Brother Bear is Disney's latest animated DVD and it is a moving story with a strong Disney message. Teaching us cultural lessons from the Native Americans, the story is about a boy who wants to be a man, but had to learn his lesson of manhood through the power of love. Kenai (Joaquin Phoenix) is the youngest of three brothers who is about to undergo the coming of age ceremony where he becomes a man and will receive a totem that will symbolize his manhood. Kenai wonders what symbol his totem will represent: bravery, strength, greatness? But the shaman presents him with the Bear, the symbol of Love. This brought much mockery from his brothers, and embarrassment to Kenai. He wanted to prove his manhood by killing a grizzly bear, but when his brothers had to come to his rescue, his eldest brother ended up getting killed by the bear. When Kenai sought revenge on the bear that killed his brother, he was met by the spirit of his late brother who turned him into a bear. The only way to turn back to a human was to go to the mountain where the lights touch the earth. Kenai now had to live as a bear and began to understand and empathize with them and their constant fear of people. on his journey to find the mountain and turn back into a human, Kenai meets other animals including Rutt and Tuke (Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas, eh!), the two hilarious moose. He also reluctantly befriends Koda (Jeremy Suarez), an abandoned bear cub that becomes Kenai's greatest admirer. Koda and Kenai soon become as close as brothers. Kenai now understands the meaning and power of love. He learns a lesson about people and animals. The bears he once considered to be monsters, Kenai now considers to be family. The ending will have the more sensitive grown ups in the audience shedding a few tears. Children and adults will enjoy the laughs of the Canadian-inspired moose and their many antics. The soundtrack by Phil Collins and Tina Turner include some catchy songs and the animation is enjoyable. An excellent family outing.
Special DVD Features:"Rutt & Tuke's Commentary" The two moose characters (with the voices of Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas) infuse this segment with belly laughs, mostly geared for adults … definitely not to be missed…often brilliant. Fully Animated Outtakes – This animated sequence is a welcomed addition to the "Special Features" section and has become somewhat of a staple for Disney features.Deleted Scenes – Including a sequence of a squirrel and his search for berries2 Exciting Games – A couple of fun games for the kidsAll New Songs – "Fishing Song" (this song was not included in the film's soundtrack) and "Transformer Song" by Phil Collins and Collins' music video "Look Through My Eyes"Paths Of Discovery / The Making Of Brother Bear – Illustrates the lengthy and in depth process of developing an animated feature film.