The Berenstain Bears (2003)

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The Berenstain Bears (2003)
Berenstain Bears 2003 TV Series.jpeg
Genre: Educational
Running Time: 30 Minutes
Country: Canada
Release Date: January 6, 2003 – December 6, 2004
Network(s): PBS Kids
Created by: Stan and Jan Berenstain
Distributed by: Nelvana International
Seasons: 3
Episodes: 40
Previous show: The Berenstain Bears (1985)


The Berenstain Bears is a 2003 children's animated television educational series based on the children's book series of the same name by Stan and Jan Berenstain. This show has a lighter tone, compared to the original 1985 series that aired back then.

Summary

The series is set in a world populated only by anthropomorphic bears and primarily centers around the Berenstain Bears. The Berenstain Bears are a family residing in the rural community of Bear Country consisting of Mama Bear, Papa Bear, Brother Bear, and Sister Bear. Albeit numerous episodes are based on the books and promote the same morals as encouraged in the picture books from which their plots originated, the program's faithfulness to the original series is slightly mixed on account of a number of later episodes following original storylines. Nonetheless, they mostly portray the same environment depicted in the original Berenstain Bears storybooks quite accurately and concentrate on the messages and lessons learned by the family through their different experiences, such as generosity and responsibility, as well as the daily lives of the bears.

Why It Still Truly Makes You Feel Like A Bear

  1. The character personalities are very unique from each other, yet still, work perfectly together.
  2. Very faithful to the books, maybe even better than the books, depending on your point of view.
  3. Unlike its 1985 predecessor, the episodes contain a lot less filler in them and focus on pacing that is more accurate to the books.
  4. The show doesn't shove morals in your face, like some cartoons tend to do, but rather carefully placed in the good episodes.
  5. The characters are very likable in their own way, including Too Tall whose character personality improved to become less of a bully and more light-hearted, unlike the previous show.
  6. The storytelling is very good and can appeal to kids and adults.
  7. The plots are simple, yet are able to fill the 30-minute time slot well.
  8. The voice acting and animation are very fitting for the book, and the coloring is pleasant to look at which was a massive improvement from the 1985 series.
    • This also applies to the Latin American Spanish dub too as it was very well received.
  9. The theme song is delightful to listen to.
  10. It was one of the main cartoons dubbed in Lakota, a rarely spoken Native American language.

Bad Qualities

  1. Michael Cera, the voice actor for Brother Bear (who would also be later known for playing Scott Pilgrim and Evan in Superbad), had retired shortly from the show due to the fact that his voice was changing and he was replaced with another actor named Michael D'Ascenzo.
  2. Honey Bear was absent in the show, who is the youngest bear member of the family and who was also one of the main characters in the books later on. Mainly it's because most of the episodes were based on the books before Honey Bear's debut.
  3. The show was portrayed in a lighter tone which had some censorship in it compared to the books, it didn't necessarily cover any serious topics like tobacco and violence for example.
  4. The show has a few bad, mediocre, and awful episodes like:
    • Get The Gimmies
    • The Homework Hassle (another episode where Papa Bear was flanderized)
    • The Trouble With Grownups
    • The Green Eyed Monster
  5. Possibly due to budget issues, the Lakota dub removed all of the show's music and replaced it with a flute and different sound effects.
    • Another problem is where Sister Bear's voice doesn't fit her tone at all as she sounds very deep like an adult.

Reception

The Berenstain Bears got a 7.4 on IMDB.

Trivia

  • In 2020, a complete series featuring 80 stories (40 episodes) has been released and is now available on DVD.

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