True Heart

True Heart is a film about Bonnie and Sam, 14 year old twins, who are involved in a plane crash on their way to see their mother and stepfather. The Pilot is killed and the twins are rescued by Azusa, a mountain-man. Azusa warns the children to stay clear of poachers who are trying to catch "True Heart", a Kodiak bear. Unfortunately, the poachers capture Bonnie and Sam, however, Azusa rescues them. In the end, the bear, is saved and the poachers are arrested.

  • Starring: Kirsten Dunst, Zachery Ty Bryan
  • Director(s): Cathrine Cyran
  • Producer(s): Brenda Collins
  • Screenwriter(s): Cathrine Cyran
  • Distributor: Orion Pictures
  • Release Date: Thursday, December 12, 1996
  • Rating: Acceptable

Featured Animal Action

A bear is seen throughout the film walking through the woods, standing and roaring, walking into the lake, and playing in the water. There is a scene where a bear is caught in a poachers trap. The bears paw is seen in the trap and the animal is heard screaming. A rabbit, supposedly dead, is seen in front of the bear. Poachers approach the bear and start to taunt him by poking him with their guns. A gun is heard going off and the bear is seen falling over presumably dead. This scene was shot in cuts. The rabbit seen on the ground was a taxidermic rabbit. The trainer released the bear and used verbal and hand commands to cue him with food as a reward. Leather was applied to the top of the trap to protect the bear's paw. In another scene, the Kodiak bear is seen entering the lake and swimming towards the other side of the bank, where Bonnie is sitting. As he gets closer to her, he stands and roars before starting back to the opposite side of the lake. This scene was shot in cuts. Trainer #1 released the bear into the water while trainer #2, on the opposite bank, used verbal commands to cue him while banging on a jelly bean jar. There is a scene where the bear stands in front of a poacher roaring, looking as if he is going to strike the man. He stops in front of the two children before running into the woods. This scene was shot in cuts. The trainer used verbal and hand commands with food as a reward. At the sacred area of the woods, the bear is seen standing and swatting at one man before supposedly hitting another one in the face. He is then seen running into the woods. This scene was shot in cuts. The trainer released the bear and used verbal and hand commands to cue him with food as a reward. In another scene, a rabbit is seen running from A to B before a hawk swoops down, covering the animal with his wing. This scene was shot in cuts. A real and fake rabbit were used. A real rabbit was placed on his mark to establish the shot and then replaced with a fake one. The hawk was released and merely flew towards food that was placed at the side of the fake rabbit. Azusa is seen approaching a quail sitting on a log. He lifts a rock as if he is going to strike the animal and then a whimper is heard. Azusa is then seen picking up what is suppose to be the dead quail. The scene was shot in cuts. A live and a dead quail was used. The trainer placed the live quail on the log for the establishing shot and then replaced it with the dead one. Other animal action consists of a wolf seen standing in the woods before running away, an owl seen sitting and flying from a tree, a raven seen several times flying A to B, a skunk emerging from behind a log, and a mountain lion seen running through the woods. For all of the above scenes, the animals were placed on their mark by their trainer and cued with verbal and hand commands with food as a reward. In one scene there are a few riders seen on horse-back riding through the woods. True Heart was a Canadian Production filmed in Vancouver. The British Columbia SPCA was present on set to monitor the animal action.