Making the Grades
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.
Discussion Ideas After The Movie
Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about Brother Bear 2.
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?