Little Polar Bear (2001) – movie review

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Movie Review by Vivienne Messenger

Starring: Mijail Verona, Maximilian Artajo, Jochen Busse, Mike Kruger Bernd Stelter
Director: Thilo Rothkirch, Piet de Rycker

Lars is a young polar bear living in the Arctic, having fun growing up and learning about life in the process. Greta another polar bear cub, is far more adventurous and a much better swimmer than Lars so she often leaves him behind. It’s on one such occasion like this that Lars finds himself alone but not for long when a young seal pup, Robby, pops up through a hole in the ice and they start playing together. When Lars dives into the water, panics and sinks downwards Robby saves him and this is the start of a firm friendship. It’s even stranger for Lars and Robby to be friends and have such a close bond between them because polar bears are normally the aggressors as far as seals are concerned.

So everything’s hunkydory in Lars life – getting up to mischief and getting out of trouble. Then one day Lars and his father doze off on an ice floe soaking up the summer sun that melts the ice and fissures open up separating the two. Lars drifts off into the ocean on a small iceberg while dad is left on the mainland. When Lars wakes to find himself alone and in the middle of the ocean he begins a journey of self-discovery as he floats southwards, the ice melting rapidly as the waters warm. Flung into the ocean and close to exhaustion he manages by sheer luck to clamber into a passing barrel, which is washed up on a beach with lush tropical vegetation. Emerging warily he begins his quest for finding his way home meeting many new friends that help him on his way.

A LITTLE POLAR BEAR is a very simple story, very undemanding but well told and certainly entertaining for young children who will be captivated by this lovable polar bear and his many friends. There are a few scary scenes too that give the movie a bit of an edge and show that there can be danger lurking around in the world outside, including a computer controlled icebreaker / fishing vessel that threatens everyone’s way of life. But on the whole the movie is very appealing for youngsters (probably only up to 7 though) and the unsophisticated animation adds to the endearment and enjoyment of it all.

4 out of 6 stars