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93 of 101 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SEE THIS MOVIE
I went to Brother Bear not really knowing what to expect. Some of the recent Disney hand drawn animated releases have fallen short of expectations. I have to say that I was extremely impressed by the plot and character development in this movie. The story, while it is a relatively simple one, is one that draws you in and makes you care about the characters. And while...
Published on November 7, 2003

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Brother Bear
It was set in the Pacific Northwest somewhere with three native American Brothers, Kenai, Denahi and Sitka who enjoy life within there tribe. Sitka is the oldest and Denahi is the middle while Kenai is the youngest out of the three brothers. They all wear a necklace with a symbol on it to represent what animal spirit they are or have been chosen to be. Sitka totem around...
Published 4 months ago by Tina Huneycutt


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93 of 101 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars SEE THIS MOVIE, November 7, 2003
By A Customer
I went to Brother Bear not really knowing what to expect. Some of the recent Disney hand drawn animated releases have fallen short of expectations. I have to say that I was extremely impressed by the plot and character development in this movie. The story, while it is a relatively simple one, is one that draws you in and makes you care about the characters. And while many of us can see where the plot is going, the journey is highly enjoyable with some unexpected twists along the way.
For those of you who don't know what the movie is about, it is a coming of age movie about a boy who becomes a man by becoming a bear. Beyond that, it is about breaking stereotypes, and developing a respect for life. It is about dealing with anger and loss. The emotional intensity of this movie is much more similar to Lilo and Stitch or Finding Nemo, than it is to older hand animated movies such as Aladdin or The Little Mermaid. My four year old is very sensitive and had to be held at several points during the movie. But my six year old loved it, and learned some valuable lessons as well.
If I had anything negative to say, it would be that the music is not as memorable as I would have liked. I wish that they had asked Sir Elton John to contribute to the music for the picture. I like Phil Collins, but the music is too reminiscent of Tarzan for me. Still, it's not enough of a negative in this movie to make me change my rating.
Overall, I think that if they made more hand animated movies like this, they could continue to put them out forever. CGI is nice, but part of what makes Pixar movies memorable is the care given to the plot. This movie will probably be one of the great animated sleeper movies of all time--definitely can't wait to own it on DVD as well.
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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Typical Disney concept, superior execution, November 3, 2003
By 
"Brother Bear" has all the traits we are familiar with from Disney, but they are more nicely done than in some recent efforts. There is a grand sentimental theme (brotherly love), a soaring musical score, an earnest effort to incorporate another culture into the film (Inuit), an ornery lead who has something to learn (Kenai), a loveable little sidekick (Koda), and secondary characters for comic relief (Rutt and Tuke, two goofy mooses, played by Dave Thomas and Rick Moranis re-enacting their "McKenzie Brothers" routine).
Somehow it comes together better than most. The quality of the animation is excellent, the characterizations clearer, the funny bits genuinely funny (my favorite bit was the mooses' penchant for doing yoga poses). Moreover, the ending was a bit less trite than is sometimes the case.
Disney true-blue fans will definitely want to see it, but even if you usually have a low tolerance for Disney stories, give this one a look.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Disney has done it again!, October 25, 2003
By 
KimO. (Honolulu, HI) - See all my reviews
We saw a special sneek preview on 10/25/03. Brother Bear is a hit. Well written story line, great music, and beautiful animation.
Make sure you stay until all the credits have run, there's one last "outtake" at the very very end of the movie. Most of the audience had walked out, and missed it.
Aloha,
The Oh Family
Honolulu, HI
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26 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful!!!, October 24, 2003
By A Customer
I was lucky enough to see a screening of Brother Bear, and I was really impressed! At a time when there seems to be a glut of 3d slick animation, this movie really shows the beauty and grace of hand drawn animation through the lush backgrounds and impressive performances by the characters. Its sad that it seems disney is going to be making strictly 3d animated movies after this one, b/c they've got some AMAZING artists there who can really bring things to life with pencil and paper.
People should really enjoy this tale of brotherly love! Koda and Kenai are really endearing; and their relationship really tugs at the heart. The two moose are hilarious!!!!
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A True Disney Classic!, November 3, 2003
By 
Alex (United States) - See all my reviews
A lot of the more recent Disney animated films haven't been so great. Definately not movies worthy of being in the Platinum Collection (wich includes to date Snow White, Beauty and the Beast, and the Lion King). Brother Bear was so unexpected. I guessed that Disney was trying to cash in on the success of Tarzan (the other Disney film with music by Phil Collins), but the two are nothing alike. I went into the movie thinking the plot would be man turns into a bear resulting in good family fun. There is so much more to it. I really don't want to give anything away because the story takes you through so many surprises. The moose and the young bear, koda, definately steal the show, but you really do care for Kenai, the man who turns into a bear. I think Disney should have released this film after Home On The Range, the next and last Disney hand animated movie. That way they could go out with a bang. Home on the Range looks good, but good like Emporors New Groove was good. I really hope they change their mind and make more hand drawn, because I get sick of computer animation after a while. Take your family or friends to see Brother Bear. There is something for everyone in it.
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Family Entertainment, April 8, 2004
"Brother Bear" has elements that every member of the family can enjoy. Adults will love the new Phil Collins music, children will fall in love with the adorable bear cub, Koda, and everyone is sure to love the moose, voiced by Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas. The theme of "Brother Bear" is seeing through another's eyes. Kenai is a member of the inuit tribe. When his eldest brother is killed by a bear, Kenai seeks revenge. To teach him a lesson, the spirit of his older brother turns him into a bear. He teams up with a cub named Koda and through their journey, Kenai learns to love him as a brother and sees the error of his previous lifestyle. "Brother Bear" is the kind of Disney film that leaves you happy and makes you want to watch it again and again.
I think there could have been better special features. 2-disc dosen't mean the special features are great. The first disc has a "Family Friendly" widescreen version of the film. "Brother Bear" was filmed with two aspect ratios. The first 21 minutes of the film was filmed in the standard widescreen size, and after Kenai is turned into a bear, the movie switches to cinemascope, which is really widescreen. The "Family Friendly" version on the first disc keeps the normal widescreen for the whole film. When you watch the second disc, the whole movie is in cinemascope, so the first 21 minutes has black bars on the side of the film, as well as on the top and bottom. I prefer the original aspect ratio on the second disc, but I wish they would have kept the first part of the film looking normal on it. There are special features for kids, including games, a sing-along, and more outakes that weren't on the ending credits. For adults, there is a 45-minute making of. I wish there would have been art galleries and a more extensive behind the scenes. But this release is good for now.
"Brother Bear" is going to be remembered ten years down the road the same way that "The Lion King" is. It has all of the elements that make a Disney animated film a classic.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Disney has yet another hit on it's paws, November 3, 2003
By 
T.E. (New Mexico,USA) - See all my reviews
I figure since I wrote a review for the soundtrack,might as well do it for the movie as well. Which I saw on opening day to a packed house,and currently no.2 top movie in the USA at the moment. ^_^
As described by the other Amazon members,it's about a boy named Kenai who loses his oldest brother to a bear,and after killing the bear,is transformed into one. Kenai befriends Koda along the way. And towards the end,they look upon themselves as brothers and learn the importance of brotherhood.
This movie actually has values in it. Which is good. Seeing as how some movies today are mindless dribble that do poorly in the box office soon after they hit. Brother Bear is really good and for sure will be a Disney hit.
Go see this!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Multiple aspect ratios cause window-boxing for first 24 minutes., March 15, 2013
This review is from: Brother Bear / Brother Bear 2 (3-Disc Special Edition) [Blu-ray / DVD] (Blu-ray)
I became alarmed when I first put the Blu-ray disc in, I had never seen the movie before and thought Disney had made a mastering error whit the black bars on all four sides. I stopped the player to make sure I had all the correct settings.

I spoke with the Disney technicians. This movie was shot in multiple aspect ratios, the first 24 minutes of the movie was shown theatrically at 1:78 to 1, then the image widened to 2:33-1.

it was the decision of the director to present the first 24 minutes of the movie on the Blu-Ray release window-boxed at 1:78-1 instead of filling up the screen. This would retain the impact of the image widening to 2:33-1 24 minutes into the film. Otherwise it would feel like the image shrunk down to 2:33-1 with black bars on the top & bottom and this is not what the director desired.

The old DVD used to crop off the sides of the 2:33-1 portion to keep the screen filled at 1:85-1.

There should have been a warning that the first 24 minutes were window-boxed and the rest of the film would be wide-screen 2:33-1.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent!, September 18, 2005
By 
I watched this movie at the recommendation of a friend and could not have been more pleased. The animation is incredible, from the lush scenery to the emotion of the characters (two and four-legged), the Disney animation department has taken extra special care to details in this movie. The story is so touching, there were several points I was moved to tears and the ending is perfect. The cast is excellent as well, from the talented young actor who voices Koda to the hilarious Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas as the moose, and Joaquin Phoenix as Kenai. I cannot say a bad thing about this movie, see it and let that be reward in itself.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Moose Hole - More Then 'Bear'able, December 14, 2003
Let's just face facts here people, traditional animation is on the ropes and there is very little we can do about it. Computer generated imagery has become the new medium in the animation genre as we move forward through the 21st Century of filmmaking. Does this mean it is a permanent fixture? Not by a long shot! This is hardly the first time traditional hand-drawn animation has been faced with its own extinction. Back in 1986, before Wells and Eisner took charge of the Disney ship, the genre was hurt badly with failure after failure at the box office including Disney's own Black Cauldron, which, as advanced in material as it was, was far ahead of its time. Then suddenly in 1989, The Little Mermaid changed everything receiving critical acclaim and, more importantly to company investors, tremendous box office coinage. Beauty & the Beast, Aladdin, and The Lion King followed suit and each new release built on the success of the previous entry leading to a gigantic boom in the animation industry. Unfortunately, chinks have become apparent on the suited armor of the traditional animation empire due in part to financial, as well as critical, flops such as Disney's Treasure Planet and Dreamworks' Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas. Escalating successes from CGI animated features like Ice Age and Finding Nemo certainly haven't helped matters in this debate. Brother Bear and Home on the Range are part a coordinated last ditch effort for Disney to revitalize this staple of animation before it is too late.

The story centers on a young arrogant man who goes through a magical transformation and eventually learns the meaning of friendship and brotherhood. Set in the Pacific Northwest long ago when woolly mammoths still roamed the earth, an ancient tribe of Native Americans celebrate the coming of age ceremony for one of their young adults, Keinai, a young man who still has yet to grow up. Unfortunately, the celebration is cruelly interrupted by the death of one of Keinai's brothers, killed by a bear who attempted to attack Keinai. The brash young man becomes so enraged by the event that he goes after the bear himself to avenge the death of his beloved brother. But when the great spirits in the sky transform Keinai into a bear, he receives a brand new perspective on life through another creature's eyes. Along the way to becoming a man, again, Keinai meets up with a young bear cub named Koda - "Say it with me, KO-DA" - as well as two goofy moose named Rutt and Tuke. With their help, Keinai gains a whole new perspective on the world and its creatures. The story of Brother Bear may not be the most original idea out of there, rumors were that Eisner dubbed this the bear version of The Lion King, and may not agree with everyone's political perspectives, at times this feels like hippie-dippy PETA propaganda, but the filmmakers do a wonderful job making this film unique despite that handicap. Rutt and Tuke may be the main draw but they are only the comic relief and are added all the appropriate moments, allowing the story to continue to flow even when they aren't present.

Despite being different genres of animation, Brother Bear does share one similarity with Pixar's Finding Nemo, namely in fact that both films have practically no big name stars voicing their characters. Luckily Finding Nemo managed to find tremendous success in spite of this but Brother Bear may have a harder achieving that sort of milestone for itself. Joaquin Phoenix, who has become quite a rising star with prominent roles in such recent releases as Gladiator and M. Night Shyamalan's Signs, does a superb job voicing both the human and bear form of Keinai. The interaction between the characters of Keinai and Koda is priceless, at least in the eyes of children and their parents, and works on a number of emotional levels from heartwarming to humorous. Jeremy Suarez, who voices the young bear cub Koda, works well with Phoenix and gives a delightful performance despite no face time. The outlandish moose duo, voiced by Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas, is quite possibly the biggest highlight of the film and join the ranks of such classic comic relief figures as Timon and Pumbaa as one of the best in Disney animation history. The only disappointment was the lack of Native American voices contributing to the film, the same problem Pocahontas ran into back in 1995, so it was quite surprising to see Disney making the same mistake here.

Overall, Brother Bear, its own way, successfully revitalizes the traditional animation genre and brings it back to its roots with memorable songs and delightful talking animals, but won't do much in the way of stirring excitement amongst the movie-going public. Generally ignore those comments saying the film is too renascent of The Lion King - yeah, it's true (Eisner even admitted it), but so what? If you enjoyed The Lion King, why shouldn't you enjoy this, if only to a lesser degree? Brother Bear makes the story its own by combining breathtaking landscapes, memorable characters, and delightful voice talent to make it one of the most entertaining family features this year, though certainly not the best. Phil Collins, who worked on Tarzan back in 1999, returns to Disney with a slew of brand new songs and even a bit of extensive work on the film's musical score, a new venture for the talented artist. Each and every song works superbly except for the opening piece - the only squabble there is aimed at Tina Turner's singing, not the song itself. Had Collins been singing it then there wouldn't be a problem but, as it stands, it simply doesn't work. While we're on the subject of faults, one of the few problems for the animated feature is the fact that it starts off way too slow and it takes it quite awhile to really get going based on action. This isn't necessarily a big deal for children but it is a problem none the less. Bottom-line, Disney once again provides a wonderful family film that will not only appeal to the young set but the older adults as well. Parents need not fear of being bored to death thanks in part to Collins' songs and the comic duo of Rutt and Tuke, who provide several hilarious lines that won't get monotonous upon repetition - and believe it, with the kids, those lines will be repeated numerous times over upon viewing this film. Take the whole clan out for one of the first of hopefully many wonderful holiday fares at the box office this season.
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Brother Bear / Brother Bear 2 (3-Disc Special Edition) [Blu-ray / DVD]
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