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‘We Bare Bears’ marks end of TV series with new film

/ 05:31 PM June 30, 2020
We Bare Bears

“We Bare Bears” main characters (L-R) Panda, Grizzly and Ice Bear. Image: Facebook/We Bare Bears

The creator of the Emmy-nominated series “We Bare Bears” is marking its end with the release of a movie centered on its main characters.

Cartoon Network is releasing “We Bare Bears: The Movie” on iTunes, Google Play and Amazon in the US and Canada today, June 30.

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Daniel Chong, the show’s creator, stated that the film also serves as the conclusion of the animated series, as per the San Francisco Chronicle’s Datebook last Friday, June 26.

The series follows three bears named Grizzly, Panda and Ice Bear as they try to integrate with humans in San Francisco. It first premiered in July 2015 and aired its last episode in May 2019.

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He pointed out that while the show usually sheds light on feeling like an outsider in a lighthearted manner, the film is switching tones. In the new production, the story further focuses on the feeling of alienation experienced by the three bears.

Chong pointed out as well that the show stemmed from his experience of growing up as an Asian American in San Francisco.

“I knew that was the identifying thing for me, but I kind of knew that might be maybe a little too specific as a pitch,” he told the publication. “So to me, the broader message was always that we all are feeling that way. We all are trying to find our place and trying to fit in.”

He later stressed that the film’s narrative is also the team’s response to social issues such as the controversy surrounding the US-Mexico border and families being separated.

“We would all wake up and we would look at the news, and we would say, ‘This isn’t right.’ It would feel sort of disingenuous to not acknowledge it,” Kris Mukai, a Japanese-American writer for the show and film added.

However, they also hope that the film helps others “understand each other a little better” amid the increased reports of racism in the US.

“I hope it makes [the viewers] think about standing up for people that might not look like them or might be being treated differently from them,” Mukai was quoted as saying. “I hope it empowers kids to feel like they can do something.”

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While Chong and Mukai wish to shed more light on discrimination, Chong also noted that the film’s goal is still to provide relief to their mostly young audience.

“If something resonates with them about the message and what the story is in how it relates to coexisting and tolerance, that’s great. That is exactly why we wanted to make this movie,” Chong said in the report. “But more than that, I just hope people laugh.”

Aside from the conclusion of the TV series, a spin-off show centering on the three characters as baby bears is also in development. Ryan Arcadio /ra

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TAGS: animated series, Asian Americans, Cartoon Network, discrimination, We Bare Bears
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