Disney is known for their infamous vault of films. For those that have been living in a vault and do not know what it is, it’s where they store all their movies and periodically re-release them in various formats. This brilliant tradition has made Disney films not only maintain their classic feel and nature, but also keeps from watering down the market. Their Blu-ray releases sport high definition with restored picture and sound, as well as numerous special features. The latest film to get this treatment comes in the special edition two pack of Brother Bear / Brother Bear 2.
In 2003 Disney released their newest addition to their animal film collection with Brother Bear. The film followed three brothers at the time when the Earth was beginning to emerge from the Ice Age. When one of them is killed by a bear, the youngest kills the bear only to be tr4ansformed into a bear himself. But when the middle brother comes upon him he believes he is the bear that killed their older brother and it becomes a race against time to not only flee the wrath of his own brother, but to find a way to change himself back, but gets more than he bargains for when he befriends a real grizzly cub. This film wasn’t one of the bigger Disney blockbusters, but delivered enough to warrant a sequel. The film takes aspects of films like The Lion King and mixes it with the others of that time using the human characters to create something new. The story idea sounds ridiculous, but thanks to it being animated and based on Native American lore it works really well. Much like most of the Disney films the film has an overall message that works but isn’t forced in your face. The animation is beautiful as usual with a very classic look as well as some great voice work from Joaquin Phoenix, Jeremy Suarez, D.B. Sweeney, the late Michael Clarke Duncan, but the greatest is more or less a Strange Brew reunion with Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas playing their characters from the film but here as Moose.
In addition to Brother Bear, this 3 disc collector’s edition also includes 2006’s Brother Bear 2. After the events of the previous film, an old friend of Kenai’s must track down the young bear to attempt to sever a bond that is preventing her from marrying. But the journey will be more than they both bargained for as friendships and feelings are tested like never before. Unlike most of the straight to video sequels, this one delivered the same animation quality and story. Clearly the message is different but the overall tone felt like the same film. Most would probably never realize this never got a theatrical release thanks to its overall production value. At the same time, the story does lose some of the originality now that we have moved forward, but it still likely to keep the fans of the original film entertained.
Brother Bear is far from one of the best films Disney has produced, but it is one of the more classic feeling in a long time and worth checking out if you have never seen it. In addition to the brilliant look and feel of this Blu-ray high def version, it also sports some great special features including a deleted song, deleted scenes, animated outtakes, sing-alongs, making of featurettes and more. This is sure to be a must have for any Disney fan’s collection so get out and grab your copy available now.