Disney’s latest animated adventure comedy begins its theatrical run today in New York and Los Angeles. In an odd move by the studio, Brother Bear will roll out in wide release on Saturday, Nov. 1. The film’s performance will be closely watched given its distinction as one of Disney’s last 2D theatrical features on the production slate. Home on the Range, releasing on May 28, 2004, may be traditional animation’s swan song at the Mouse House.
Animated at Disney’s Orlando studios, Brother Bear is set at the end of the Ice Age in the American northwest, where a native American teenager named Kenai (voiced by Joaquin Phoenix) has hunted and killed a bear who took his brother’s life. Kenai is then magically transformed into a bear himself and befriends a grizzly cub named Koda (Jeremy Suarez) in order to survive in the wilderness. SCTV alumni Rick Moranis and Dave Thomas lend the comic relief as moose versions of their popular Bob and Doug Mackenzie characters.
Brother Bear is directed by Robert Walker and Aaron Blaise from a script by Steve Bencich and Ron J. Friedman. Go behind the scenes and learn more about the production with our cover story for the November issue of Animation Magazine, available now.