Disney Classic number 44, so yes it’s not one of the older classics, however that does not mean it is not a good one. This Disney Classic might be less known than the older ones, such as ‘Bambi’, or ‘Pinocchio’, or even ‘The Jungle Book’, and no it isn’t a Disney Princess film either. This is a review highlighting the greatest of ‘Brother Bear’ and emphasising that this film is a Classic Disney film, even if one that not as many have seen and that is where things should change as it is one to watch.
So if you know the plot of ‘Brave’, this is similar, but I have to say, ‘Brother Bear’ is the original animation of a person being turned into a bear! As much as I love ‘Brave’, it came out in 2012, ‘Brother Bear’ 2003. Although saying this, there is of course a different reason and altogether a different plot, just happens they’re both turned into bears, I guess that’s where the similarities end. Where the Queen in ‘Brave’ is turned because her daughter put a spell on her, Kenai (Joaquin Phoenix) is turned by the spirits to teach him a lesson of the importance of being a man. Straight away from the beginning, we notice what sort of person Kenai is, he glides through life in hope of becoming a strong, brave man, but when he is given his totem and it is the bear of love, he is repulsed as he didn’t get bravery or strength. The film moves on quickly escalating when a tragedy hits, and out of anger Kenai tries to avenge what has happened, unfortunately this isn’t the way to go, so he is turned into a bear by the spirits to learn a more important lesson of how love can influence life.
It’s along his journey we hit the comedy of the film, but also some emotional and heart-warming moments. Furthermore, a realisation in the film which is actually quite heart-breaking, and done so well to be emotional and hit the audience powerfully. There is a moral to the story but this is obvious for Disney films. This moral yes might not be so different from other films, but it is executed in a different way. There is love and there is family, amongst humans and bears.
Anyway, on this journey, there are some great characters that we meet. We can never forget the two characters that I always remember ever since I was little from when I first watched this film, the two moose. They stand out as the comedy of the film, still great to this day. Rutt (Rick Moranis – Dad in ‘Honey, I Shrunk the Kids’ and Seymour in ‘Little Shop of Horrors’) and Tuke (Dave Thomas). They are the memory of the film in my opinion, they truly are great and bring so much comedy, their stupidity, their jokiness, it’s all brilliant in the film. There are also two other characters, which aren’t in the film for long at all, but they bring dumb stupid humour as well. On his travels, Kenai meets a young cub separated from his mother, this is Koda (Jeremy Suarez), an adorable young cub who influences more of the moral of the story than anything else, but just a great main protagonist within the film.
Don’t assume that because it’s a Disney Classic it is a musical, because this one isn’t. Although, saying this there is a soundtrack and it has one of my favourite Disney songs on it. The soundtrack done by the same as ‘Tarzan’, Phil Collins, in which he does do some pretty amazing Disney chill songs. In ‘Brother Bear’ this being ‘On My Way’, which is great in my opinion. Even though ‘Brother Bear’ isn’t a musical, it is clever in the way how the music is so influential in this film. The soundtrack is occasionally used in this film to portray the emotions of the characters without them saying anything, when we already know what is supposed to be said but instead the music takes over and we witness the facial expressions. It is very clever for the audience to witness. There is particularly one part where they do this and it is very powerful for the audience (bringing my little brother to tears, and probably many others).
So as you can probably tell, this is a positive review as I believe more should jump to knowing what this film is about and that it is a Classic Disney. I would definitely recommend it. It is also quite a short film, only 85 minutes and it flies through, with actually quite a lot being said. This is a great film and should not be ignored. Come and watch Kenai take his journey from boy to man.