‘Cocaine Bear’ Was Inspired by This Beloved Disney Film and Character!

how Disney inspired John Lennon and Paul McCartney
The vultures from The Jungle Book. Credit: Disney

The Walt Disney Company’s influence reaches far and wide, so much so that it can have an impact in the most unexpected ways and on the most surprising movies. In the latest news, it turns out one of Hollywood’s most infamous horror comedies, Cocaine Bear, was actually inspired in part by one of the most beloved characters from The Jungle Book (1967).

That’s right! The bear that once took the internet by storm was, in fact, partly based on Baloo. Here’s the lowdown.

cocaine bear still

A still from the movie ‘Cocaine Bear’/Courtesy of Universal Studios

The film Cocaine Bear is based on the true story of a bear who ate 70 lbs of cocaine; the bear then proceeds to go on a “drug-fueled rampage.” The movie has had mixed reviews, with many reacting favorably.

The movie has had mixed reviews, with many reacting favorably. It stars names like Ray Liotta, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, O’Shea Jackson Jr., Keri Russell, Matthew Rhys, Alden Ehrenreich, and more, and was directed by Elizabeth Banks.

A cartoon of a little boy hugging a bear.

Credit: Disney+

As reported by UNILAD, the bear for whom the movie is written—nicknamed Cokey on set—was created using “a mix of CGI and motion capture” rather than using a real bear. Motion capture performer Allan Henry was responsible for Cokey’s creation and movement.

Henry mentioned in an interview with Slash Film, “I looked at bears that have been in media, like the bear from The Revenant. I worked on ‘The Jungle Book’ — at Weta, we did some stuff, so I looked at what we had done with Baloo for those sequences.

The challenge was trying to move as close as I could to how a bear would move, the pace that a bear would take, the way that a bear would breathe and explore the environment around them.”

An animated scene featuring a joyful young boy with messy black hair hugging a tall, gray bear. They are in a lush jungle with green foliage and tall plants in the background. The bear is smiling and slightly leaning towards the boy.

Credit: Disney

It’s certainly not an obvious connection and not one we expected to learn of, but is a fun fact of trivia, nonetheless! Cocaine Bear was inspired, in part, by Baloo from The Jungle Book!

What’s your favorite Disney movie fun fact? Share it with us in the comments below!

About Priyanka Kumar

Priyanka is a writer, artist, avid reader, and travel enthusiast based in Chicago. In her free time, she is probably walking by the lake, catching up on the latest releases on TV, or spending inordinate amounts of time rewatching Moana, Encanto, and her Disney Channel life-long favorites Zack and Cody wreak havoc on the Tipton.

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