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“We Bare Bears” creator Daniel Chong talks biggest challenge of turning the series into a movie

Grizz, Panda (or Pan-Pan) and Ice Bear are taking their adventures to the next level with their first ever TV movie!

“We Bare Bears: The Movie” follows the trio, who catches the attention of the menacing Agent Trout from the National Wildlife Control after their love of food trucks and viral videos get out of hand. Agent Trout then pledges to restore the "natural order" by separating the bear brothers forever. Chased from their home, Grizz decides there’s only one thing they can do to find refuge – move to Canada! 

Follow the trio as they embark on an epic road trip filled with new friends, dangerous obstacles, and massive parties. But most importantly, the perilous journey will force the Bears to face how they first met and became brothers, in order to keep their family bond from splitting apart.

Eric Edelstein, Demetri Martin and Bobby Moynihan return as the voices of the lovable bears in the movie, which also features recurring guest stars Cameron Esposito (as Ranger Dana Tabes), Ellie Kemper (as Lucy), Jason Lee (as Charlie), Patton Oswalt (as Nom Nom), Mel Rodriguez (as Darrell Zaragosa), and Charlyne Yi (as Chloe Park), and special guest stars such as Marc Evan Jackson (“The Good Place”) as Agent Trout and Jimmy O. Yang (“Silicon Valley”) as the internet famous racoon Joey Raccoon.

Looks like the bear brothers will be up to loads of fun in “We Bare Bears: the Movie”!

“We Bare Bears: The Movie” made its cross-platform debut last Saturday on Cartoon Network (Astro Ch 615 HD / 635) and other WarnerMedia channels such as Boomerang, HBO, Warner TV, and Korean entertainment channel Oh!K, as well as streaming service HBO GO and Cartoon Network Watch & Play app.

Fans who’ve missed out on the debut, don’t worry, you can still catch it this Wednesday, 16 September, at 8am and 4pm on Cartoon Network (Astro Ch 615 HD / 635).

Alternatively, you can stream the movie anytime, anywhere on HBO GO!

If just watching the movie’s not enough, fans can even enjoy entertaining activities such as exclusive videos, games and quizzes at https://cartoonnetworkasia.com/webarebearsthemovie

TheHIVE.Asia recently had the chance to talk to “We Bare Bears” creator Daniel Chong, who makes his film directing debut with the movie. Let’s see what he has to tell us about working on “We Bare Bears: The Movie”!

TheHive.Asia: What made you decide to accept this project despite having no previous experience in film directing?

Daniel Chong: Over the years I’ve worked on a number of films at Disney and Pixar, so I’m pretty familiar with the production and writing challenges that you can face on a project like this.

Before I was the creator of “We Bare Bears”, I was getting a little bit frustrated. Because even though I was working on great projects, I wanted to create my own work. For me it was about having a voice in the world.

What did you find the most difficult or challenging while working on this movie?

The unforgiving nature of the story-writing is the hardest part about the transition from a series to a movie. I knew the entire process would not be easy. Stories are very hard to control in movies. In an 11-minute episode, it is not that hard to fix little mistakes. However, while handling over an hour of material, a small mistake might result in the entire plot making no sense. We had to be very studious and detail-oriented while writing the story. Re-writes were part of our life!

Will the movie introduce any element that was never seen in the series before?

We were always struggling between wanting to tell a bigger story and having budgets to adhere to. By getting to do the movie, we got a chance to just go wild and do almost everything we wanted. 

I think we found the right antagonists to fuel a plot that could service a road-trip movie. The ending is definitely something we would never try to do on a regular show as it is too complicated, expensive, but also epic! It was a whole lot of work, and extremely fun.

Following the release of this TV movie, are there plans to develop a movie for theatrical release next?

Look out for a spin-off series of the Baby Bears on Cartoon Network.

An episode of “We Bare Bears” featuring K-Pop group MONSTA X.

Are there plans to feature any other K-Pop star or Asian celebrity in future episodes of "We Bare Bears"?

Had the show kept going longer, I would have loved to have featured a girl K-group in an episode, specifically BLACKPINK. I think we could do a great job of integrating them into the show. Another person that we had been trying to work with for a while is CL. We talked to her team for a couple times for some episodes. Her team was great, but I think the timing just did not line-up.

You've worked as a storyboard artist in quite a number of Hollywood animated films, like "Bolt" and "Inside Out". Are you working on any upcoming ones right now?

I can’t talk much about the project I’m working on right now. And with the slow progress in animation, you might not find out for a while…sorry!

Check out the trailer for “We Bare Bears: The Movie” below. Remember to tune in this Wednesday at 8am and 4pm on Cartoon Network (Astro Ch 615 HD / 635)!

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