Lars the Little Polar Bear

FullDome Film: Lars the Little Polar Bear

What happens when a frisky little polar bear named Lars ventures out on the first day of spring? He explores his Arctic home, meets new friends, and saves some endangered whales.

book picLars the Little Polar Bear is the beloved star of a children's book "Little Polar Bear and the Whales" authored by Hans de Beer in 2008. It's the perfect basis for a fulldome show to teach young children about nature, climate change — and a little astronomy.

book picThe first part of the show features illustrations from the book, enhanced by clever animations. Lars spends the first day of spring exploring near his home, discovering a ship wreck, and cavorting with a cormorant. Then, he makes friends with a group of beluga whales and a giant sperm whale.

book picWhen Lars learns that the whales are being hunted by a whaling ship, he finds a place for them to hide in a nearby bay. After the whalers leave, melting ice traps the whales in the bay. book picIt's up to Lars to save them by coming up with a clever way to help them escape. The story ends with Lars and his friends making plans to meet again someday in the future.

book picAfter the show brings Lars's adventure story to life, it takes on a documentary flair, with a tour of the Arctic. We visit some of the animals who live there, through photographs taken by scientists on polar expeditions.

We learn about how real polar bears live, why they have small ears and tails, what they eat, and how the melting of Arctic sea ice is affecting their habitat.

A short star talk section introduces the Arctic night sky, the constellations Ursa Major and Ursa Minor, as well as Polaris, the North Star, and the star patterns of the Big and Little Dipper.

book picVisually surrounded by icebergs as they explore Lars's home, children are touched by the beauty of the Arctic. Throughout the show, young audiences gain a positive appreciation of nature and learn that the polar bear's wonderful habitat is well worth preserving.

Target Audience: All Ages/Grades preK - 2

Film Length: 27 minutes