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Still shot from the movie: Brother Bear 2.

Brother Bear 2

Kenai (voiced by Patrick Dempsey), the boy who became a bear in the last movie, crosses paths with his childhood chum Nita (Mandy Moore) and suddenly find himself torn between the human world and promises made to his adopted brother cub Koda (Benjamin Bryan). Although reminiscent of other Disney animations, young viewers are still likely to go wild about it.

Overall Grade: B+
Violence: B-
Sexual Content: A-
Language: A
Drugs/Alcohol: A
Release Date: 29 Aug 2006
Run Time: 74
MPAA Rating: G

0

In-Depth Review

Rutt and Tuke (Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas a.k.a. Bob and Doug McKenzie) reprise their roles as a couple of dimwitted moose in this sequel to Disney's Brother Bear. But they aren't the only things in this animation that may seem familiar.

Picking up shortly after the last movie ended, Kenai (the boy-turned-bear voiced by Patrick Dempsey) and his adopted brother cub Koda (Benjamin Bryan) are greatly amused by the twitter-patted state (think Bambi) of their older forest friends. Both are convinced they're immune to the affects of spring fever until they cross paths with Nita (Mandy Moore).

It so happens the beautiful human female (a cross between Pocahontas and Mulan) was once a childhood companion of Kenai (just like the main characters in The Lion King). During those early years, a life-threatening incident somehow bonded the two of them together. Now, on the advice of the tribe's wise woman, Nita is on a mission to find her estranged chum and undo the ties entangling them. Apparently, this is the only way for the bear and the girl to move forward independently, and for Nita to marry the man to whom she has been betrothed.

Having been given a gift to communicate with animals, Nita explains the steps necessary for accomplishing the separation. As the instructions include taking a three-day journey to a sacred location, the pair sets out with young Koda in tow. Along the way, the travelers meet up with other woodland creatures, brave the forces of nature, undergo perilous adventures, face personal fears -- and rediscover feelings they had long forgotten. Yet the memories are bittersweet because neither can be part of each other's world (... just like The Little Mermaid).

Despite the many recycled elements in this Beauty and the Beast type story, Brother Bear 2 still offers enough entertainment to keep most viewers engaged, with only the very smallest of audience members likely to be frightened by moments when the characters are in danger. The romantically challenged moose also provide opportunities for slapstick comedy and mild sexual innuendo. Meanwhile, the overriding themes of friendship, brotherly love, sacrifice, and looking beyond appearances contribute to another well-known Disney movie trait-- the feel-good, happily-ever-after ending.

Content Details: Beyond the Movie Ratings...

During Kenai and Koda’s slapstick-style adventures, the pair fall, tumble and narrowly escape many accidents and misfortunes. Characters find themselves in perilous conditions like falling through ice and into freezing water, an earthquake, an avalanche, being attacked by wild animals, as well as threats with spears and fire. The silly moose try to attract female attention, resulting in very mild innuendo and some rude behavior. The wise woman’s religious practices include seeking the council of the Spirits.

Discussion Ideas: Talk About the Movie...

How do you feel about Nita’s father’s statement, “Once you love someone, they stay in your heart forever”? How were his words applied to the many different relationships depicted in this movie?

How many similarities to other Disney storylines and character portrayals and animations can you find in Brother Bear 2?

Video alternatives

Past Disney animations are well represented in this made for home-video sequel. Check out the following movies that have provided inspiration: Brother Bear, Bambi, Pocahontas, Mulan, The Little Mermaid, and Beauty and the Beast.

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

DVD Release Date: 29 August 2006

Explore the world of the direct-to-DVD movie Brother Bear 2 with a making-of the music featurette showcasing the work of Melissa Etheridge, or play the moose game Trample Off, Eh?. Audio tracks are available in English (Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 2.0) and French (Dolby Digital 2.0).

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About the Reviewer: Donna Gustafson

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