Not too long ago I reviewed the original Brother Bear and I spoke very highly of it. It is a movie that I think is very good and I wish that Disney celebrated it more than they did. I did make a brief mention of how Brother Bear 2 was nowhere near as good as the original. However, I watched this again for the first time since it was originally released and it was actually better than I remembered it being.
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The Movie Review
Brother Bear 2 was released in 2006 and this was a time when Disney was all in on their cheaper-made, straight-to-DVD releases. There are more than a few of these and they range from straight-up bad to pretty good and Brother Bear 2 is one that is most certainly in the pretty good category.
To start with, this is an actual sequel. This is not some side story or a story that just ignores most of what came before it. This picks up several months after the events of the original Brother Bear with Kenai and Koda awakening from hibernation and getting ready to go and score the first berries of the season.
Just like in the first movie, the brotherhood and comradery of Kenai and Koda is a major highlight of the movie. Even the change from Joaquin Phoenix to Patrick Dempsey voicing Kenai is not bad. Anyway, Kenai, has a vision of a childhood friend called Nita and Nita plays a very big part in this movie.
Nita is going to wed a man from another tribe, but because of an amulet that Kenai gave her while he was human, their spirits are bonded. The only way that Nita can be married is if she and Kenai go on a quest up the mountain and burn the amulet together. Of course, Koda is going to be tagging along on the journey.
What we have here is rather interesting. Kenai is certainly happy that he is now a bear, but his feelings for Nita have been stirred back up and Koda has become quite jealous. I have to say, I did not like Koda as much in this movie as I did in the first, he came across more as an annoying little brother.
To be fair to Koda, he does overhear a couple of conversations with Nita and Kenai and he is worried that Kenia is going to want to become human again! One thing that gave me a chuckle was the side plot with the moose, Tuke, and Tug and how they would pop up from time to time, this is where most of the humor and charm of the movie comes from.
For a straight-to-DVD movie, Brother Bear 2 looks pretty good. It is clearly not as good-looking as the original movie, but it is one of the more vibrant and colorful direct-to-DVD Disney movies of this time. There is also a great soundtrack here with recording artist Melissa Etheridge providing a few songs.
I feel like I have been kind of harsh on Brother Bear 2 over the years. I am not saying it is amazing or great, but pretty good or decent is how I would describe it. I am glad I gave it a second chance and I would suggest you do as well if you have thought that it was not all that good.
- This is a decent straight to DVD follow up
- I still like the relationship between Koda and Kenai
- It is one of the better looking straight to DVD movies Disney has done
- The voice acting and the soundtrack both sound great
- While I like Koda, he verged on being more annoying than cute in this movie
- It is decent, but not as good as the original