In between "Pokémon" journeys, Jeremy enjoys working as a pharmaceutical chemist and campus manager.
Pokemon and Bears
The Pokemon series bases its creatures off a plethora of animals and inanimate objects, including cats, dogs, magnets, ice cream (we don't speak of that one), and more.
If you think bears barely bare their heads, think again. Most generations have at least one creature based on the furry animals, and they're among my personal favorites, blending cuteness with strength. To see what I mean, let's examine the bountiful bears throughout Pokemon!
Munchlax and Snorlax
Despite being related, Munchlax didn't arrive until Generation 4, while Snorlax debuted with the original set. I've always loved Snorlax because he proved that the underrated Normal types were far from useless. Players of the original games awakened a slumbering Snorlax with the Pokeflute, and many of us added him to our team upon seeing his might.
With his fearsome Attack, Special Defense, HP, and moveset, Snorlax demolished many a foe. In the anime, Ash caught a particularly formidable specimen in the Orange Islands.
Pokedex: Its stomach is said to be incomparably strong. Even Muk's poison is nothing more than a hint of spice on Snorlax's tongue.
Teddiursa and Ursaring
Like their predecessors, Teddiursa and Ursaring categorize as Normal-types, though these two hail from the Johto region. They always struck me as the most realistic bear-Pokemon, greatly resembling real-life grizzlies. Plus, their moon symbols fascinate me, as the two aren't nocturnal and I honestly can't discover the meaning of them in my research.
Similar to Snorlax, Ursaring has high HP and Attack with low Speed, pummeling foes with brute force. Be sure to utilize TMs when raising one to provide different elements to attack with.
Pokedex: Although it has a large body, it is quite skilled at climbing trees. It eats and sleeps in the treetops.
Cubchoo and Beartic
Hailing from Unova, Cubchoo and Beartic feature a polar bear-inspired design. Cute little Cubchoo transforms into Beartic at level 37, and Trainers should beware the many elements that inflict double damage to these Ice types.
Few surprises here, Beartic wields high HP and Attack with lower Speed. In the anime, Georgia once trounced Iris's team using a fearsome Beartic.
Pokedex: They love the cold seas of the north. They create pathways across the ocean waters by freezing their own breath.
Pancham and Pangoro
Type: Fighting (Pancham)
I love showing Pancham to casual fans and asking what type they think it is. Normal? Grass? Dark? Nope, it's Fighting, and doesn't gain the Dark type until evolving into Pangoro. These two are resemble pandas, an oddball species of bears known for eating almost exclusively plants, unlike their omnivorous brethren.
You guessed it: Pangoro bears high HP and Attack and lower Speed. He's got some nice moves and solid typing, but beware Fairy attacks, which strike for quadruple damage. Check out what the Pokedex says Trainers must do to bond with their Pangoros!
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Pokedex: It boasts superb physical strength. Those who wish to become Pangoro's Trainer have no choice but to converse with their fists.
Stufful and Bewear
An interesting duo residing in Alola, Stufful and Beware take inspiration from red pandas and stuffed animals. I might have been able to guess their Normal type, but would have speculated Dark or Psychic would be their dual-element rather than Fighting. Nevertheless, it's a decent typing, and feel free to add a cuddly Stufful to your squad—it'll evolve soon at only level 27.
Yea, yea. We know what's coming. High HP, high Attack, low Speed. You know, at this point, I have to wonder if this is done on purpose for tradition's sake, or Pokemon creators simply forget to diversify their bear's stats. Heck, in real life, bears are surprisingly fast, some clocking in at 35 miles per hour!
Pokedex: This immensely dangerous Pokémon possesses overwhelming physical strength. Its habitat is generally off-limits.
Other Bears in Pokemon
Today we highlighted the creatures that definitely draw inspiration from bears, though there exist others who borrow part of their design from the animals. Slaking, for example, somewhat resembles a sloth, bear, and ape combination.
Perhaps we'll cover these hybrids in a future article, but for now vote for your favorite bear, and I'll see you at our next Pokemon review!
© 2017 Jeremy Gill
BowlingBear on April 02, 2019:
beware and stufful are my fav
DarkWolfEevee on March 13, 2019:
Munchlax/Snorlax are my favorite.
Litness on October 28, 2018:
Komala! The koala bear
Jeremy Gill (author) from Louisiana on May 05, 2018:
Spinda's controversial origins are discussed below. While we're on the topic, it's one of the weakest Pokemon to date and has very little reason to be included on a team. Give the poor guy an evolution or other power-up, Nintendo.
Vote on May 05, 2018:
Teddiursa and spinda
Jeremy Gill (author) from Louisiana on October 04, 2017:
Interesting, I appreciate the insight!
True, I could probably squeeze in Spinda, though I believe it's based on the red panda, who look quite different from most bears and aren't as closely related.
Saxon on October 04, 2017:
What about Spinda?
Apple on August 17, 2017:
Yo, for Ursaring/Teddiursa the moon might symbolize their connection with the constellation Ursa Major/Ursa Minor (Commonly referred to as the Big/little Dipper).