The Country Bears
February 13, 2019
(The Channel Awesome logo is shown; cold-open on NC sitting down on the couch with a TV remote)
NC: Okay, let's see...
(He brings up Netflix and goes to the search section; he programs in the following letters...)
(The phrase "The Country Bears" pops up on the search results list)
NC: Ah, yes...
(He pushes "OK" on the screen. Suddenly, the following message pops up on the screen: "Are You Sure You Mean Country Bears?")
NC: (rolls eyes) Yes.
(Again, he pushes "OK" on the screen. Another message pops up: "The DISNEY Ride?")
NC: (again rolls eyes) Yes!
(Again, he pushes "OK" on the screen. Another message pops up: "Why?")
NC: (getting frustrated) Aw, Christ, just...
(Once more, he pushes "OK" on the screen. Another message pops up: "Seriously, It's just Hannah Montana with Hairy Ninja Turtles.")
NC: (irritably) Will you just let me watch it?!
(Once more, he pushes "OK" on the screen. Another message pops up: "Are You Okay? Should We Dial 911?")
NC: (exasperated) Oh, for God's sake! (facepalms himself)
Tamara: (walking in) Hey, Critic, what's up?
NC: (sighs) Nothing, I'm just trying to watch Country Bears.
Tamara: Are you sure you mean Country Bears?
Tamara: The Disney ride?
NC: (throwing down remote) Oh, for God's sake! (gets up) It's gonna go on and on and on and on... (Voice recedes as he leaves the room)
Tamara: (taking out her phone) Hey, 911? Yeah, there's no way that this can't be an emergency.
(Cue the title sequence)
NC: Hello, I'm the Nostalgia Critic. I remember it so you don't have to. Today's movie has a...bit of a reputation.
(Various images of Disney movies, Disney Channel shows, and other forms of Disney media, are shown)
NC (vo): Kind of like Disney has had over certain periods of time. Through the constant ups and downs, Disney has always found some niche to creatively exploit, in that...you need little creativity to exploit it. You name it, direct-to-DVD sequels, kid rock stars, and it turns out, even then, they were trying too hard, as all they had to do was re-release their animated movies with the lines erased. Well, at this creatively bankrupt point in their lives, they were really big into turning their rides into movies. They had a big hit with Pirates of the Caribbean, a big miss with The Haunted Mansion...
NC: But all this began with the most bizarre of rides to start this most bizarre of trends...The Country Bears.
(The title of the film is shown, before showing its clips)
NC (vo): An idea so rushed, they forgot to even put "Jamboree" in the title, this is a movie I've referenced a lot in the past, but I'll admit, have never seen all the way through.
NC: (looking somber) I...just...fast-forwarded to the Christopher Walken scenes. (beat) And so did you.
NC (vo): The film was less than a hit at the box office, got pretty torn apart by critics, and was often the punchline of jokes about unsuccessful Disney films.
NC: Knock-knock. Who's there? Country Bears. Country Bears who? Exactly.
NC (vo): It drew my attention more, though, when I saw Animaniacs writer and producer Peter Hastings directed it. This dude has had some big titles under his belt, (Images of Pinky and the Brain, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012), and Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness are shown) so I figured something of value has to come out of it. And, yes, I'm aware I just said something of value has to come out of The Country Bears Movie. How much, you may ask? Well, let's willingly find out.
NC: Let's put on the 2002 cinematic question mark...Country Bears.
(The film opens with the Country Bears performing at a large concert)
NC (vo): The film opens, trying to convince us that the Bears were a legit country band. And I'm not gonna lie, they try so hard to make it look legit, it's kind of hilarious.
(The band members are shown with captions introducing them, Ted Budderhead, lead vocals and guitar, Zeb Zoober, fiddle, and Tennessee O'Neal, one string thang)
NC: (snickers) I'm just waiting for VH1's Behind the Music intro to play around it.
(The intro to Behind the Music is shown, with the caption "Country Bears" added in. The opening concert scene is shown again as NC narrates in the manner of Jim Forbes)
NC (vo; as Jim Forbes): The Bears sold out countless shows to millions of confused-looking fans. Sometimes, they'd even stare blankly at the stage like lifeless mannequins. But then, everything changed... (Footage of the Teddy Grahams Bears performing a concert is shown) ...when the Teddy Grahams Bears began touring.
(A clip of Big Al, the bear caretaker, is shown)
NC (vo; as Big Al): F*ck those guys.
(We are shown that the opening concert scene was the Country Bears' farewell performance, which is watched on TV by a young bear named Beary Barrington)
Announcer: The Country Bears officially broke up after the '91 Hibernation Tour.
NC: Taking into account there were no bears in that audience...
NC (vo): ...many blame human grizzly segregation. (Willie Nelson is shown being interviewed about the Country Bears) Willie Nelson, a former Country Bear himself, drew much influence.
Willie Nelson: I learned a lot from those guys, and that was why I was so sad to see them break up.
NC (vo; as Willie Nelson): I'm just figuring out now that they were real and not a result of the wacky tabacky. See, that's the real tragedy. (Speaks normally) This little guy watching TV is Beary, voiced by Haley Joel Osment...
NC: ...who nowadays...
NC (vo): ...could play this role without the suit... (An image of the bearded Haley Joel Osment in the present day is shown alongside Beary) ...and he can't help but feel like he doesn't belong with his family.
(Beary is sitting at the dinner table with his human family, his mother, his father Norbit, and his older brother Dexter)
Beary: Mom, am I adopted?
(Mrs. Barrington chuckles nervously. NC makes a brief snort of laughter)
NC: Okay, I'll admit, I'd be lying if I said this kind of joke didn't always get a laugh out of me. But it could've used Steve Martin saying...
Navin R. Johnson (from The Jerk; dubbed over Beary): You mean I'm gonna stay this color?
(Suddenly, a knock on the door in NC's room is heard. Tamara's voice is heard)
(Tamara is outside the room, holding a cell phone and looking concerned)
Tamara: I, uh, I thought I heard you laughing.
NC: Well, yeah. I saw a funny scene.
Tamara: Okay. Well, you are aware that you're watching Country Bears, right?
NC: (annoyed) For God's sakes! I'm giving this movie a fair shot, even if it is Country Bears!
Tamara: (chuckling nervously) Okay. I know you're totally fine in there, Critic. You're totally... (Suddenly speaks on the cell phone in a serious manner) That's a lie, and I need you to get here as soon as possible.
(An alarm is heard through the phone)
Voice: Code blue. Code blue.
(Dexter, also known as Dex, Beary's older brother, is shown making disparaging comments about Beary, only to be stopped by his parents)
NC (vo): Beary has to deal with his early 2000s brother Dex...
NC: ...who, I swear, were all bought from a Reese Store...
(A Photoshopped image of the Reese Store billboard is shown, which includes images of Dex, Reese Wilkerson from Malcolm in the Middle, and Stan from Home Alone 3)
NC (vo): ...who constantly mocks Beary. And can you blame him? The parents are kind of needlessly cruel to him.
Mrs. Barrington: Even if you were adopted, we would love you as much as we love Dexter.
Norbit: Maybe more.
(Dexter is shown looking silently at his offscreen father)
NC: (stunned) He's right there!
NC (vo): He does get a pretty funny comeback scene, though.
Dex: Wow, really? And did you know that nobody cares?
(As Norbit is about to hit him on the head with a newspaper, Dex stops him by using a spoon to block the newspaper, while making a quick glare at him before resuming eating his dinner. NC snorts with laughter again)
NC: That face is hilarious.
NC (vo): As if his father is thinking... (Imitates Norbit) "My God, he stopped me with a spoon. I can no longer control him."
NC: It's legit funny! (A knock from Tamara is heard) I'M FINE!
(That night, Dex reveals Beary's background to Beary, who soon decides to leave home)
NC (vo): Things escalate pretty fast when Dex comes in and reveals that he's adopted, and Beary decides to run away, like, just within a few minutes. Don't worry, though. Emotional pacing is as important in this film as getting that psychotic face of death off Beary's mug.
(Beary's face is shown in close-up, with the scene colored in red and a haunting choir being heard)
NC: (uneasy) I didn't know both eyes could twitch.
(After leaving home, Beary travels on a bus to visit Country Bear Hall, the former concert home of the band, learning that it's being threatened with destruction)
NC (vo): You may think I referenced the lack of emotion in this film as a bad thing, but to the film's credit, it knows not to waste time on stuff like this. It's aware that a lot of people watching are simply tuning in to see how goddamn crazy it gets. (The film's villain, Reed Thimple, is shown meeting with the band's former manager, Henry Dixen Taylor) And, brother, they deliver on that fast! Enter Christopher Walken as Reed Thimple, an evil businessman who wants to tear down Bear Hall.
NC: And I swear to God, I have never seen Christopher Walken act so serious.
NC (vo): He actually seems more comfortable acting with animatronic bears than he does real people.
Reed Thimple: Six years? $20,000. Must be tough. Do you like the sound of crunching wood? I do.
NC: I'm sorry. He brings his A-game to this!
NC (vo): He knows exactly what to give, how to give it, and how to make it funny.
Thimple: 25 cents? (Brings out a 100 dollar bill) You have change for a hundred?
Henry Dixen Taylor: I thought you weren't coming back until you could tear the place down.
Thimple: That's a whole four days away, Henry. (Beary puts a coin into a jar that keeps money to save Bear Hall) Oh, like that's gonna help. (Laughs as he walks away)
NC: Honestly, I wouldn't be surprised if the whole movie came out of his head.
(The photo of Christopher Walken is shown in front of a tape recorder, as we hear the audio of reenacted conversation between Walken and the studio executive)
Walken (Rob): I want bears.
Executive: You mean like...Hannah goes to the zoo, or...
Walken: Half the cast should be bears.
Executive: Well, I don't think that matches Hannah Montana...
Walken: Buddy, I'm not budging on the bear thing.
Executive: Well, your contract says...
Walken: My contract says I own Disney now.
(We hear the sound of papers rustling)
Executive: My God, it does! How did that happen?
Walken: I have ways. And you'll notice you won't get control back until the bear movie is made with me in it.
Executive: Well, I guess we have no choice in the matter.
Walken: Singing bears.
Walken: (whispers) With hats. I like hats.
(Back at the Barringtons' home, the Barringtons have called on the help of two police officers named Officer Cheets and Officer Hamm to find Beary)
NC (vo): Meanwhile, Beary's family calls the police to see if they can find him.
Mrs. Barrington: (carrying a tray of various cookies and a chocolate cake, and placing them down on the table) I thought you officers might enjoy a little nibble of something. (The cops sit still, silently, until a tearful Mrs. Barrington yells) Please help yourself!
(The cops immediately partake in eating the cookies. NC shrugs)
NC: What do I even say sometimes?
NC (vo): It's so odd and random, you feel like you have no choice but to laugh, like being cornered by Steven Seagal in clown makeup. (An image of Steven Seagal is shown with Photoshopped clown makeup) You laugh out loud because you feel like there's no other option!
(The cops look at Beary's pictures and smile while Mrs. Barrington continues crying)
Officer Hamm: Cutie pie.
(Back at Country Bear Hall, Beary is talking with Henry as they look around the hall)
NC (vo): Meanwhile, Beary sees Bear Hall is about to be closed down... (The closing sign is shown to have the word "Destroy" written in red) ...oh, I mean, destroyed, in big cartoony letters...as he looks over with the owner of the place how great it used to be.
Henry: Jimi Hendrix opened here for Vanilla Fudge, but nobody, but nobody was like the Country Bears. People sitting everywhere, even up in the rafters.
NC: (as Henry) Now it's all Splash Mountain dubstep and tea cup rappers. (Two Photoshopped images of a DJ next to Splash Mountain and a rapper next to Alice's Tea Party ride are shown)
Beary: I belong here, helping you save this place.
Beary: And we can do it with a concert to raise the money. We can get the band back together!
NC: (as Henry) That's just insane. You know half of them joined the Rock-afire Explosion.
(A Photoshopped image of two Country Bears next to the Rock-afire Explosion band is shown with a guitar riff heard)
Henry: That's the stupidest thing!
NC (vo): But Bearhorn Leghorn can't help but remember the good old days.
(Henry imagines the Country Bears performing in a hall to a big crowd)
(Henry reveals to Beary his new decision)
Henry: If we're gonna get the band back together, we're gonna need some transportation.
NC (vo): He then agrees to get the band back together... (Imitating one of the Blues Brothers) We're on a mission from Fozz. (A Photoshopped image of God with Fozzie Bear's head is shown) ...as they pull their old touring bus out of storage.
(The old touring bus is pulled out of the garage. The band's roadie, named Roadie, steps out of the bus)
NC (vo; as Roadie): I've been sleeping in there for years! Who's president? (as Henry) Donald Trump. (as Roadie) No, really! Who's president?!
(Beary and Henry travel on the road on the bus, which is shown through fast-forwarding shots)
NC (vo): The movie senses parents want to get home, so it fast-forwards to get the bears to their destination faster.
(The first member that is shown is Fred Bedderhead, who is working as a security guard on the set of a music video. The singer, Krystal, approaches Fred)
Krystal: Excuse me.
Fred Bedderhead: Sorry. Gotta be part of the video shoot.
Krystal: I kind of am the video shoot.
NC: Wow! They got... (Looks at his cell phone to see the IMDB page for Krystal Harris) ...Krystal Harris! (Looks at the page again) Singer!
Krystal: You're Fred Bedderhead? Fred from the Country Bears?
NC (vo; as Fred, imitating Nicolas Cage): Actually, I'm Nicolas Cage in a bear suit, looking for women to punch. I'm in a 12 step program to get over it.
(Fred starts playing a song on his harmonica as Krystal dances)
NC (vo): Speaking of banding together to get through something, this musical moment starts.
(Krystal Harris performs “The Kid In You” in a music video-like sequence, with several dancers and musicians performing and Fred still playing on his harmonica)
NC: Fun fact: They had to do 50 retakes because all the people with instruments kept pissing their pants with laughter trying to keep a straight face around Earl St. Clair covered in hairy mold. But seeing the final product, you wouldn’t think that. (quick beat) You would know that.
(Krystal and Fred perform the song while in a rotating set)
NC: You know, people never tell you this is what...
(Footage from The Shining (1980) is shown)
NC (vo): ...Shelley Duvall continued to see in the bear scene from The Shining.
(The bear scene from that movie is shown, showing Wendy discovering a weird-looking bear in a room. The scene is extended with footage of Krystal and Fred's music video. Back to the film, showing Beary and Henry meeting with Fred)
NC (vo): They ask Fred to be in the band, but Fred wonders how they're gonna get people to the show.
Beary: Why don't you go to Rip Holland, Hen...?
Henry: Rip Holland? The guy who stole the band from me? Ha. Call Rip? Yeah.
(The film immediately cuts to Henry calling Rip Holland, who appears to be sitting in an office)
Rip Holland: Rip Holland.
Henry: Uh, Rip?
NC: (as Henry) I wanted to do one of those funny things, like, you ever watch F Troop, and Agarn's like, "There's no way I'm wearing that dress.", and Forest Tucker's like, "You're wearing that dress.", and Agarn is like, "No way, no how, there's no way I'm wearing that dress.", and then they went... (makes a silly sound with his tongue) ...and Agarn's wearing a dress.
(We immediately whip pan to a scene in F Troop, showing Corporal Randolph Agarn wearing a dress)
(Back to the film)
NC (vo): He asks Rip if he can set up a show at Bear Hall, and Rip's response is the same Jason Momoa's wife tells him every night.
Rip: Well, it's gonna be a squeeze, but I think with a little juggling, I can fit it in.
NC (vo): And as lame as that lead-in to him picking up the phone is, it is followed by a very funny joke.
Rip: (after hanging up) I am so back, baby!
(Suddenly, the camera cuts back to reveal that Rip is sitting in a display of an office in a department store. A clerk approaches him)
Clerk: Excuse me, sir. This is the last time I'm gonna tell you. You're gonna have to leave the store.
Rip: Yeah, right, like I need you.
NC: (laughs) You know...this movie can actually get a few genuine laughs out of me. (A knocking is heard, annoying NC) What?!
(Outside the room, Tamara has brought in Malcolm and Jim, who are dressed in scientist lab coats; Malcolm has a stethoscope and Jim is holding some paddles)
Malcolm: Critic, did we hear you laughing at Country Bears?
NC: (sighs) Yes, I laughed at Country Bears!
Tamara: (slightly tearful) You see? He's mad. (Suddenly shrieks) MAD!!
Malcolm: Critic, you're not well. You need medical attention immediately.
NC: Oh, piss off!
Jim: Oh, come on, Critic. We have some sort of shocky thing for you.
NC: What does it do?
Jim: I don't know. Shocky stu-- (Accidentally puts the two paddles together, causing a tiny explosion)
NC: No, screw you, guys! I'm gonna like whatever I like in this, and none of you can stop me!
Malcolm: (menacingly) Oh, no?
(The camera moves closer to Malcolm's menacing look for a few moments, until...)
Jim: (immediately accepting) Well, he's got us.
Malcolm: Let's get out of here.
Tamara: Wait, wait, wait! Hold on a second. I can't let you leave when there's a man watching Country Bears in there. This calls for drastic action! (She begins walking away. Malcolm and Jim, curious, follow after her, until the camera moves right to reveal Tamara's standing in a nearby part of the hallway) Oh, yeah, no. I didn't have anything. I was just walking away to think.
(Not thinking of anything else to do, Tamara, Malcolm and Jim begin walking away. We go back to the movie, showing Beary, Henry and Fred continuing their journey)
NC (vo): So the Bears try to get everyone together to do the show by Saturday...boy, somebody hired Billy McFarland to plan this...as Beary looks over their past competitions and notices one of the acts that lost.
(Beary looks at a past talent contest the Bears competed in his scrapbook and notices one competitor named Benny Bogswaggle, whose talent is arm-farting the "1812 Overture")
Henry: He was a bad loser.
(Upon losing to the Country Bears, Benny throws an instrument and a chair at the Country Bears in rage)
NC (vo; as Benny): First, I lose to Jabberjaw and the Neptunes, now this?! GO BACK TO BEAR COUNTRY!
(We cut to Thimple speaking with Big Al at Bear Hall)
NC (vo): Meanwhile, Walken comes back to be the most committed he's ever been since Deer Hunter.
Big Al: Rip Holland will promote it.
Thimple: Rip Holland?
Big Al: Uh, come here.
(Thimple moves closer to listen to Big Al)
Big Al: You see...
NC: Look at that reaction.
(The face Thimple makes while listening to Big Al is shown)
NC (vo): You know, it's like it finally hit him. (as Walken) My God. Bears. Don't let them catch on that you figured it out.
Thimple: (whispers) Rip Holland?
NC: I still, for the life of me, don't know what he said there.
Thimple: (whispers) Rip Holland?
NC: You could replace it with a duck quacking and make as much sense.
(Thimple is dubbed over with sounds of a duck quacking. The group arrives at their next stop, the Swarmin' Hive Honey Club, to find the band's fiddler, Zeb Zoober)
NC (vo): The Bears go to the Swarmin' Hive Honey Club, where, you guessed it, they only serve honey, and it's weirdly populated by both bears and people.
NC: I just assumed this is euthanasia for diabetics.
(The Bears approach the bar's owner)
Henry: Excuse me, Miss.
(The bar's owner, Cha-Cha, played by Queen Latifah, turns to look at them)
NC (vo; as Queen Latifah; singing): When you're good to Mama Bear, Mama Bear's good to you. (Speaks normally) They go to pick up a member of the band named Zeb, but it turns out he owes money to Queen Bee Latifah here. Oh, I do hope this can be solved with annoying music.
(Cha-Cha goes up on stage)
Cha-Cha: Zeb Zoober owes me a whole heap of money. Well, his little friend there has proposed a wager: My house band vs. Zeb's fiddle, a little musical duel.
NC: I think the bar's accountant is shitting himself, but continue.
Cha-Cha: If he wins, he owes me nothing. But if he loses, I get to keep the Country Bear tour bus.
NC: As a reward or punishment?
(Zeb competes in a playoff with the bar's house band, led by Brian Setzer)
NC (vo): So I guess it's a...country rap battle of sorts, as the two musicians dish out insults.
Brian Setzer: (singing) I'm hereby challenging you to a duel / 'Tween my guitar and your fiddle. You fuzzy fool!
(A brief clip of a cheering crowd from 8 Mile is shown. Zeb and Setzer each play different competing solos on their fiddle and guitar, respectively)
NC: Uh, might I recommend not pissing off the bear?
NC (vo): I mean, he is still...a bear. I feel like any second, this is gonna end with...
(We see an outside shot of the bar. We hear various sounds of a bear growling and someone being smashed against the window, resulting in it being stained by blood. Back to the film, where Zeb wins the duel, as Setzer congratulates him)
NC (vo): But Zeb ends up winning, though I'm not entirely sure who judged... (We see Thimple relaxing in his office) ...and we cut to Christopher Walken in his office. Fun fact: this is what he does 10 minutes before every shoot.
(Thimple starts dancing to country music around the room, wearing only his shirt, his underwear, and bunny slippers. NC acts as a director, holding a film script in a folder)
NC: Uh, Mr. Walken, you were supposed to just say a line into the phone. What's with the...
(Thimple takes out a model of Bear Hall and puts it on the table)
NC (vo): ...missing pants, bunny slippers, and...?
(Thimple brings out a remote and presses a button, causing a large anvil to fall out and crush the model of Bear Hall)
NC: (stunned) Is that an anvil? Did you bring an anvil to this?
Thimple: (sarcastically shocked) Oh, no! Country Bear Hall has been crushed!
(He brings out another Bear Hall model and puts it on the table)
NC: A-are you doing that again? Are you really doing that all again?
(Thimple is shown pressing the remote and causing the anvil to crush dozens of models of Bear Hall. Each time, Thimple reacts in a sarcastic shocked manner; this moment is repeated several times)
Thimple: Oh, no! (Crush!) Oh, no! (Crush!) Oh, no!
NC: (putting the folder down) You know what? Just roll. I'm sure we can use it for something.
Thimple: (after crushing another model) Oh, no! (Crush!) Oh, no! (Crush!) Oh, no!
NC: Doing great, Chris. Doing great.
Thimple: (after crushing another model) Oh, no!
NC: The stories were true. (poster of...) Balls of Fury was supposed to be a drama.
Thimple: Country Bear Hall has been crushed!
(We go back to the Bears continuing their journey)
NC (vo): The Bears go to pick up another member named Tennessee, who's become an emotionally-unbalanced marriage councilor. And, yes, that is as hauntingly surreal as it sounds.
(Tennessee O'Neal is shown interviewing a couple)
Husband: I mean, what do you think?
Tennessee O'Neal: What do I think? I think you two are so dang lucky to have each other.
(NC is stunned silent. He slowly puts his hand onto his face)
NC: How...can nobody laugh at this? It is just...so unjustifiably insane.
NC (vo): It gets even stranger when he has a mental breakdown over his lost love, who he still keeps pictures of. This is just so uncomfortably cuckoo.
Tennessee: (bursts into tears) Not like me! Not like me and Trixie! (Bangs the table, causing the framed pictures of Trixie to fall down) I lost her! Trixie!
(He continues crying. NC breaks down laughing. Looking awkward, the couple leaves the room)
NC: (still laughing) What can I even say to such madness?
(Suddenly, Malcolm, Tamara and Jim come into the room)
Malcolm: You can call it exactly that: Madness!
NC: What are you guys doing in here?
Tamara: It took us a long time to lock pick through the door.
NC: It was unlocked.
Tamara: Regardless, we are gonna take you away from anguish, away from despair, away from Country Bears!
Malcolm: Shocky thing ready?
Jim: (smiling crazily and putting his paddles together) Shock, shock, shock!
(NC sighs and stands up)
NC: Okay, look. I enjoy the film, ironically, the same way I would enjoy The Room or Birdemic.
Malcolm: Then you acknowledge there's nothing legitimately funny in this. Not one laugh was for the intended purpose, not one giggle was because of good timing, not one bit of enjoyment indicated that the filmmakers knew what they were doing.
(NC silently realizes the trio intends to do harm to him for legitimately liking anything about this film, so he quickly makes up a plan)
NC: Look, I'm getting away.
Tamara: Stop him! (The trio run out of the room. NC quickly closes the door and locks it. The trio realize they've been tricked and knock on the door) Critic! You know that this is wrong!
NC: (slightly tearful) I know! I just...I gotta figure this out!
Jim: Critic, there's only one way to figure this out: Patience, love, and shocky things!
NC: Just leave me alone! I gotta go through this myself!
Tamara: CRITIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII... (takes a deep breath) ...IIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIC!!!!
(We go to a commercial, with Tamara's scream still being heard, and the title repeating as Tamara calms down three times. After returning, we go to the Bears at the Johnie's cafe)
NC (vo): So they add Tennessee to the group and make their way to a nearby restaurant.
(A waitress, played by Jennifer Paige, comes up to the Bears)
Waitress: Oh, my gosh. You're the Country Bears.
NC (vo; as Tennessee): What gave it away?
Waitress: None taken. I'm still working on it.
NC: If you're wondering why this waitress can't act, by the way, it's because it's Jennifer Paige.
NC (vo): Far better at singing convincingly than speaking convincingly.
Waitress: Oh, my gosh. You're the Country Bears.
NC: (as a waitress, monotone) I'm sorry, I didn't mean to raise my voice like that.
Waitress: You guys inspired me to go after my dream to become a famous singer.
Fred: Did you make it?
NC: (as a waitress) Well, I'm in this movie, so...nope.
NC (vo): She gets a chance to show off her singing chops, and while the musical segments in this aren't awful, they are pretty boring. I feel like the funny awkwardness of this movie comes from how seriously the Bears are taken. But in musical numbers, it's kind of expected you're supposed to act a little silly, so it's not quite as much fun. Though, I suppose it is a little humorous, if you really analyze it.
(The waitress starts singing as the chef of the kitchen takes out a guitar and starts playing)
Waitress: (singing) ...clutch is gone...
NC (vo; as a chef): I always bring my guitar to the kitchen.
(Three old ladies begin playing saxophones)
NC (vo; as the ladies): We thought they were our pills. We're really old.
(The number continues as the customers move the four tables around the cafe)
Waitress: (singing) Sometimes you just got to kick it into gear.
NC (vo): And this is when the manager comes in, like...
NC: (as the manager, pointing) Fired. Fired. Fired. Fired. Fired. Fired. (takes out a shotgun) Animal hazard. (shoots)
(The Bears then see a news bulletin on television, where it's announced that they have "kidnapped" Beary)
NC (vo): But on the news, they notice...get this...a very weird newscaster.
Newscaster: This man is involved in the abduction of this 10-year-old boy. In this bus. (The Bears gasp) We'll keep you updated on...Bus Watch!
NC: (shakes head) I wish I could live my life with the same excitement he uses to say "Bus Watch".
Newscaster: Bus Watch!
NC: (leans in) Actually, that guy looks familiar... Oh, of course!
(Cut to a 2017 YouTube video featuring Paul Rugg petting his dog)
NC (vo): He's the dude with the viral dog!
NC: (grinning) He should really do cartoons.
(Officers Cheets and Hamm chase after the Bears' bus)
NC (vo): But the Gravity Falls cops show up and chase them down. The chase itself isn't anything special, but I am loving more and more how they randomly put bears in the background. (Zoom in on a man and a bear walking out of the car and seeing the chase, followed by various background bears alongside people) Like they really want to do some universe-building where bears get employment, they need to pay the bills, they have lives to live! The more I see that, the more I start laughing. It's such a peculiar detail!
(The bus goes through a car wash, as well as the officers' police car)
NC (vo): They lose them in the car wash, and, again, just the weird acting from these two makes this already odd scene even odder.
Hamm: We're in it. Where'd they go?
Cheets: I don't know. I can't see them. (takes off glasses) I can't see anything. Can you see anything?
Hamm: No, I can't.
NC: (as Hamm) We're watching a movie! Do you see that? (as Cheets) We're watching a movie! Do you see that?
(NC speaks as both of them overlapping each other saying this phrase. Cheets looks out the window and is dragged inside the wash, even losing his mustache)
NC (vo): One of them loses his fake mustache...which is never addressed as to why he wore it...and as a visual gag, this gets a bit of a chuckle out of me.
(Cheets and Hamm walk out of the car wash. Hamm is shown with a huge afro haircut)
Cheets: (chuckling) Your hair looks ridiculous. (turns his head to Hamm, revealing that all his hair is frozen behind him)
NC: Though he does kind of look like a Medusa Head from Castlevania.
(The gameplay of the NES game Castlevania is shown, with the Medusa Head replaced by long-haired Cheets' head. Back to the film, the Bears stop at a motel and see that Trixie St. Claire, Tennessee's ex-girlfriend, is working here as a singer)
NC (vo): The Bears stay at a hotel and discover Tennessee's old girlfriend is singing there. So they go to... (Trixie is wearing...nothing but a purple fur coat) Whoa! Button your shirt, lady! There's children present! (as Trixie) I just want to show my bear necessities.
(Cut to a photo of Ed McMahon)
Ed McMahon: Hiyoooooooo!
NC (vo): ...somewhere in this bar.
NC: Let's see if we can figure out where he is.
Trixie: This next song was written by an old friend of mine. In a band called "The Country Bears".
(A long-haired patron (who is played by Harnell) suddenly speaks)
Patron: Whoo-hoo! Bears rock!
(NC is covering his face with two hands)
NC: This movie's amazing. (puts hands on the table, smiling)
(Tennessee and Trixie reunite by singing "Can Love Stand the Test" on the stage as a duet)
NC (vo): Even this musical number, which I just said before I don't really get into in this film, is freaking hilarious because they play it so straight! If somebody told you this was a Spike Jonze music video, you'd call it genius!
Tennesse and Trixie: (singing) Can love stand the test of time that surrounds us?
NC: I especially love this one woman...
(Zoom in to a female cymbalist playing in Trixie's band)
NC (vo): ...who just looks like she's in Hell. All the other extras are trying to get into it, but she is just having none of this shit. Every motion she has is like...
NC: (as a cymbalist, with clenched teeth) Kill me, kill me, kill me, kill me, kill me...
(Bonnie Raitt and Don Henley are also shown in a bar, listening to Tennessee and Trixie)
NC (vo): Fun fact, by the way. That's Bonnie Raitt and Don Henley, the actual singers of this song being sung right now. And they seem way too okay for their voices to be coming out of Yogi and Cindy Bear.
(Everybody, including Raitt and Henley, applauds)
Bonnie Raitt: They're great. They were always great.
Don Henley: Better than the Eagles.
NC: Yeah, except in this universe, they're literally eagles. (The cover for the Eagles album "Greatest Hits" is shown, with the band members replaced by pictures of eagles)
(The Bears head out to find Ted Bedderhead, thinking that now he's very wealthy, and approach the mansion)
NC (vo): They go to pick up the last member of the band, but accidentally get the wrong house. Which country music cameo did you blackmail this time? (The person working in the garden is...) Elton John?
NC: (confused) That...country music icon?
Elton John: Can I help you?
(After learning where Ted is, the Bears go back in the bus)
Zeb: That guy looks a lot like Elton John.
Fred: Nah, Elton John's taller.
NC (vo; as Elton John): Oh, I need to pick my movies better. I'm sure things will improve when I go to Kingsman 2.
(Ted is shown at a local country club, working at the wedding. His brother approaches him, to Ted's dismay)
NC (vo): They go to a wedding where the final member seems to be schmoozing with the rich, but they later find out he's just the wedding singer. Nevertheless, he still doesn't want to play with them.
Ted: I'm not goin'.
Fred: You're family. (Suddenly makes an angry expression) And you're goin'!
(Fred punches Ted in the face, knocking him down on the stage)
NC: (abashed) That was surprisingly gruesome!
NC (vo): They're so happy-go-lucky most of the time. It's so weird to see one of them give bear punch to the ground!
NC: You could see that as a crime photo in a newspaper!
(The "Daily News" paper is shown with an edited headline "Bear Dead at Wed" and a shot of knocked-out Ted. The Bears go in the meadow and try to explain the situation to Beary. Zeb claims Ted to be the reason for the band's disestablishment, but Ted says that he held them together and that no one was grateful, as the other members were all busy letting their personalities and habits get in the way)
NC (vo): The Bears get into an argument about why the band broke up to begin with, and Beary...I guess, just now realizes he should go back home, resulting in this beautifully, awkwardly staged moment.
Beary: (after being asked who told him the true meaning of family) My dad.
(In silence, Beary looks at the Bears for some seconds and runs away)
NC: (snickers) Okay. So, I really have to give credit to the animatronics and the puppeteering in this. (makes "a-okay" gestures with both hands) It really is first-rate.
NC (vo): It's amazing the range of expression and movement these costumes emote. It's very well done.
NC: But...this is the one scene where everybody looks completely lost!
NC (vo): The people inside, the puppeteers operating the faces, the cinematographer, nobody looks like they know what they're supposed to be doing right now!
NC: That was, like, visual dead air! You can practically hear the people inside the suits talking!
(The scene is shown again)
Beary: My dad.
NC (vo; as the puppeteer): Um...line? Line? (as all the crew) Do I have a line? / Of course you have a line! / You're ruining the take! You're ruin...just shut up! Shut up! You're ruining the take! / Oh, God, he's gonna run off this way. Film it if you want!
(Beary returns home, welcomed by Mrs. Barrington, and goes back to his room. Later, Dex comes in, saying that Beary has got a visitor. The visitor is Ted, who says Beary left his backpack in the bus, and the Bears have read Beary's school essay about them and feel awful for their arguments)
NC (vo): So Beary goes home. Kind of out of nowhere, but again, emotional arcs aren't really this film's focus. What is the film's focus is working on even stranger questions. Like... (Zoom in to the Nine Inch Nails poster hanging on the wall in Beary's room) Beary listens to Nine Inch Nails? (Laughs) What?!
NC: Not only does this not match the music he listens to, not only does it not tie into the kind of character he is...though, God forbid, that'd be really cool, and hilarious...
(We're briefly shown the photo of a crowd at a rock band concert, with Beary's face Photoshopped on one of the people)
NC: ...but now, we have to acknowledge that Disney officially has Nine Inch Nails...
NC (vo): ...in one of their properties! And it's the friggin' Country Bears!
NC: There is no category for this kind of bonkers!
(Ted patches things up with Beary and decides to do the concert. They go outside along with Beary's family, only to find Roadie, who reveals that Reed Thimple has kidnapped the rest of the Bears)
NC (vo): Despite Beary reconnecting with his adoptive family, and his new family, it looks like Walken has kidnapped the other Bears, as shown by this WTF edit.
Roadie: It was that Thimple feller!
(We are shown in a fast-forward scene Thimple driving the Country Bears' bus through a street, as Thimple is heard laughing)
NC: (facepalmed) Oh, my God! I have no idea what this movie is doing, but God help me, it's making me laugh! (A knocking is heard) IT'S MAKING ME LAUGH!
(Thimple takes the Country Bears to an abandoned warehouse, where he begins to imprison them in a cage)
NC (vo): Walken puts them all in a cage, with, of course, a touch of his natural...Walken-ing...
Thimple: Move it. Come on, what are you waiting for?
Henry: Thimple, I'm definitely changing banks.
Thimple: Oh, pooh.
NC: Never die, Chris. Never die.
(Beary and his family attempt to go and save the Bears, struggling to get Ted in their car)
NC (vo): ...as the family tries to go and save them, but can't fit the bear into the car. Well, what the hell were they gonna do when Beary got older?
(The family drives off, with Ted sitting in a speedboat connected to the back of the car)
NC (vo; as Ted): This better not be used for a screwball situation and/or wacky climax!
(Back at the warehouse, Thimple confronts the Bears)
Thimple: You ruined my life!
NC (vo): Walken finally reveals who he is: The kid who lost years ago in the talent show. A weird and rather weak twist, but let's be honest, this was just an excuse to get Christopher Walken to do this.
(Thimple reveals his identity as Benny Boggswaggle to the Bears by again armpit-farting the "1812 Overture")
NC: You didn't have to write a whole movie to get him to do that. Just, like...ask him what the definition of "car" is and he'll just do that!
(Thimple menacingly approaches the scared Bears)
Thimple: Ever since that day, I've been plotting my revenge.
NC (vo): I love the fact that there's five grown bears, all bigger than Walken, yet none of them want to take him on, because let's be honest, even an MMA fighter wouldn't want to go up against Walken this crazy.
(Thimple laughs and leaves. Beary, Ted and the family arrive at the warehouse and stop the car very fast, causing the speedboat with Ted on it to unhook from the car and be sent flying towards the warehouse and straight onto the cage of the door, destroying it and freeing the Bears)
NC (vo): The rest of the family, of course, shows up, and can you imagine being the team setting this stunt up, risking their lives so that this crazy-shit climax can be filmed?
NC: What if something went wrong? What if a stuntman died? He would've taken his last breath in a...
NC (vo): ...bear suit filming the exciting conclusion of The Country Bears Movie. That would be on his tombstone!
NC: Stunt people should get Oscars. GET ON IT!
(Beary, his family, and the Country Bears arrive at Bear Hall, only to find Thimple is already there, and has already paid Rip Holland to not promote the show)
NC (vo): They make it to Country Bear Hall, but it looks like no one showed up because their agent made a deal with Walken and didn't promote them.
Rip: Oh, Reed...
Thimple: (stammers sarcastically) Wha...? I...it's...not me.
NC: And just look at this face Walken makes. Even for him, this is channeling a different galaxy.
(As Rip speaks to the Bears, Thimple makes a weird expression that looks like he's trying to act being surprised that the Bears are here)
Rip: Hey, guys! Long time! Looking good! Henry, are you working out?
NC: It's like he's relieving a past life of an orangutan.
(Thimple's expression is shown again with noises of an orangutan made by Doug being heard. Big Al comes in and reveals, however, that he already has a large crowd waiting in the back of the building, and opens the doors, allowing the large crowd to come in, much to Thimple's dismay)
NC (vo): But they find out Big Al advertised the show himself and all the people were waiting in the back. This, of course, leads to the line that brought a torn nation together.
Thimple: (while being dragged out of the building by the crowd) This is not over! BEARS!
NC: (sighs in relief) Oh, every time he says that line, a nest of pixies is born.
(The Country Bears perform for the first time in years, with Beary as a new member)
NC (vo): They, of course, play to the crowd, even let Beary rock his guitar, and everyone is super-excited. (Beat) Except this guy. (An arrow points to one audience member having a deadpan expression on his face) He...he's just not into it.
(As Beary performs his guitar solo, the bar patron from earlier, who's in the audience, speaks with a happy Dex)
Patron: Who's that little bear?
Dex: Oh, that's no little bear. That's my brother!
NC (vo; as the patron): Well, I'm Captain Hero! (as Dex) Yeah, well, I'm Hogarth! (as the patron) Goddamn it! That's slightly cooler!
(The Country Bears finish their performance, with Beary letting out an excited yell)
NC: (confused) I think that's the sound Haley Joel Osment made when he found out what movie he was recording for.
(The scene repeats)
Henry: The Country Bears!
NC (vo): Well, at least they're still better than Maroon 5.
(The movie ends)
NC: And that was The Country Bears. In all honest-to-God seriousness...I kinda had a fun time with it!
(Suddenly, an explosion is heard as Tamara, Malcolm and Jim appear in NC's room again)
Tamara: Ha-ha! We used our shocky thing to get in.
NC: Still unlocked.
Tamara: Seize him!
(Malcolm and Jim charge at NC, yelling. NC gets up and tries to slip out, but Malcolm and Jim tackle him on the floor)
Malcolm: This is what we do to people who like The Country Bears.
Jim: Is it?
Malcolm: I don't know. No one's ever admitted to liking it before.
(Jim prepares to use the defibrillators on NC)
NC: Wait! Can I, like, explain myself?
Malcolm: I guess, but we're still gonna shock your testicles occasionally for good measure. (Tamara smiles)
NC: Yeah, that's fair.
(The clips from the movie are shown again as NC goes to...or, at least, tries to list his closing thoughts)
NC (vo): Country Bears... (Shock!) OOOOWWW!! ...is not an especially well-written movie, and you could argue does even less with the idea than the already small amount that was presented. Occasionally... (Shock!) OOOOWWW!! ...there's a joke that works, but for the most part, it's relatively dated humor. Where it does succeed is in how random, strange and unbalanced it is. For most films... (Shock!) OOOOWWW!! ...being unbalanced is a bad thing, but for this, the tone is so inconsistent that you have no idea if they're gonna go for a laugh or a serious moment. And whichever they choose, it's always hilariously bizarre. It feels like they're just trying anything: any weird performance, any odd line, any freaking kooky way of shooting a scene. And that, surprisingly, makes it a lot of fun to watch. I have... (Shock!) OOOOWWW!! ...no idea what the comedic intent of this movie was. Maybe it was all meant to be laughed at, or maybe it wasn't. But I can say I smiled throughout the whole thing, because the humor isn't in the intentional jokes in the foreground, but rather the unintentional jokes in the background. The extras, the crazy line reads, the constant questioning of how and why things are happening. If you go into this movie constantly asking "why" to everything, any answer you come up with will be hilarious. It's like a Zen joke. It just asks you the right questions, and you fill in the answers to get the humor. So, yeah. I... (Shock!) OOOOWWW!! ...weirdly recommend it. I'm kind of hoping it becomes one of those movies that people look back on and say, "What the hell were they thinking?", but kind of in a loving way, a way that appreciates the energy, the spontaneity, the strangeness, and all-around fun. I'm not entirely sure what this movie was aiming for, but it entertained me and made me laugh. And for a freaking Country Bears movie to do that, no matter what the intent, that is quite... (Shock!) OOOOWWW!! ...an accomplishment.
Malcolm: Hmm. I guess it does make a little more sense when he puts it like that.
NC: (in a low, exhausted voice) My balls don't thank you for your understanding.
Jim: Yeah, I guess we can let this one go.
Tamara: (startled and annoyed) What? Are you insane?! Next, he'll be saying that he likes The NeverEnding Story.
(Malcolm and Jim become stunned upon hearing what Tamara said)
Jim: Wait. You didn't like The NeverEnding Story?
(NC looks on in confusion as Malcolm and Jim slowly approach the nervous Tamara, who realizes she slipped up)
Tamara: Oh, come on. It's long and...drawn-out and boring, and I'm gonna go this way now.
(She tries to open the door as Malcolm and Jim begin to pursue her now)
NC: (to the camera) I'm the Nostalgia Critic, and there are some stranger things than liking the Country Bears movie.
Tamara: (offscreen, sounding scared) Ohh, let me just figure out how to get this unlocked! (Shock!) WHOA!!
NC: (frowns) Though not many.
Channel Awesome tagline - Thimple: Oh, no! Country Bear Hall has been crushed!
(The credits roll)