Why the world can't get enough of bears in film and literature


Fritz the little polar bear

Fritz, the polar bear cub living in Tierpark zoo in Berlin, won hearts almost immediately. Tragically, he died when only four months old. Will his story someday be immortalized in the pages of a book? Many bears in film and literature have won over the hearts of children and adults alike.


Winnie the Pooh

Sweet, scatterbrained and good-natured - that's Winnie the Pooh. The story of this lovable bear was written in the 1920s by Alan Alexander Milne, who made Pooh the most famous bear to have appeared in children's books. After his death, the rights to the stories were purchased by Walt Disney, and movies and series soon followed. In 2006, Pooh was even given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.


Paddington Bear

This little bear from Peru arrived at Paddington station with only a sun hat and suitcase in hand. There, the Brown family finds him and takes him along, naming him after the station where he was discovered. Author Michael Bond wrote the story of Paddington bear, which was published in 1958. It was followed by a series and 2014 film: "Paddington."


The Bare Necessities

Baloo the bear is perhaps best-known as the sweet "Papa bear" from the Disney film "The Jungle Book." Many will be familiar with his catchy tune, "The Bare Necessities," which gained fame all over the world. The 1967 animated film is based loosely on a collection of stories published in the 1900s by English author Rudyard Kipling.


Lars the little polar bear

Lars lives with his parents in the middle of ice and snow in the North Pole. There, he embarks on plenty of exciting and dangerous adventures with his pals. This children's book series was written by Dutch author Hans de beer in 1987. It also received a television show in 1992 and was made into a film in 2001.


Brother Bear

Set at the end of the Ice Age in North America, a boy named Kenai kills a bear, and in revenge, gets turned into one. Hunted by his own family, he finds a companion in a little bear named Kuma. This 2003 Disney movie is heavy on motives of love, friendship and forgiveness. In 2004, it was even nominated for an Oscar in the Best Animated Film category.


A bear with fatherly instincts

In the Russian animated series "Mascha and the Bear," the bear is a retired circus animal living in a forest hut. He hopes to enjoy his quiet twilight years, but a young girl named Mascha visits frequently, bringing new chaos with each encounter. "Mascha and the Bear" is one of the most famous Russian animated series to date.


Not only famous in animated form

French feature film "The Bear" from 1988 is the most successful film to have a real bear in the starring role. Directed by Jean-Jacques Annaud, the script is based on James Oliver Curwood’s novel "The Grizzly King." It depicts the adventures of a young bear that loses its mother and eventually befriends an older bear.

The unexpected death of polar bear cub Fritz saddens Berliners and worldwide fans. Here, we take a look at famous bears in film and literature.

In March, Fritz the polar bear should have been ready to come outside. On Monday, however, zookeepers found the youngster sullen and staying close to his mother in the enclosure. One day later, he was pronounced dead.

Nature and Environment | 06.03.2017

A world-famous bear

Little Fritz had fans all over the world, not just in Germany. After his birth in November 2016, more than 10,000 name suggestions came from all over the globe. Ideas were sent from as far away as South Africa, Japan and New Zealand. In the end, the jury chose Fritz, a typical German name.  

Bears: Heroes in film and literature

Like his predecessor Knut, who died in 2011, people around the world were enthusiastic about Fritz's release outdoors after a long winter spent inside. Just why are so many people interested in this furry mammal? Is it because polar bears are cuddly and soft, yet dangerous?

The gallery above, portraying different bears in film and literature, also shows that they symbolize sympathy, too.

Related Subjects