Movie Review: Brother Bear

Brother Bear Trailer

Brother Bear Summary

In a post-ice age Alaska, the local tribesmen believe all creatures are created through the Great Spirits, who are said to appear in the form of an aurora. A trio of brothers, Kenai, the youngest; Denahi, the middle; and Sitka, the eldest, return to their tribe in order to receive their totems, necklaces in the shapes of different animals. The particular animals they represent symbolize what they must achieve to call themselves men. Unlike Sitka, who gained the eagle of guidance, and Denahi, who gained the wolf of wisdom, Kenai receives the bear of love. He objects to his totem, stating that bears are thieves, and believes his point is made a fact when a Kodiak bear steals their basket of salmon. Kenai and his brothers pursue the bear, but a fight ends on top of a glacier, during which Sitka gives his life to save his brothers by dislodging the glacier, although the bear survives the fall. After Sitka’s funeral, an enraged Kenai blames the bear for Sitka’s death. He hunts down and chases the bear up onto a rocky cliff, fighting and eventually slaying it. The Spirits, represented by Sitka’s spirit in the form of a bald eagle, arrive and transform Kenai into a bear after the dead bear’s body evaporates and joins them. Denahi arrives and, believing that Kenai was killed by the bear from earlier, vows to avenge Kenai by hunting it down.

Kenai falls down some rapids, survives, and is healed by Tanana, the shaman of his tribe. She does not speak the bear language, but advises him to return to the mountain to find Sitka and be turned back to a human, but only when he atones for his actions; she vanishes without an explanation. Kenai quickly discovers that the wildlife can now speak to him, meeting a pair of moose brothers named Rutt and Tuke. He gets caught in a trap, but is freed by an outgoing bear cub named Koda. They make a deal: Kenai will escort Koda to an annual salmon run and then the cub will lead Kenai to the mountain. As the two eventually form a brother-like relationship, Koda reveals that his mother is missing. The two are hunted by Denahi, who is still determined to avenge Kenai, unaware that the bear he is pursuing is actually Kenai himself. Eventually, Kenai and Koda reach the salmon run, where a large number of bears live as a family, including the leader Tug. Kenai accepts his new surroundings and is comfortable living with the other bears. During a discussion among the bears, Koda tells a story about his mother recently fighting human hunters on a glacier, reminding Kenai of his and his brothers’ fight with the bear that lead to Sitka’s death and making him realize that the entire time, the bear he killed was Koda’s mother herself.

Shocked and horrified at his actions, Kenai runs away in a fit of guilt, but Koda soon follows him. Crestfallen, Kenai confesses the truth to Koda, who runs away, grief-stricken. An apologetic Kenai leaves to reach the mountain. Meanwhile, Rutt and Tuke, having had a falling-out, reconcile with each other in front of Koda, prompting him to forgive Kenai. On the mountain, Kenai is cornered by Denahi, but their battle is interrupted by Koda, who steals Denahi’s spear. Kenai sacrifices himself for Koda, out of love, prompting Sitka to appear and turn him back into a human, much to Denahi and Koda’s surprise. However, upon realizing that Koda needs him because of his own mistake, Kenai asks Sitka to transform him back into a bear with Denahi’s support. Sitka complies, and Kenai is transformed back into a bear. Koda is reunited briefly with the spirit of his mother, before she and Sitka return to the spirit world. In the end, Kenai lives with the rest of the bears and gains his title as a man, through being a bear.

Brother Bear Review

Rating: 5 out of 5.

An enjoyable and underrated Disney film. It is set in Alaska and features spirit animals and Native Americans. It is interesting, cute, funny but also heart warming too. I have a soft spot for Koda. He needed Kenai so much. Also the Moose brothers are classic.

What are your thoughts?

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