NYICFF Movie Spotlight: The Bears' Famous Invasion Movie Review

The Bears' Famous Invasion - Image from New York International Children's Film Festival


The Bears' Famous Invasion, one of the feature films of the 2021 New York International Children's Film Festival, brought to life an Italian children's story through an animated tale.  When I think animated movies, I tend to think of a younger audience and was surprised to see this movie initially recommended for children 10 and older.  However, after viewing, I see why that age recommendation was included as the story of The Bears' Famous Invasion was complex and deep in a way that was most unexpected to me.


NYICFF Movie Spotlight: The Bears' Famous Invasion Movie Review


The Bears' Famous Invasion is a story told in two parts.  It's based on an Italian children's book, but the story was new to me.  In part one, we meet two narrators who tell a bear that they meet the famous tale of how the Bear King Léonce came to Sicily and ascended to the throne.  In this first part, we see the people of Sicily (especially their king) give in to the stereotypes of bears as mean and dangerous animals.  In reality, Léonce is really just looking for his son who disappeared years ago.  Once that story has wrapped up, the bear who is listening to the narrator's story chimes in says that the story didn't end there.  Part two showcases what happens after Léonce and Tonino have been reunited and are living in Sicily among the people.  Even though they are one again together, things aren't easy between them as Léonce struggles with figuring out who he can trust in this new world.


The Bears' Famous Invasion - Image from New York International Children's Film Festival


The themes in this movie are definitely for an older audience and the action is more "mature" - slower paced, deeper conversations - which wouldn't hold the attention of young viewers the same way.  There is also some animated violence including a shooting that even made me jump a little.  I would be uncomfortable watching this with my youngest knowing how much would need to be explained.  My husband made a comment that I watch more animated movies than the kids, and this is certainly one for an older audience.  Don't get me wrong, it's a good story and very well animated, just not a movie my kids would be old enough to enjoy.  This in and of itself proves my husband wrong - animated films can be for tweens and adults as much as they can be for kids.


Check out all of my coverage of the 2021 New York International Children's Film Festival here!


About The Bears' Famous Invasion (From NYICFF)


The Bears' Famous Invasion - From New York International Children's Film Festival


Based on the Italian book and beautifully animated in warm Meditteranean colors and bold shapes, this feature from Cannes is a whimsical allegory. Our narrators, an old storyteller and his young apprentice, the delightful Almeria, frame this wondrous tale of the great bear king Léonce and his clan. To find his lost son Tonino and food to survive the winter, he leads them down from the mountains and into the world of humans. The bears and humans exist together in peace – for a time.