This weekend brings the charming, quirky indie Brigsby Bear to select theaters before it expands for a wider release as the summer winds down. The movie follows a young man who tries to cope with a massive change in his life by taking solace in his love for a television show that he grew up with called Brigsby Bear Adventures. That’s really all we can tell you without spoiling an interesting turn that happens 15 minutes into the movie, something that the marketing of the movie has tried to avoid directly revealing.
If you want to know more about the story, you can read about it in our full review from the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year (again, beware of spoiling a certain story point revealed early on), but if you’d rather learn more about the fictional bear at the center of the movie, then we have something you’ll want to check out below.
Brigsby Bear had its own Comic-Con panel in Hall H, which admittedly was strange placement for a movie not many people had heard about yet. Sadly, the room wasn’t full and the crowd just wasn’t in the mood to discover something new, mostly because they were all there to see their favorite shows and upcoming blockbuster movies they were excited to see. It’s a shame because Brigsby Bear is one of the best movies of the year, and if general audiences gave it a chance, they would undoubtedly fall in love with it.
Yours truly enjoyed every minute of the panel though, if only because it was clear director Dave McCary and co-writer and star Kyle Mooney, as well as producers Akiva Shaffer and Jorma Taccone (two-thirds of The Lonely Island), and more of the cast were having a good time at the panel, even if the audience didn’t exactly get what was going on. One of the coolest moments came when the actual animatronic bear from the movie was brought out to the panel, which you can see starting at the 24:58 mark here:
Along with the arrival of Brigsby Bear, there was a prototype action figure that was passed around on stage, one of the many pieces of Brigsby Bear Adventures memorabilia that can be found in the bedroom of Kyle Mooney’s character James (seriously, there are so many pieces of Brigsby Bear paraphernalia that I wanted to have for myself). The packaging artwork for the figure gives you some idea of just how intricately planned and designed this faux TV show was, which includes an entire fictional background for the titular bear.
The back of the action figure packaging reads like this (you can hear Brigsby read it himself at the 27:01 mark above):
Brigsby was born on the planet of Pundra to his bear parents Salso Bear and Puffa Bear. A smart and precocious cub, he was sent away at an early age to learn various Positive Light Enery techniques from the Great Wizard Vortep. One day, while mining for Power Crystals in the Morta Caves, Brigsby met the child twins Arielle and Nina Smiles, who were in hiding from a mysterious presence that had destroyed their home planet. They became fast friends and bonded over a love of education and Ancient Mancralli Songs.
At the dawn of the first Quest Wars, the three friends joined Starsquad Alliance, where they met the young hotshot pilot Goody Goose. Together, they were able to stop the evil Sun Snatcher from enslaving their galaxy, although he ultimately made an escape to the Mirror Dimension.
From that day forward, the comrades made a pact to stop Sun Snatcher by any means possible, while also spreading positivity, joy and love throughout the galaxy, and making new friends along the way.
We’ll have more on all the thought that went into the creation of Brigsby Bear from an interview we conducted with Dave McCary, co-writer Kevin Costello and co-star Mark Hamill next week, so stay tuned for that. If you’d like to watch the full Brigsby Bear panel from Comic-Con, check it out right here.
Brigsby Bear is playing in select theaters now and will expand in the coming weeks. Watch the trailer here.
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