Buena Vista Home Entertainment will release Brother Bear 2 directly to home video on Aug. 29. Directed by Ben Gluck, this sequel to Disney’s 2003 animated hit features all new original music by Melissa Etheridge, as well as voice help from Patrick Dempsey (Grey’s Anatomy), Wanda Sykes (Over the Hedge), Mandy Moore (Entourage), Michael Clark Duncan (The Green Mile), Catherine O’Hara (Chicken Little) and Kathy Najimi (King of the Hill), among others.
In Brother Bear 2, Dempsy takes over for Joaquin Phoenix in the role of Kenai, who emerges from his first hibernation and takes his little brother, Koda (Jeremy Suarez), to Crowberry Ridge to feast on spring berries while Moose pals Rutt (Rick Moranis) and Tuke (Dave Thomas) court a pair of females. The plot thickens as Kenai’s childhood friend, Nita (Moore), shows up with a carved amulet Kenai gave her long ago. It seems Nita can’t get married until she and Kenai both burn the amulet together at Hokani Falls, a task that involves an arduous journey over icy mountains, raging rivers and unforeseen obstacles.
Brother Bear 2 was one of the last features to be animated at DisneyToon Australia, the traditional animation facility behind such Mouse House sequels as The Lion King II: Simba’s Pride, Lady and the Tramp II: Scamp’s London Adventure, Return to Neverland Jungle Book II and Bambi II. Slated to hit retail in 2007, Cinderella 3 will be the final release to issue forth from the shuttered studio.
Bonus materials on the DVD will include a Behind the Music of Brother Bear 2 featurette, a music video with Melissa Etheridge and an interactive game titled Trample Off, Eh? The release will carry a suggested retail price of $29.99.