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  • Warning: Spoilers
    The Oscar-winning short cartoon Bear Story tells the story of a bear who lives alone in an empty little apartment. On the pale walls are family photos and in the dusty room is a bed for a little bear. But the bear lives alone, tinkering some machinery. Later, he walks out onto the streets with a large wooden box and invites passersby to check it out. As it turns out, the wooden box contains a puppet show --- a puppet show of the story of the bear. The bear used to live in a happy family, but his quiet life was unexpectedly ruined by the people from the circus. The bear got captured and was separated from his wife and son. He had no idea what happened to them when he was brought to the circus. During circus tours, the bear still remembered his family and missed the happy days he spent with his wife and son. One day before a performance, the bear took out a pocket watch containing his family photo, and finally mustered the courage to leave the circus. He fled, riding his bike, and returned to the home he had desperately longed for day and night. But sadly, things were not the same when he returned. The apartment he used to live in was empty, hollow. Dust gathered upon furniture, and the walls were peeling. The bear was miserable and heartstricken. There was nothing he could do but to revive his old dreams, imagining he was with his family again. The puppet show ends. The little bear who watched the show hurries away happily with a windmill held in his paws, while the bear can only hope that in this way, his story can spread throughout the town and one day someone who hears this story can help him reunite with his wife and son. This sweet but sad story tells of the value of family --- wherever we are, the love from our family and the happy memories will always light up our day and give us courage to face whatever we are facing. Bear Story also gives us a warning --- we shouldn't seek happiness at other people's expense, as the way the circus did to the bear. One other very interesting thing about this Oscar-winning cartoon is its ending. At the ending of Bear Story, we don't know whether the bear would find his family or not, or what happened to them after the bear was kidnapped. I suppose this is what makes this cartoon special and profound --- it keeps a mysterious suspense, gives us an unfinished story and leaves a large space for the audience to think and imagine. All the emotions and confusions linger like echoes, and all the wisdom reverberates in the plot, brewing finite words into infinite meanings.