The boy who wanted to be a bear

Jannik Hastrup, Denmark, 2003

78 min.DK/FeatureChildren's films, Animation

An animated drama by Danish grand master Jannik Hastrup. In a den in the fells a polar bear gives birth to a cub, but the cub is stillborn. The polar bear is grief-stricken, and lies down on the ice to die. Her mate steals a baby from a family and the little boy is raised by the she-bear, learning all the skills a bear requires. But the woman who lost her baby boy grieves deeply and her husband vows to return him to her.
Basic information Credits Festivals & awards Materials
Original title Drengen der ville gøre det umulige
Danish title Drengen der ville gøre det umulige
International titles L' enfant qui voulait être un ours
Director Jannik Hastrup
Screenplay Bent Haller
Producer Marie Bro, Didier Brunner
Sound Niels Arild
Composer Bruno Coulais
Production country Denmark, France
Production company Dansk Tegnefilm, France 3 Cinéma
Domestic distribution Angel Films
Festival information Danish Film Institute
Technical info 35 mm, 1,66:1 Widescreen, color, Dolby stereo
Danish theatrical release 07.02.2003
Cinemas Palads, CinemaxX, Kinopalæet (Lyngby) samt 38 andre biografer landet over
DFI subsidy Konsulentstøtte
Danish rating Not recommended for children under 7


Production company Dansk Tegnefilm, France 3 Cinéma
Domestic distribution Angel Films


Direction Jannik Hastrup


Script Bent Haller
Dramaturge Michel Fessler
Storyboard Jannik Hastrup
Storyboard Nancy Carrig
Storyboard assistant Ditte Brink


Producer Marie Bro
Producer Didier Brunner
Associate producer Lars Tømmerbakke
Production Ivan Rouveure
Production Mireille Roulet
Production manager Marie-Paule Paturaud
Production manager Sylvain Favier
Technical assistant David Baron
Production assistant Anja Keldmann
Production assistant Marleen Hvidfeldt
Production assistant Nathalie Notebeart
Production assistant Eléonore Arnal
Production assistant Nicole Ruelle


Music Bruno Coulais

Production design

Art director Bigita Faber


Sound Niels Arild
Foley artist Pauline Griffiths
Bear sounds Lisbeth Hultmann

Special effects

SFX Mathieu Renoux
SFX Gregory Couturier


Drengen som lille Marlon Vilstrup
Drengen som stor Joachim Boie Helvang
Hanbjørnen Otto Brandenburg
Hunbjørnen Paprika Steen
Ravnen Tommy Kenter
Kvinden Sidse Babett Knudsen
Manden Thomas Bo Larsen
Pigebjørnen Carla Docherty
Den fremmede bjørn Ellen Hillingsø
Ånden i fjeldet Anne-Lise Gabold
Oxe 1 Jesper Klein
Oxe 2 Claus Ryskjær
Nordenvinden/Havet Lisbet Dahl

Visual effects

Graphic design Ole Bidstrup
Computer consultant Florent Mounier
Compositing Christophe Boreau
Compositing Fabrice Renaudin
Compositing Gregory Couturier
Compositing Mathieu Renoux
Scan and conform Sonia Didier


Animation Asta Sigurdardóttir
Animation Georges Stoyanoff
Animation Morten Evjen
Animation Morten Petersen
Animation Karin Nilsson
Animation Anders Nejsum
Animation Alice Rasmussen
Animation Anna Gellert Nielsen
Animation Søren Jacobsen
Animation Bente Woodruff
Animation Flemming Jensen
Animation Nancy Carrig
Assistant animator Jens Leganger Larsen
Assistant animator Robin Gott
Assistant animator Josephine Høyrup
Assistant animator Morten Petersen
Assistant animator Jørgen E. Hansen
Assistant animator Louise Muchardt
Assistant animator Yasin Hassan Mam-Taha
Assistant animator Tine Karrebæk
Assistant animator Morten Evjen
Colorstyler Xavier Montagnon
Colorstyler Claudie Pepin
Colorstyler Sandrine Pillon
Colorstyler Sonia Didier
Colorstyler Marie-Agnès Gazeau
Colorstyler Sylvie Rembert
Colorstyler Gaelle Ginat
Colorstyler Olivier Métais
Colorstyler Brunet Philippe
Colorstyler Christophe Olivier
Colorstyler Julien Baron
Colorstyler Valérie Guignard
Colorstyler Elvis Payet
Colorstyler Jérome Escobar
Colorstyler Anne-Claire Mondeaux

Awards and nominations

Award Year Festival
Best music 2003 Athens Olympia Int. Film Festival For Children and Young People 2003
Adult Jury´s 1st Prize, Animation 2003 Chicago Int. Children's Film Festival 2003
Children's Jury's 1st Prize, Animation 2003 Chicago Int. Children's Film Festival 2003
Honorable Mention 2003 Berlinale 2003

Festival screenings

Festival Festival date
Zlin Int. Film Festival for Children & Youth 2013-05-27
Buenos Aires Festival de Cine Independiente 2010-04-07
Vilnius International Film Festival 2008-04-03
Discovery - Scotland's Int. Film Fest for Children & Young People 2004-09-04
Rio de Janeiro Brazilian Int. Children´s Film Festival 2004-08-01
Hong Kong, International Children's Film Carnival 2004-07-17
Rio de Janeiro Anima Mundi 2004-07-09
San Francisco Int. Film Festival 2004-04-15
Stuttgart International Animation Film Festival 2004-04-01
Athens Olympia Int. Film Festival For Children and Young People 2003-12-06
Oulu Int. Children's Film Festival 2003-11-17
Lübeck, Nordische Filmtage 2003-10-30
Chicago Int. Children's Film Festival 2003-10-23
Amsterdam Cinekid 2003-10-12
Montreal, Festival International Nouveau Cinema 2003-10-09
Busan International Film Festival 2003-10-02
Tokyo Kinder Film Festival - Kineko 2003-08-02
Annecy, Festival Int. du Film d'Animation 2003-06-02
Poznan Ale Kino! International Children's Film Festival 2003-06-01
Zlin Int. Film Festival for Children & Youth 2003-05-23
New York Tribeca Film Festival 2003-05-03
Berlinale 2003-02-06
Det Danske Filminstitut registrerer international festivaldeltagelse og priser til danske film, dog primært de titler, som Filminstituttet varetager i sin festivaldistribution, og primært i forbindelse med de festivaler, som Filminstituttet har prioriteret at samarbejde med. Registreringen af festivaldeltagelse og priser til danske film, der ikke er i festivaldistribution, foretages kun for "launch"-festivaler ifølge Filminstituttets prioriterede festivalliste. Se listen over prioriterede festivaler.

Reviews and articles

On the library you can find these articles and revies and other material about the film.
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