The lines, "I don't care that you and Binky found the world's biggest pine cone ever" and "First of all, it's not Binky, it's Bucky, and it wasn't a pine cone, it was a pine nut" said by Kenai (Joaquin Phoenix) and Koda (Jeremy Suarez) was an accidental improvisation because Phoenix messed up his line and Suarez corrected it when they were recording.
Disney/Pixar prepared a special trailer for Brother Bear to show before Finding Nemo (2003) during its initial theatrical release. The moose characters, Tuke and Rutt, suggest that, "If you see only one movie this year, see this one." Tuke then reminds Rutt that "for those who see only one movie this year, it's a little late now". Both the moose then encourage everyone who are "only going to see one movie this year" to leave the theater. As the scene fades to black, Rutt says, "I see some of them leaving." Tuke then replies that maybe they're going to "go find that Nemo guy."
In the German version, Tuke and Rutt are called Benny and Björn, after the two male members of the Swedish pop group ABBA. In the weeks before the theatrical release in Germany, they appeared in short funny clips telling the audience to switch off cell phones during the movie.
In the Italian, German, Spanish and French releases of the movie Phil Collins sings "On My Way," "No Way Out," and "Welcome" in the local languages, as he did for the songs in Tarzan (1999). He also performed "Look Through My Eyes" in French and "No Way Out" in Japanese.
The moose Rutt and Tuke are voiced by Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas, the same two who played the MacKenzie Brothers (two self-professed beer enthusiasts) in their shows and movie Strange Brew (1983). They even act out Rutt and Tuke as the same nutty personality types as they did as The MacKenzie Brothers, even using the same type of language like their over use of the Canadian expression "eh." They were even made to resemble the actors, with Rutt having Moranis' wide eyes and lower lip and Tuke having Thomas' thick eyebrows. When Tuke makes up with Rutt after their falling out, Rutt suggests "Hey, you know what this calls for? A pile of delicious barley and amber wheat on a cool bed of malted hops." The list is rough ingredients for beer.
Tuke and Rutt play "I Spy" while traveling on a mammoth. They both choose obvious items (in this case, a tree) and keep choosing it even when the other character knows what they chose. This continues a similar theme in many Disney branded movies (Finding Nemo (2003), Dinosaur (2000)...) where characters do the same thing.
The third and final film to be fully produced at Disney's Orlando, Florida animation facility at the Walt Disney World Disney-MGM Theme Park (after Mulan (1998) and Lilo & Stitch (2002)). This studio was shut down in March 2004 in favor of computer animated features.
The only traditionally-animated movie in the Disney Animated Canon to include the black-and-orange Walt Disney Pictures logo in its initial release. The logo was first used in 2000 and only lasted until 2006, when an elaborate CGI logo was unveiled during the opening of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (2006).
The painterly background styling is inspired by the landscapes of Albert Bierstadt. Then-Disney CEO Michael Eisner, a collector of Bierstadt's work, lent the animators some of his own paintings to study.
The scene where Kenai tells Rutt and Tuke "I'm not a beaver, I'm a bea-I mean, I'm not a bear, I'm a man!" after they call him a beaver after seeing him being turned into a bear by Sitka's ghost could be a reference to a scene in The Sword in the Stone (1963) where Arthur/Wart and Merlin are turned into squirrels by Merlin's magic, and Merlin tells the Old Lady Squirrel, "I'm not a boy, I'm a squir-I mean, I'm not a squirrel, I'm a boy!" after she falls in love with his squirrel form.
Denahi is the narrator of the film. Although the subtitles in the film mistake the narrator to be Sitka, it is shown at the beginning that he is the narrator when it shows an elderly Denahi, wearing his totem, as he tells the story in Inuktitut, which is vocally translated to the audience.
Each color that is shown in the Great Spirits represents different things. When the explosion and pool of blue is shown it represents the sky, water, women, lightening, sadness, etc. Red shows sunset, war, day, blood, etc. Yellow shows sunshine, day, and dawn. The light green shows rain, plant life, earth, and summer.
During the song "Great Spirits" in one shot a small clown fish can be seen a reference to the CGI animated Disney Pixar feature Finding Nemo (2003) can be seen traditionally animated with the salmon this is the only time that the Pixar character can be seen animated outside Pixar Animation Studios, considering both movies were nominated for the Oscar for best animated feature in 2004 but Finding Nemo won the Oscar.
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.
Of note to many critics and viewers was the use of the film's aspect ratio as a storytelling device. The film begins at a standard widescreen aspect ratio of 1.75:1 (similar to the 1.85:1 ratio common in U.S. cinema or the 1.78:1 ratio of HDTV), while Kenai is a human; in addition, the film's art direction and color scheme are grounded in realism. After Kenai transforms into a bear twenty-four minutes into the picture, the film itself transforms as well: to an anamorphic aspect ratio of 2.35:1 and towards brighter, more fanciful colors and slightly more caricatured art direction.
Sitka's spirit can be seen throughout the movie after Kenai was changed into a bear. 1: After Kenai wakes up after being changed into a bear, an eagle sitting on a tree branch watches him then flies off. 2: When Kenai and Koda are riding on the mammoth's tusks, after Koda says "I always wanted a brother" and the scene movies upward an eagle is seen sitting on a tree branch watching the bears. 3. When Kenai and Koda are going through the "lava path" after Koda and Kenai walk off screen (before Koda scares Kenai), an eagle flies after them. 4: an eagle meets up with Denahi on the mountains.
In the various vignettes during the end credits, Kenai is shown drawing a crude stick figure on a rock while little Koda has painted "A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte" (1884-1886) of Georges Seurat.
Since Kenai chose to remain a bear permanently at the end of the first film, the only time we ever get to see his human form again in the straight-to-DVD sequel was him as a little boy in a flashback near the start of the film, when he meets Nita for the very first time.
Denahi becomes a silent warrior after Kenai turns into a bear, aside from some angry growls, screams, and yells when the two fight. He does not start talking again until after Sitka changes Kenai back. This may have been due to the fact that, as pointed out by Tanana, bears cannot talk to humans and vice verse, so when Kenai begged Denahi to stop attacking him since he is his brother, all Denahi hears is him growling.
Even though Denahi was made to look like the main antagonist, Kenai, the film's protagonist, ironically appears to be the more malevolent character, since killing Koda's mother was considered an offense to the Great Spirits, and a posthumous Sitka now attempts to stop Denahi from suffering the same fate as Kenai.