Here’s something they don’t teach you in children’s books: Your favorite characters will one day give you nightmares. Well, assuming they make it to the big screen. The newest victims: “The Berenstain Bears,” a children’s series written by Stan and Jan Berenstain. The popular books — which for decades entertained kids with the adventures of Papa Bear, Mama Bear, Brother Bear, Sister Bear and Honey Bear — are hitting movie theaters, sources recently reported. Shawn Levy, the guy who directed the “Night at the Museum” movies, is slated to produce the project.
This isn’t the first time the family-friendly bears have moved beyond their pages.
They’ve been animated for cartoons, and they’ve even starred in video games.
(Don’t ask how “Extreme Sports with the Berenstain Bears” went over.)
But the scariest thing about the bears’ newest incarnation — at least for a girl who still trembles at the mention of the live-action version of “Alvin and the Chipmunks” — is that it will reportedly involve a mix of live action and computer-generated characters.
In an ideal world, the end result will be a sweet, simple film that reintroduces fans to their favorite children’s series.
In a more likely universe, the end result will involve Brother Bear dancing to Soulja Boy and hanging with Freddie Prinze Jr.
The film is still in its early stages. So I’ll use this opportunity to remind movie makers to use the adaptation to convey the series’ original values, no matter how antiquated they may seem.
You know, stuff like respecting your parents, conquering your fears and holding your ground when Hollywood wants to introduce you to some fun human friends.