Brother Bear is a great movie and although this was only my second time viewing it, I think I enjoyed it more the second time around.
One thing I will warn you about is that the movie starts in a 4:3 aspect ratio and then eventually gets to a 16:9 ratio. While it’s a neat change, I think it took too long to get to this point and leaves you questioning if you’ll eventually see it take up your whole tv screen.
In the original Brother Bear, Kenai is transformed into a bear by the great spirits after killing a bear for the wrong reasons in order to learn an important lesson. Along the way, he reluctantly, but eventually becomes friends with Koda, a recently orphaned bear cub. He learns much on his journey and eventually comes to the startling realization, and consequences of his actions.
Love the story and the animation as well as the voice acting. Although he only plays a small part in each movie, it was nice to hear the booming voice of the late Michael Clarke Duncan again. Joaquin Phoenix does an excellent job as Kenai and there’s a couple of moose named Rutt and Tuke (voices of Dave Thomas and Rick Moranis) who might remind you of some other brothers they played who hail from the Great White North, eh! This was also Moranis’s last role before retiring from acting.
Brother Bear 2 not only had a good story behind it, but the animation was spectacular as well. This is one of the few direct-to-video sequels that really could have stood up to its counterpart if it would have had a theatrical release as well.
New to the cast of the sequel, Wanda Sykes makes a cameo appearance and Mandy Moore plays the voice of Nita. Patrick Dempsey has replaced Joaquin Phoenix as the voice of Kenai. At first, I wasn’t sure I was going to like Dempsey replacing Phoenix as Kenai, but as I got more into the movie I found myself warming up to his portrayal of the character.
Although this is a new story, there are some parallels to the original and even some continuing themes from the first film. There’s also something I felt the first movie lacked a bit of and that’s more of Rutt and Tuke. They are made more a part of the new film but not so much as it detracts from the story.
- Deleted Song
- Deleted Scenes
- Hilarious Animated Outtakes
- Rutt & Tuke’s Commentary
- Bear Legends
- Sing-Along Songs
- Music Video
- The Making of “Brother Bear”
- Behind the Music of “Brother Bear 2”