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Released 2002
Duration 88 min.
Director Peter Hastings
Written by Mark Perez
Music Christopher Young
Studio Walt Disney Pictures
Rated G

Ted Bedderhead

Brian Henson Country Bear exhibit

Brian Henson at an exhibit with Zeb on display.

Country bears

A maquette of Big Al.

The Country Bears 6788410

Trixie St. Claire

The Country Bears is a 2002 feature film from Walt Disney Pictures. Jim Henson's Creature Shop provided the animatronic Bears used for the film, which were performed by Henson puppeteers/suit performers.

Based on an attraction at Walt Disney World (and formerly Disneyland), the Country Bear Jamboree, The Country Bears was the first in a series of attraction-based movies which include The Haunted Mansion, and the Pirates of the Caribbean movie franchise. It is also one in a long line of live action Disney family films. The movie is a satire of Behind the Music rock & roll bands. Beary, a young bear raised by a human family in a world where humans and talking bears coexist, attempts to trace his roots. He meets up with the Country Bears, a long-since broken-up band, a parody of bands like the Eagles. Beary helps the Country Bears reunite for one final concert, while searching for who he truly is.

Unlike Disney animation, where the stars' voices are recorded first, it was the puppeteers who worked closely with the director and it was their voices that were captured during the entire shoot as they operated the animatronic heads. This gave the Bears the ability to improv and be directed as on-set performers. The stars' voices were recorded later.

For the movie's premiere at the El Capitan in Hollywood, the Bears performed a live rock concert (The Country Bears Live). And for a limited run, they performed before showings of the film. This was done to a pre-recorded track, with animatronic puppeteers operating the faces on the side of the stage.

A few of the puppeteers had cameos in this film. Julianne Buescher, Jodi St. Michael, and Terri Hardin were in the Swarmin Hive Honey Bar (Buescher was a waitress and St. Michael had a tattoo of Tennessee on his arm, painted by Buescher). Brian La Rosa, along with his wife Bess, were a patrons at Trixie's nightclub.


Beary Barrington[]

Henry Dixon Taylor[]

Big Al[]

Fred Bedderhead[]

Zeb Zoober[]

Tennessee O'Neal[]

Trixie St. Claire[]

Ted Bedderhead[]

Human Cast[]


  • Director: Peter Hastings
  • Writter: Mark Perez
  • Producers: Jeffrey Chernov, Andrew Gunn and John G. Scotti
  • Cinematography: Mitchell Amundsen
  • Film Editing: George Bowers, Seth Flaum and Dean Holland
  • Casting: Ruth Lambert
  • Production Design: Dan Bishop
  • Art Direction: Maria L. Baker
  • Set Decoration: Kathe Klopp
  • Costume Design: Genevieve Tyrrell