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Behind the Beast

Ever wonder where your mascot comes from? Have a peek behind the curtain, as The Bear gets a new suit!

No, not this IMPOSTER...
No, not this IMPOSTER...
Jared Wickerham

Remember the antics of the Bear in "The Bear & The Gang" and his tour-de-force performance in the Christmas Spectacular? Did you ever wonder about the special effects artists that bring him to life?

Just in time for Halloween, meet the artisans at Animal Makers of Moorpark, California, your source for costumes, special effects, puppets, props and the like. If you can imagine it, they can make it. Their work has included other notable projects including a dinosaur used in Choice Hotels spots. They were chosen to create a new suit for The Bear by Arnold Worldwide, the agency that handles advertising for the Boston Bruins, and who won an Emmy for the opening titles sequence from "Behind the B."


The Bear is made of a lot of the same parts that comprise a comfy sofa, as seen here in these Jim Boulden photos.

The Bear goes through a number of fittings during production, and donning the suit looks to be a lot like what a goalie goes through, right down to the suspenders. This is teamwork at its finest! Aesthetically, the faux fur is selected for its proper color and drape to look good for the cameras. The engineers and designers assure the correct frame and proportions, all of the fingers are articulated and the legs are better defined in this new suit to improve the range of motion. For the performer, functionality matters.

The finished costume is finally ready for its debut, and just like any good Hollywood production, there is a final screen test, complete with hugs for the Animal Makers staffers.

Look for the new and improved Bear to appear this season on Boston Bruins TV.