EXCLUSIVE: Disneynature’s ‘Polar Bear’ Directors Reveal the Most Impactful Moments

The directors of Disney’s ‘Polar Bear’ sat down with us exclusively to discuss the documentary’s most impactful moments.

Disneynature has created quite the collection of wildlife documentaries over the years. The next installment, Polar Bear, tells the story of a new mother whose memories of her own youth prepare her to navigate motherhood in the increasingly challenging world that polar bears face today.

Polar Bear is narrated by two-time Academy Award nominee Catherine Keener and helmed by Alastair Fothergill and Jeff Wilson, the directing team also behind Disneynature’s Penguins. The documentary is full of moments in the polar bear’s life that will surely make viewers experience a wide range of emotions. In an exclusive interview with Murphy’s Multiverse, directors Fothergill and Wilson revealed some of the moments that impacted them the most. Fothergill recounted a moment when a polar bear was filmed doing an “aquatic stalk”:

For me, the moment when the female was hunting the seal—they’re doing their what’s called an aquatic stalk—which actually, interestingly, has become more and more common with climate change. But that moment when she was so so carefully and quietly, trying to push herself out of the water, so she could grab the hooded seal. We were there and the cameraman and I, literally, were holding our breath. And we held our breath for a long time because it’s a very long shot in the film. And then she goes back down so quietly and sneaks under the ice flow and tries to grab the shield that fails. That, for me was an amazing moment. Never been filmed like that before.

Alastair Fothergill

Both directors note moments that they experienced which had never been caught on film before. While Fothergill described a hunting moment affected by climate change, Wilson recalls a particularly joyful moment:

[For me,] the serendipity of finding a sperm whale carcass washed up with 20 Bears feeding off of it. It’s something that completely was beyond my wildest dreams. And so to be there and to witness that…And a well fed bear is a happy bear and a happy bear as a playful bear. And there are some very, very unique and special and never been seen before kind of behaviors that are happening around that where you just have 20 bears who come together and play together and almost like a pool party, or barbecue, you know, that just that is so special and so unique that you know, that’s going to be forever seared into my memory as as an experience.

Jeff Wilson

Viewers can experience these moments and more for themselves when Disneynature’s Polar Bear launches exclusively on Disney+ on April 22, 2022—Earth Day.

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