve pretty cavalierly celebrated a lot of these violent cartoons, and affirmed that they’re part of a healthy working out of important issues. Or that they’re so well put together, that we should just go ahead and enjoy ourselves. You might feel free to push back at us on this!