Brother Bear is a Disney animated movie which tells the story of Kenai (Joaquin Phoenix), who is a young reckless Native American man. He wants everyone to take him more seriously but he’s too irresponsible and impulsive. On the day of his coming of age, Kenai receives his totem (spirit animal) and he’s disappointed that it is the bear of love. He feels that that bears are big lumbering nuisances who steal food. His attitude is confirmed when a bear eats the fish that he had caught and rampages through the village. Kenai blames the bear for his trouble, even though he was supposed to have secured the fish. He goes after the bear to kill it but gets into danger. Kenai’s brothers Sitka (D.B Sweeney) and Dehani ( Jason Raize ) come to save him, with Sitka sacrificing his own life.
The spirits from the Aurora Borealis come down and transform Kenai into a bear. They will change Kenai back when he learns to see from another perspective. Dehani, believing that the bear killed both his brothers goes hunting after Kenai, not knowing that Kenai is now a bear. Along the way, Kenai meets Koda ( Jeremy Suarez) who is a bear cub looking for his mother.
It was nice to watch an animated movie that was not entirely in CGI. It reminds me of the old Disney movies. I enjoyed watching Brother Bear. The movie is set in the post-ice age and there are even wooly mammoths in this movie. I have an interest in history and early civilizations so I enjoy seeing it depicted on film.
I liked how Kenai matured into a more responsible person and recognized his role in his brother’s death. Kenai’s perspective changes when he meets other bears and discovers that they have families too and just want to survive. Kenai is like an older brother to Koda. They joke and laugh with each other and Kenai is protective of Koda. Koda doesn’t let Kenai get away with anything and challenges him when he does something wrong.
There are also two moose characters in the story that provide comic relief. I wasn’t that interested in them. They kept on saying aye or ‘ay every time they spoke that I thought the movie must be set in Canada but I read that the movie is set somewhere in Alaska.
None of the characters sing in this movie but music features heavily in the film. Most of the songs were written or co-written by Phil Collins. I particularly liked the song Transformation which was sung by the Bulgarian Women’s Choir and the Blind Boys of Alabama. It was used for when the spirits would come out of the Aurora Borealis and it was a song written by Phil Collins and translated to an Eskimo language.
I think this film is a good movie but not as good as the more popular Disney animated films. I think it’s underrated. I remember when the movie first came out; I dismissed it as a silly animal film. However, I changed my mind after seeing a bit of it on TV. I think this movie would be appealing to families as Kenai’s character arc will be interesting for adults and the adventure with Koda will be appealing for children.