Movie Ratings, Family Movie Reviews & More!

Still shot from the movie: Brother Bear.

Brother Bear

Eager and full of anticipation, young Kenai (Joaquin Phoenix) and his brothers return from a long day of fishing in time to attend a village ceremony. At the gathering Kenai is to be presented with the symbol that will lead him in his journey to manhood.

Overall Grade: A-
Violence: B
Sexual Content: A
Language: A-
Drugs/Alcohol: A
Release Date: 01 Nov 2003
Run Time: 85
MPAA Rating: G

0

In-Depth Review

Eager and full of anticipation, young Kenai (Joaquin Phoenix) and his brothers return from a long day of fishing in time to attend a village ceremony. At the gathering Kenai is to be presented with the symbol that will lead him in his journey to manhood. Secretly hoping for a great gift like bravery or courage, he is disappointed when the wise old woman (Joan Copeland) of their tribe gives him a carved bear and the virtue of love.

The guiding, but seemingly girlish, quality is enough to net a hearty ribbing from his older brothers Sitka (DB Sweeny) and Denahi (Jason Raize) who are already developing their traits of leadership and wisdom. Disappointed, Kenai determines to prove his manhood by pursuing and killing a bear that wandered into camp and stole their fish. But during his spite-driven hunting trip, he is magically turned into a bear himself.

When Denahi later comes upon Kenai's coat and spear, he believes the cinnamon-colored animal he sees has devoured his younger brother. Unaware of the transformation, Denahi vows revenge. Suddenly, Kenai the hunter becomes the hunted.

On the run he meets Koda, an overly chatty little cub who has been separated from his mother and needs a friend. Kenai, on the other hand, wants directions to the place where the lights dance on the mountains. Since Koda knows the way, Kenai reluctantly teams up with the little orphan, who, along with the other forest animals, accompanies him to the sacred spot.

Using the legendary style of Native Americans, the story unfolds beautiful explanations for the Northern Lights and the need for respect among all species. It also portrays the necessity for restitution, where possible, when one character discovers a wrong he's committed and tries to atone for the tragic mistake.

While older kids will likely warm up to this animated coming-of-age adventure, parents might want to think twice before packing up their youngest cubs and heading off to see Brother Bear. Two goofy, dim-witted moose (Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas, a.k.a. Bob and Doug McKenzie) dish out plenty of comic relief. But the film also has moments of intense scenes that may leave younger audience members squirming nervously in their seats, not unlike the underwater yarn, Finding Nemo.

Featuring the musical talents of Phil Collins, Tina Turner and others, this visually entertaining film gives Brother Bear a unique opportunity to walk in another man's moccasins, or in this case paws. While on that path, he unearths the meaning of love and finds a whole new perspective on brotherhood.

Discussion Ideas: Talk About the Movie...

How did the old woman of the village help the younger tribe members develop certain qualities? What things can you learn from an older person that would help you in your life?

Many stories have an orphan character. How does that circumstance elicit sympathy for the character? What other orphan characters can you think of in movies?

For more information and pictures of the Aurora Borealis, follow these links:
www.everythingalaska.com/aurora.html www.geo.mtu.edu/weather/aurora/images/aurora/jan.curtis www.northern-lights.no

Brother Bear is a 2003 Academy Award nominee for Best Animated Feature.

Video alternatives

Moose and bears aren’t the only odd animals to team up. In Ice Age, a wooly mammoth, saber-tooth tiger and sloth all work together to return a man-child to his tribe while two very different friends have to find a way to return a little girl to her own room in Monsters Inc. Simba, a lion cub, loses his father and has to find his own way to adulthood with the help of two silly sidekicks in the Disney classic, The Lion King.

Home Video Notes

Home Video Notes: Brother Bear and Brother Bear 2: Blu-ray Combo Pack

Release Dates:  12 March 2013

Disney’s Brother Bear and Brother Bear 2 release to blu-ray in a combo pack. Bonus materials include:

Brother Bear (Blu-ray)

- Deleted Song

- Deleted Scenes

- Animated Outtakes

- Sing-Along Songs

- Music Video

- The Making Of Brother Bear

Brother Bear 2 (Blu-ray)

- Behind The Music Of Brother Bear 2

Brother Bear DVD

- Animated Outtakes

- Sing-Along Songs

Brother Bear 2 DVD

- Behind The Music Of Brother Bear 2

Join the Conversation

About the Reviewer: Kerry Bennett

Harry Potter Advance Tickets

© One Voice Communications Ltd. All Rights Reserved | Privacy Policy | FAQ | Contact Us | Syndicated Newspaper Column