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Brother Bear (2003)

Brother Bear (2003)


Starring the voices of

Joaquin Phoenix

Jeremy Suarez

Rick Moranis

Dave Thomas

Directed by Aaron Blaise and Robert Walker

Brother Bear is one of those Disney animated movies, that is cool to see with a very nice soundtrack. The animation is a total emotional ride with a certain aim to get the viewer feeling they could do the same thing if there were in the shoes of the lead, which in reality – hell no.

The story is not bad and the animation is good, this is Disney’s 44th animated feature film and the genre is adventure comedy-drama. It is also the last huge theatrical success of the studio using traditional animation, before they finally moved to CGI for their productions. After this the other three traditional animations they did were not as successful. In fact Home on the Range (2004) and Winnie the Pooh (2011) were box office duds, the last traditional animation The Princess and the Frog (2009), more of broke even at the box office.

Alright, back to this flick. Seeing this for the second time after my viewing back in 2003, I have a less appreciation of it. The story is set in a post-ice age Alaska where the people believe that the great spirits are responsible for the creation of all creatures. Their believe is that the aurora is where the spirit lives.

In a festival the people in the town when they come of age are given totems which are supposed to help shape them into men. In a trio of brothers Kenai is the youngest, followed by Denahi and Sitka is the eldest Kenai got his totem as the brothers before him has. His totem is that of love symbolized as a bear. He was upset by it wondering how focusing on love will lead him to become a man and fulfill his calling. On getting back home, Kenai failed to keep their food out of reach of bears and a bear ran away with their food. Kenai decided to go get it back and faced up with a bear for no reason. This led to his brothers coming to his aid which led to the death of Sitka. Kenai was in rage and did not listen to Denahi who told him to let it go and not anger the spirits by pursuing revenge. Kenai went to seek and kill the bear which angered the spirits and he was turned into a bear.

Denahi went looking for his brother and sees a bear in his place with Kenai’s clothes ripped. Not knowing it was Kenai, but thinking the bear had killed Kenai – he was now in rage and also sort revenge. Now Kenai must get to the place where the aurora is at its brightest so he can get the spirits to change him back, but to aid him was a younger bear, Koda. Koda was also heading in that direction to seek his mother, as they lost one another a while back. A weird relationship develops as these two head towards their destination.

The musical soundtrack has Phil Collins on it, even though he did not sing all the songs like he did in Tarzan.

The animation is not bad and the story is captivating. The animation has a long singing scene which was just not needed. It is done well enough for children to watch anytime and enjoy. For an adult the movie will be classified as ok, but not exciting.

The movie got some mixed reviews and box office wise the movie budget $46 million, brought in over $250 million and like half of that more from home video sales. The movie was nominated for Best Animated Feature, but lost to Finding Nemo. A direct-to-DVD sequel Brother Bear 2 was released in 2006, not worth seeing.


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