The Giant Bear

One of the most terrifying creatures to be found in traditional Inuit stories is the nanurluk, a massive bear the size of an iceberg. When a lone hunter comes across a nanurluk’s breathing hole, he decides to face this almost undefeatable foe.

12 minutes, 2D and 3D animation

Director’s Notes:

The Giant Bear is a traditional Inuit legend that has been passed on from storyteller to storyteller for generations. The story begins with a lone hunter discovering an abnormally large aglu (breathing hole). Very quickly the hunter realizes that this aglu is being kept open by a nanurluk (giant polar bear) that is sleeping under the ice. Polar bears are man-eaters, and this giant bear poses a huge danger for the hunter. The hunter must face this danger eventually, so he decides to confront the nanurluk while he has the element of surprise.

This Inuit legend is a “David and Goliath” type of story, with a powerful adversary in the nanurluk and a brave opponent in the little hunter. Inuit have survived in the Canadian Arctic due to their courage, wisdom, and creative thinking, and this story shares a glimpse of this. The giant polar bear has been described as a personification of nature, with its massive size and power; however, the relatively small Inuit hunter is able to adapt and survive. More than a simple cautionary tale about the dangers of living on the land, this story is rich with traditional Inuit wisdom and direction.

Credits:

Directed by Neil Christopher
Produced by Louise Flaherty and Neil Christopher
Based on the book The Giant Bear by Jose Angutinngurniq, published by Inhabit Media
Screenplay by Neil Christopher

Concept art and Behind the Scenes:

The Giant Bear

The Giant Bear

The Giant Bear

The Giant Bear

The Giant Bear

The Giant Bear

The Giant Bear

The Giant Bear