Like other celebrated rock-and-roll groups, the members of the legendary group 'The Country Bears'--Ted and Fred Bedderhead, Tennessee O'Neal and Zeb Zober--were torn apart by the perils of their own success: ego, jealousy and a little too much honey. Can eager young fan Beary Barrington convince the bitter ex-members of the rock band to put aside their differences and perform a benefit concert to save Country Baer Hall, the legendary venue where the band got its start?
This summer has yielded a bumper crop of children's movies, based on classic works of children's literature, popular television shows, previous movies and even, occasionally, an original idea. "The Country Bears" has the distinction of being the only current movie (and, so far as I can recall, the only one ever) to be based on a theme-park attraction. Since 1971, the Country Bears Jamboree has been a fixture of Disney World in Orlando, Fla., and clearly its down-home brand of ursine animatronic entertainment was crying out for adaptation into a big-screen feature. The plot combines "The Blues Brothers" and "Almost Famous" (but with bears, and a G rating), with an excruciating dollop of Disney sentimentality mixed in for good measure. — A. O. Scott
2002-07-26 | A. O. Scott | Read the New York Times Review of The Country Bears