This animated adventure comedy is about three Native American brothers who live in the Pacific Northwest at the end of the Ice Age. Kenai (voice by Joaquin Phoenix), the youngest of the three, is transformed through a series of events into a bear, which is an animal he despises. As he discovers the world though a new perspective, he is befriended by a bear cub named Koda (Jeremy Suarez) who has lost his way. The two have a humorous encounter with a pair of misguided moose (Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas), but then Kenai finds himself being hunted by his own human brother who does not realize that his missing brother is this bear. In order to become a man again, he must find the place where “the spirits touch the mountain.” With the help of some new animal friends, he has many adventures and learns some important lessons.
Not one of Disney’s better pictures, “Brother Bear” drags while the story is beginning. Children in the audience did not seem to take interest in the film until the transformation of the man into the bear, at which time the film takes on an entirely different feeling. Dove awards the Dove Seal to this film, but caution parents that they may want to be prepared to explain the differences between biblical teachings and superstitions.