Bear Hello

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Bear Hello depicts a dystopian society where bear worship figures into a maze of powerful and dangerous figures. The exact nature of the "bear" in Bear Hello is not made clear to us, but neither is it understood by its protagonist (referred to hereafter as P), who accepts on faith the bearness of the vaguely bear-shaped character B1 and the revolutionary character B2.


Scene One

The scene opens with P, eyes spinning, looking at a red swirling object. Throughout this scene, P's monologue is interrupted by flashes of red with a monotone "ding".

P: A portal what is a portal doing in here

P is voiced by a young boy, setting the stage for a character unfamiliar with the world. The "portal" is something he can recognize by sight, but he does not know what exactly it does. He does know that it does not belong in this location-- why not? Because he is not supposed to be able to touch portals? Are they normally off limits to him, or is this merely an unusual place for the common portal to be? He reaches out to touch it, curiosity overcoming his nervousness, but he is electrocuted by the portal and thrown against the opposite wall. Either this portal does not react in the way portals normally do (this hypothesis goes out on a limb since he seems to extend his hand too gingerly for that) or he has never encountered a portal before in a context where he can touch it.

P: Ouch! (not subtitled)

The force of the shock, and pain of P's interjection, establishes the character of the unusually cruel bear before either the bear himself or his concept are introduced.

P: Why would a bear say such a horrible thing?

P seems to receive an auditory message from the bear by touching the portal. In fact, upon a second viewing of this movie one might infer that P touching the portal takes him into an entirely different scene, not shown, where he meets a bear who says a horrible thing. The phrase "a bear" is highlighted in yellow. Note that "portal" was also highlighted in yellow, establishing the metaphysical connection between bears and portals. P is apparently surprised at the cruelty that bears have inflicted on him. Are bears assumed in his society to be benevolent and peaceful rulers? This goes against the actual bear characters whom we will soon meet.

Comment by M. Bowes: Note, since the three scenes are disconnected, scene 2 could actually take place in that instant of portal-touching in scene 1. In that case, it would make sense that "furthermore I find your face to be quite offensive" could be the "horrible thing" that P speaks of.

The portal extends some red lines from its center which diverge and aim generally towards P; he cowers in fear and covers his head with his arm, apparently familiar with previous dangerous lines The portal tears P's body apart. The audience may assume this is the end of the movie; however, after the image of traveling through a portal accompanied by many red flashes, in the next scene we see a similar-looking character whom we may assume is also P.

Scene Two

P is lying on a ledge. A single red beep interrupts the zoom-in. B1 sharpens his fangs, then appears out of nowhere next to P. P is clearly frightened.


B1 introduces himself in a bear-like voice, establishing his authority as a bear. P rubs his eyes in astonishment at seeing a bear in person. An interesting point in the reading of this line is the phrase "bear hello". The title of this movie, "Bear Hello", suggests that a "bear hello" is a sort of greeting issued by a bear, perhaps the sudden popping into existence that we see in the animation. However, in the line as read by B1 says "This is a bear, hello!" which seems like an overly polite greeting for a bear.


B1 reintroduces himself as a bear. A unique shadow appears below his figure, establishing his weight on the scene. Apparently it is not immediately evident that B1 is a bear, or perhaps this restatement is used for humorous effect. Note that "BEAR POWERS" is highlighted the same as "BEAR". These are both "power words" which P must be lucky to encounter in person.

P: Can I have BEAR POWERS?

P demonstrates that he does not fully understand the concept of BEAR POWERS, vaguely knowing that they are something good but not knowing whether they are for bears only or if they can be delegated to non-bears as well. B1 and P obviously mutually understand that P is not a bear. But is that assumption accurate? He might be a bear himself and simply not know it. This larger issue goes unresolved during this movie.


B1 once again asserts himself to be a bear. He appears to find P insolent, as there is a close-up of his eyes showing the increase in his anger; perhaps if the scene were not interrupted by B2, B1 would have used his BEAR POWERS on P, but in fact there is no evidence during the course of this movie that B1 is actually a bear. We are made to believe B1 is a bear due to his bear-like appearance and voice, but just a few seconds later his bearness is questioned.

Comment by K. Katz: The redaction of the word "You" from the subscript "No, Fool, only a bear may have bear powers." revises an ad hominem attack to a universal condemnation of all things non-ursine.

B2: HALT, FIEND! You are NOT a bear. I am a BEAR!!

B2 arrives on the scene dressed in the cape of a hero, questioning B1's authority as a bear. B2 seems to be a sort of revolutionary figure, ready to overthrow B1 and restore justice to the world of P. His face, probably out of mere weirdness unrelated to anything else (at least it appears unrelated to this commentator), is simply a row of teeth.

Comment by A. Nellis: I had always assumed that B2 was simply a more aggressive P.

Is B2 really saying that B1 is not a bear? B1 certainly appears to be a bear. Perhaps B2's actual statement is that B1 is not acting in the manner a real bear ought to, and that B2 has more claim to the good name of "bear", although he may not look like a bear himself. This of course is the statement of every revolutionary. B1 appears to be angry at this comment, but B2's appearance is for entertainment purposes only, mocking the social construct he represents. He does not have any impact on P's opinion of B1, as P himself tries to explain later.

B2: Furthermore, I find [your FACE to be quite offensive]

B2's full line, ready to insult B1's personal appearance, is displayed on the screen but his voice suddenly become loud and repetitive noise, similar to the noise a computer program makes when it encounters an error and enters into a loop. His face is enveloped in red lines, which shoot out of his mouth directly at P. P is destroyed again.

Scene Three

P finds himself sitting in a room with a person with an upside-down face sitting on a chair with a high back, apparently a throne. Since the later removal of this person's organs makes P assert himself to be the Lizard Queen, we can tentatively guess that the person sitting on the chair is the current Queen, so he will be labeled LQ. He is voiced as if he were a madman.

P: Aa... AAH! (not subtitled)

P was simply standing up. Now he wakes up, surprised to find himself still alive and somewhere else entirely.

P: Wh- What's going on?
LQ: Hi!
P: Something weird is happening and I
LQ: Hi!

LQ simply ignores P.

P: And [there were BEARS involved!]

P is interrupted by LQ again, but the full line shows that he is clearly in awe of having met what he believes to be two bears (although one of the alleged bears denied the bearness of the other.)

LQ: OH, that's interesting.

LQ dismisses P's frankly unusual story with a bored quip, spoken in his normally quirky tone of voice. LQ may be a reflection of real people in the artist's own life.

A sudden red beep triggers an unexpected change in LQ's countenance.


LQ suddenly shows some actual emotion, but P is not sympathetic. If LQ had responded to P normally earlier P might have reacted in a more helpful way.


LQ suddenly breaks down in agony over "the medicine," apparently his own medicine which was improperly administered or not at all. The phrase is highlighted in yellow, indicating a possible connection to bears.

P removes his beating heart.

P: Now I am the LIZARD QUEEN.

P, delighted to finally be in a position of power, expresses his happiness. His eyes form into an ironic Western caricature of Japanese facial expressions. The emphasis is on the yellow phrase "LIZARD QUEEN" in the text but on "I" in P's voice, allowing the subtitles to give a different message to the readers than P's own excitement.

It is kept a secret from the viewer what sort of title the LIZARD QUEEN is, and how it was passed to P (was it hereditary, or did he simply have to be in the vicinity of LQ during his death?), but P clearly finds it an exciting event.


Bear Hello is a multi-layered movie, appreciated by nearly all of its viewers for its minimalistic portrayal of an imaginative alternate universe. Clearly it is a dangerous place for ordinary people like P to live, with the fatal red lines constantly killing people in gruesome and unusual ways. However, it does seem that P has multiple chances at survival, which lead to a happy, if bloody, ending.

P's curiosity and desire for power lead him to several near-fatal mistakes in this movie. The first is his reaction to the portal, which may have caused it to tear him apart. The second is his innocent demand for BEAR POWERS, which anger B1. In the end, though, he takes action to tear the heart from LQ and become the Lizard Queen, demonstrating the triumph of persistence.

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