So as mentioned previously, Seanie and I are trying to watch all of the 'canon' animated Disney movies.
We finished our first Disney movie of the year tonight, 2003's Brother Bear. I honestly don't remember this film's theatrical release. In fact, all I remembered about this movie was that the two moose characters presented an Academy Award. Ha. Since I usually pay attention to Disney stuff, that doesn't bode well for this movie. But we found an old, beat-up VHS of Brother Bear at the library, so we brought it home to watch.
Now, you have to understand that my family likes bears. I mean, when I was in Indian Princesses waaaaay back in elementary school, my father chose 'Scratchy Bear' for his Indian name. He STILL goes by 'Scratchy Bear' and refers to his children as cubs. As a part of the Indian Princess/Guides program, Dad also used to tell us lots of Native American myths and legends. So Brother Bear actually seemed like it would be a decent fit for us.
Alas, no. THIS IS ONE OF THE MOST BORING MOVIES I'VE EVER SEEN. I can't even say why it's so dull, except that it is bland to the extreme. The characters are flat. The vocal performances lack passion. The animation seems standard, with CGI clumsily joined to traditional animation. The story is predictable and plodding. The music is absolutely out of place; the 'traditional' Native music sounds straight out of The Lion King (not that I know what traditional Inuit music sounds like...but it didn't feel right to me!) and the Phil Collins numbers are just painful. Stupid lyrics and a whining generic pop sound. Meh.
The animation throughout the movie was really inconsistent, too. Part of this was on purpose - when the main character Kenai is transformed into a bear, the world becomes brighter and animals' faces more expressive as he can now understand them - but the way Bear-Kenai is drawn really varies from scene to scene. The size of his head, and the way his neck is sketched are the most inconsistent. Sometimes he has an invisible neck hidden by a ruff of fur; other times he's got a very definite neck-shape and a huge, balloon-like head.
The moose brothers, Rutt and Tuke, are really funny. Seanie was really, really excited when he found out Rick Moranis did the voice of Rutt. And why not? Moranis is a funny guy, and he and Dave Thomas (not the founder of Wendy's) did a brilliant job with lines like these:
Rutt: Hey, you know what this calls for? A pile of delicious barley and amberweed on a cool bed of malted hops, eh.
Tuke: I like it!
And yes, I really do believe that all moose now end their sentences with 'eh.' Also, no, I didn't catch that they were talking about beer when I was actually watching the movie.
But really, it's not worth watching the rest of Brother Bear just for them.
I guess I'd give this a 5/10. It wasn't nearly as bad as it could have been, but it wasn't nearly as good, either.