Wrestling the Alaska-Fairbanks Ice Bear Hockey Hype Video

Submitted by MGoBorracho on January 21st, 2011 at 9:58 PM

I am crazy for the Alaska ice hockey hype video that Brian has re-posted.  It's like watching a Kurosawa or a Kubrick film.  Or a vintage Chuck Barris game show.  You just know you're in the hands of a master.  I mean, every time I watch this video-- and I have watched it many, many times-- I have a new question about the ultimate meaning of the piece, or the inspiration for certain radical creative choices.  This time I'm wrestling with questions about the bear's motivation.  

Obviously I get the motivation behind the inciting incident in the opening sequence. He's pissed about how global warming, caused by western industrialized nations'  gluttonous appetite for self-gratification, as represented by the icebreaking Carnival cruise ship, has upended the nature's cycle by disturbing his annual iceberg-encased hibernation.  He reacts on instinct, as any giant mutant electro ice bear would: by summoning his lighting stick and wreaking complete destruction upon the ship.

And, though it took me a a couple of repeat viewings, I feel like I get why he takes things to the next level by scrambling his fellow giant mutant electro ice bear wingmen into the giant mutant ice bear sized F-16 fighters.  Oh the delicious irony!  Man's hubris ("Sure we'll build you some giant mutant ice bear fighter jets!  What could go wrong?") returns to  deliver a hellfire apocalypse upon those well-established symbols of human excess:  the college hockey arena.

And sure, I totally understand why the lead ice bear finds it necessary to nuke Earth in order to save Earth.  This is the human condition distilled.  Only through death do we truly know life.

But what I simply can't figure out is why he doesn't give his ice bear wingmen a head's up on the forthcoming planetary destruction.  What did they do to deserve that?  They were his wingmen-bears, man!  I know from a whole bunch of Jerry Bruckheimer movies that you don't leave your wingman-bear.  And you definitely don't NUKE your wingman-bear.  I mean, unless they specifically say: "Forget about me, do you hear?  I'm a gonner,bra.  You nuke this rock!"

This is not to say that there isn't a very good reason the filmmaker made this choice, because I know there is.  I just don't get it.  




January 21st, 2011 at 11:11 PM ^

I think that the video is more of a commentary on how we should view greatness. Certainly, it is easy to take issue with many of the Lead Bear's actions. For instance, while he does destroy the bastions of evil that are Michigan State and Ohio State, his decision to destroy a markedly less offensive Miami is morally questionable, particularly when he leaves an institution like Notre Dame left standing. He arguably corrects this by destroying the Earth, but this opens a whole different moral problem. And even if his reasons for destroying the Earth are right and justifiable, there is no moral excuse for leaving his fellow demon bears behind to die. It seems clear that there are moral issues with many of the Lead Bear's actions and decisions, with the obvious exceptions of turning Michigan State and Ohio State to rubble.

However, the video does not choose to dwell in the moral ambiguity surrounding the Lead Bear's actions. Instead, it revels in the Lead Bear's undeniable greatness. Thus, the video is ultimately suggesting that issues of morality are secondary to the power and achievements of legends.


January 22nd, 2011 at 12:21 AM ^

I think you have a very good point.  Greatness really is about loneliness when it comes right down to it.  There's no room for wing-bears on that gold medal podium.  (Okay, maybe if your Mike Eruzione you can find a way, but he's an outlier...) We paint our faces and scream "We're number One!" without a thought of what a solitary existence we would lead if we really were number one.  

This is what I meant about that sense you get while watching the video that you are in the hands of a true master storyteller. Yes, it SEEMS more random than a pile of schizophrenia soaked in Tourette's sauce, but really, it's only because you have not found the keys to decipher its order.


January 22nd, 2011 at 2:12 AM ^

Is the best over-analysis in the history of whatever.

Also, he nuked his wingmen because he's a navy bear. If he was Air Force, he'd never leave a wingman behind.

Kudos. (I'd all-caps and exclaim but then everyone would blah blah blah)


January 22nd, 2011 at 7:59 AM ^

I disagree sir,

Even if he was an Air Force Bear there are several reasons he may have punished his wingman-bear with earth destruction.  Here are just a few possible reasons:

1.  Wingman Bear said something besides: "2", "Lead's on Fire", or "I'll take the fat one".

2.  Wingman-Bear may not have taken the fat one.

3.  There is the distinct possibility Wingman_bear's giant paws interfered with his coffee-making skills and thus he made bad coffee.

4.  It may have been more than a week since Wingman-Bear put new porn in the crapper.

I could go on, but it is clear from the video that Wingman-Bear was being punished for his transgressions and not following the "wingman rules".  This is ultimately a comment on fulfilling one's duty as the Bear fulfilled a moral duty to the planet when he destroyed Ohio St. and Michigan St. because they represent the ultimate bastions of evil.


January 22nd, 2011 at 11:01 AM ^

I don't know what exactly "it" is, but you do.  I think I may actually get "it" thanks to you and Seth9.  Combining your adamantine logic on this--

Wingman-Bear may not have taken the fat one.

-- with a top notch bit of analysis from Seth9--

For instance, while he does destroy the bastions of evil that are Michigan State and Ohio State, his decision to destroy a markedly less offensive Miami is morally questionable, particularly when he leaves an institution like Notre Dame left standing.

-- makes me realize that perhaps it was the wingmen-bears duty to take out Notre Dame (and Freakbass) and it was only because they failed to fulfill their mission objective that lead bear had to "nuke it from space"  because it is, after all, "the only way to be sure."


January 22nd, 2011 at 9:26 PM ^

Um, no embed?  Really?  You did a whole analysis of the greatness that is the Ice Bear Hockey Hype Video and didn't embed it?  Lemme help you out.  (And here's some more Nanook hype awesomeness.)


Alaska Hokie

January 23rd, 2011 at 7:04 AM ^

came about because UAF put out a RFP that contained a complicated task with a ridiculously low ability to pay. A video company took up the challenge on a whim, and when the first one went viral, the company did it again because they liked the attention it got them.

In short, you created this.