Brother Bear (2003) – movie review

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Movie Review by Vivienne Messenger

Starring (voices of): Joaquin Phoenix, Jeremy Suarez, Jason Raize, D B Sweeney
Directors: Aaron Blaise, Robert Walker

In Disney’s latest release BROTHER BEAR, a young man Kenai (Joaquin Phoenix) is set a task by the spirits – to find love – and given a talisman in the shape of a bear. Unfortunately an encounter with a huge bear leaves one of Kenai’s brothers dead and, in search of revenge, Kenai tracks down the bear and kills it. Having angered the spirit world he is transformed into a bear and sees the world in a new light through a different pair of eyes, but his other brother, unaware of this transformation, carries on the pursuit chasing Kenai!

Befriended by a young, orphaned bear cub called Koda (Jeremy Suarez) the two team up and begin to learn from each other forming a close bond. They embark on a series of adventures encountering a pair of hilarious moose named Rutt (Rick Moranis) and Tuke (Dave Thomas) and other mountain creatures that will ultimately test Kenai’s strength of character and heart felt instincts as he strives to return to his human form. So will Kenai find the love from within that will appease the spirits?

To answer that you’ll have to go and see BROTHER BEAR for yourself and look out for the wonderful twist at the end. Disney really have excelled here, this is a truly enrapturing film for all ages. Backed up by the voice talents of some well-known actors and a soundtrack composed by Phil Collins (including a powerful track GREAT SPIRITS sung by Tina Turner) that really captures the mood, humour and vibrancy of the whole movie.

The 84 minutes running time will whizz enjoyably past all too soon and the movie’s message of ‘love’ and ‘brotherhood’ is just the excuse needed to take a refreshing and entertaining time-out with the kids, and let BROTHER BEAR work its magic on them.

5 out of 6 stars