Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

Brother Bear


This is a gorgeous film to look at, but the story didn’t really get to me that much. It’s a simple tale, and rings true as an Indian legend, though I don’t know if it is one. It involves a boy wanting to become a man, but rejecting his assigned totem of the bear. His older brother is killed by a bear, who it turns out was just guarding her cub. The younger brother vows revenges, kills the bear, which is in violation of his karma, or something. The Great Spirits turn him into a bear so he can see what it’s like from the other side. Naturally he befriends a cub who turns out to be the orphan of the dead bear mother. Eventually he learns tolerance, and that being a bear ain’t so bad. He ends up staying ursine, and everybody lives happily ever after. As I said, the look of the film is ravishing. They also employ a trick of morphing from standard screen to widescreen when the boy is transformed, and using a whole new, brilliant color palette that reminded me of Maxfield Parrish. It is a mix of CGI for the effects and hand-drawn for the characters, a technique that was soon to vanish until The Princess and the Frog. It features Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas reprising their schtick as bumbling Canadian hosers Bob and Doug McKenzie, from their SCTV show “The Great White North.” Here they are mooses, eh? Meeses? Meese?