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Brother Bear (2003)

When a young Inuit hunter needlessly kills a bear, he is magically changed into a bear himself as punishment with a talkative cub being his only guide to changing back.

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(screenplay), (screenplay) | 23 more credits »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 21 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Kenai (voice)
...
Koda (voice)
...
Denahi (voice)
...
Rutt (voice)
...
Tuke (voice)
...
Sitka (voice)
...
Tanana (voice)
...
Tug (voice)
...
Old Denahi (voice)
Paul Christie ...
Ram #1 (voice)
...
Ram #2 (voice) (as Daniel Mastrogiorgio)
...
Old Lady Bear (voice)
...
Male Lover Bear (voice)
...
Darko Cesar ...
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Storyline

Kenai, a man who resents bears after a fight with one kills his older brother, is turned into a bear so he can see life from a different perspective. He is visited by the spirit of his older brother, and is told that, if he wishes to be changed back into a human, he must travel to the place where the lights touch the Earth, in other words, the Northern Lights. Fueled by hope, Kenai sets off on his long journey, and, along the way, encounters a younger bear, Koda, who is a chatterbox and a fun-loving spirit; Koda is trying to find his way back to his home, the Salmon Run, which, coincidentally, is right next to where the lights touch the Earth. Koda and Kenai team up, but are hunted by Kenai's other brother, Denahi, who fears that the bear has killed Kenai as well. Along the way, the two bears meet other friends, including two moose, some rams, and some mammoths, with whom they hitch a ride. However, Kenai discovers that he likes being a bear, and realizes that humans aren't only ... Written by fallgeek

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

bear | spirit | revenge | fight | ice age | See All (75) »

Taglines:

Welcome to a world where animals rule and the only human around... isn't human anymore. See more »


Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

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Country:

Language:

| | |

Release Date:

31 October 2003 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Bears  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$128,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$291,940, 26 October 2003, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$85,336,277

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$250,397,798
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Koda's personality, cub-like nature and ability to highly annoy Kenai while still maintaining both of their affections for each other is a lot like Ujurak in The Quest Begins from Erin Hunter's novel series Seekers. See more »

Goofs

In the opening scene, the DVD subtitles identify the narrator as Sitka, when it is actually Denahi. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Denahi as an Old Man: This is a story from long ago, when the great mammoths still roamed our lands. It's the story of my two brothers and me. When the three of us were young, we were taught that the world is full of magic. The source of this magic is the ever-changing lights that dance across the sky. The shaman woman of our village told us that these lights are the spirits of our ancestors, and that they had the power to make changes in our world. Small things become big. Winter turns to spring. One ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

At the beginning of the end credits, there are several comedic vignettes presented as pseudo out takes involving the chararacters of the film. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Nostalgia Critic: Norm of the North (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

No Way Out (Theme from Brother Bear)
(Phil Collins Version)
Written by Phil Collins
Produced and Arranged by Phil Collins and Chris Montan
Mixed by Chris Lord-Alge
Performed by Phil Collins
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A perfect storm of artwork, story telling, and music guaranteed to rock your emotional boat.
1 September 2004 | by See all my reviews

First, I want to congratulate the creative team that developed and produced Brother Bear, which is truly an audio-visual masterpiece. The use of a classic story formula to tell a deeper more meaningful story within a story is nothing short of amazing. This feature is a perfect storm of artwork, story telling, and music guaranteed to rock your emotional boat.

Second, be patient! This feature requires several viewings to understand and to catch the symmetry and depth of the story within the story. Also you must watch the wide screen version, which is the best way to understand this feature's sub-story. The surface story is for the kids, the real story is for adults of all ages, however, I would preview first before showing to the extremely young or insecure as there are some dark themes presented here. So prepare yourself first, as this feature should spark some good family discussions.

If you take this feature at face value, you get a classic coming of age story touching on just about every major theme in literature. One can also make a case for when the Inuit's first bonded with the animal world as the alternate story, both of which are well told, however some folks might consider it repetitive or boring. Unfortunately, these folks missed the whole point of the feature.

The secret and beauty of this feature is to look beyond the classic Disney story and focus on the sub-text being used and you'll discover a deeper more inspiring story framed within the classic Disney formula. In other words don't take this feature at face value. To understand the sub-story, you need to pay attention to the use of metaphors as well as the clues within the songs. That's right, the songs are strongly tied to the sub-story. To start off with, the title song 'Great Spirits', tells us 'In a world that's not always as it seems'. This is a hint that this story is not what is seems as the Inuit's, Bears, Mammoths, Moose, and Rams are really metaphors for other things. Heck, even Rutt and Tuke's "I Spy" game had nothing to do with what they were describing. Uncover the metaphor of the mammoths and you'll discover the real story of Brother Bear. Once you do, you'll find that there is not one wasted scene in this feature. Even the clips in the trailer are connected.

So what we have is a story of Kenai's journey of discovery, not only of the world around him but of himself and how he fits into it. By the end of his journey, Kenai understands what his destiny is and embraces it. In doing so, he's knows he can make a difference in this world by being able to help Koda as well as being able to help his people avoid a tragic fate. That's right, the real message of this story has direct application to today's world.

Major morals from the story:

1) We are all brothers and sisters in this world.

2) See and understand the other person's point of view (even if you don't agree with it).

3) Tolerance

4) Being responsible for your actions.

5) Forgiveness and Redemption.

6) There is no greater love than the ability to sacrifice oneself for a friend.

7) To those ruled by hate and fear: ....a) No matter who you are or how talented you may be, you will not last long in this world. ....b) It's not wise to pick a fight with bears.

As far as sequels go, it will be hard to improve on a masterpiece. But if Disney pursues one, they have their work cut out for them, as they need to remain true to the real story of Brother Bear. However, I would strongly make a case for a spin-off for Rutt and Tuke as they have serious franchise potential with their moose appeal (whoops meant mass appeal) and drawing power. You either love them or you love to hate them, eh.

That about wraps it up so I think its time for some barley and hops all covered in dew (properly aged of course).

My score: ...Surface Story (10/10) ...Real Story (10/10) Wide screen version. ...Rutt/Tuke Commentary (8/10) Trample off! It couldn't have been way better, eh! ...Soundtrack (10/10)


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