I had the chance to review Disney’s Brother Bear Blu-ray Combo Pack. This two movie collection includes both Brother Bear and Brother Bear 2, digitally restored and in hi-def.
I had seen Disney’s Brother Bear when it originally came out on DVD a few years back, in my pre-mom days. I remember watching it while child-minding for a friend, and enjoying it at the time. I wasn’t really surprised to discover that my daughters enjoyed it.
If you haven’t seen Brother Bear yet I don’t want to give away too much of the plot. The general idea is that a young Inuit hunter finds himself magically changed into a bear and goes on a journey to attempt to get himself changed back. I was a slightly concerned because Rainbow doesn’t enjoy conflict, and well there are some pretty intense scenes in this movie and one of the characters does die. However, she loved it. Some of it went over the 3 year old’s head and she got a bit restless near the end, but the 5 year old was entranced. She cried at the end of the film (heck so did I), but said to me “It’s ok mom, I’m just crying because it’s so happy!” and then demanded we watch the movie again, immediately. (This is a marked improvement from a week previous when I showed her Disney’s Fox and the Hound and she gave me hell for making her weep.)
What did surprise me, shock me actually, was how solid a movie Brother Bear 2 is. I had this notion in my head that as a direct to video sequel it would pale in comparison to the original. Man, was I ever wrong.
Brother Bear 2 reminded me a little of Disney’s Mulan. The lead female, Nita, is a strong character, no wilting princesses waiting to be saved here. She is stubborn, brave and trying to make her own path. The moose brothers, a Bob and Doug McKenzie-esque pair voiced by Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas, are every bit as hilarious as in the original film. The storyline is decent, not too predictable. I loved the characters of the wise woman, and Nita’s patient and loving father. I loved that they didn’t make Nita’s intended groom into a villain to escape. As in the original movie the real conflict is one of discovery and growth from within.
Overall, I really enjoyed this two movie collection. If you haven’t seen it yet, I highly recommend Brother Bear 2, as it’s truly a top notch Disney film. I am happy to be able to share both of these movies with my girls. I know that they are ones that we shall be watching over again (and again).
Disclosure: I received a review copy of this film. As always my words and opinions are my own.