Disney’s 44th animated feature, Brother Bear, was released today, back in 2003. During the era of Disney animation, where they could not make a successful hit since the renaissance era. Along with movies such as The Emperor’s New Groove, The Wild, Chicken Little, Treasure Planet, Brother Bear did not do as well as Disney hoped.
The film is set in a post ice-age North America, and is about a boy named Kenai, who kills a bear in revenge for a battle that he provoked in which his oldest brother was killed. The spirits, angered by what happened, punishes Kenai by turning him into a Bear himself. He then endures a long journey, accompanied by a bear cub called Koda, and of course he learns from his mistakes and bad judgment.
I personally have had to watch this film over the years many times, in order to enjoy it. I remember being a bit bored and disappointed when I first watched it, nearly 13 years ago. Although, I always loved the animation to Brother Bear. Koda looked so cuddly, and loveable, and I wanted to take him home so badly.
I was 17 when Brother Bear was first released, and I was learning to really appreciate the morals, and seriousness of some of Disney’s classic feature films. They were becoming more than just cartoons. And Brother Bear, had a seriousness tone to its story. It was not just about cute bears that talked. Well this is what I’ve come to appreciate about the film the more I’ve watched it.
Compared to the films released during the renaissance era, it does not come close to being as good. But, I do like that its male dominated, because Princesses and strong female leads is what helped the renaissance era. Brother Bear, like a couple of the other films released during the naughties, was mostly male leads, and stories that were written for a more male audience. This could be the reason they didn’t do so well, because Pixar had already dominated the young male audience, as well as females who wanted to watch an animated movie that was not about a Princess finding her Prince.
One thing I especially like about Brother Bear is the music. Phil Collins created and produced a fantastic soundtrack for Tarzan, the last film of the Renaissance Era. He returned to produce and create the music for Brother Bear, and it does not disappoint. The songs aren’t as good as the ones from Tarzan, but they are still enjoyable to sing a long to.
I’ve put it on a couple of times for Jacob, and he does watch some bits of it, but doesn’t sit and watch it all, like he does with Toy Story. Maybe, in time, he’ll enjoy it all a bit more.
Is Brother Bear one of your favourite Disney Classics? Do you have a fav song? Do you think it’s under appreciated?
“You want to know what I did this year? I went on the longest, hardest, most exhausting journey I have ever been on, with the biggest pain in the neck I have ever met. Well, what do you expect from a little brother?” – Kenai